Blended learning is an oft-used term that can mean many different things to various people. RRC’s Nursing Faculty is coming to grips with those meanings as they embark on an ambitious initiative to transform their program delivery into a blended model.
To this end, Nancy Ball asked me to help put together a faculty development day and we decided to convene a panel of educators experienced with various aspects of blending.
Dr. Rick Van Eck (University of North Dakota) provided a research- and experience-based perspective on recommended practices.
Darlene Frederickson (UWinnipeg) talked about her experiences as a “reluctant instructor’ but one who was concerned about access.
Guy Dugas (RRC, retired chair) described the experiences of his department in implementing a blended approach as well as some tips for enhancing engagement.
I (Claudius Soodeen), on behalf of TEIR, provided some pedagogical insights.
None of us talked with each other about the content of our presentations but the overlap and confirmation of important points was amazing and gratifying. The panel presentations were followed by a Q&A period that challenged us and indicated that some of the right questions were being considered.
Rick: You are the first line of defense, so you need to have the answers; think about what works best in which format (online & in-class). Think about outcomes and learning objectives first then apply technology.
Darlene: Remain the teacher – create space for your presence & remain present during delivery; online communication is not better or worse than, just different; policy and monetary support is critical to success. Put your best stuff online. Think about learning and outcomes first.
Guy: Call the TLTC; learn to use the tools; keep it simple at first. Think about outcomes and objectives first. Use the tools that RRC will support.
Claudius: DON’T call the TLTC … to only talk about online courses or technology. Talk to us about teaching strategies for any course. Educators are chefs trying to create an engaging, stimulating and perhaps unforeseen educational ‘meal’ for students. We need to pull together a variety of ingredients, methods and tools that help us achieve this goal. Think about outcomes & learning objectives FIRST. Technology comes second. Engage your students and help them engage with each other and the content (community and cognition).
The full presentation can be viewed online at: http://etv.academic.rrc.ca/Mediasite/Play/02879652cd1949c195371f24bd8788e51d