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Blended Learning At Unitec Owen

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Presentation given at Unitec, New Zealand.

Presentation given at Unitec, New Zealand.

Please cite as: Owen, H. (2008). Promoting Blended Approaches to Teaching and Learning at Unitec: A Proposal. Auckland: Unitec New Zealand.

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  • Good afternoon. My name is Hazel Owen. I recently returned from working for six years in the Middle East – both Qatar and the UAE. The students in both countries came from a more traditional, teacher-centered, passive environment where strategies such as rote learning were encouraged. One of the most exciting findings was that learned had the flexibility to effectively scaffold and support students in their first year at a tertiary institution on their transitional journey toward much more self-directed learning by helping them assimilate the necessary study, research and critical thinking skills .

Blended Learning At Unitec Owen Blended Learning At Unitec Owen Presentation Transcript

  • Promoting Blended Approaches to Teaching and Learning at Unitec: A Proposal
      • Hazel Owen
  • Overview
    • Issues
    • General barriers to uptake
    • Blended learning
    • Possible model to promote blended learning
    • Recommendations and conclusion
  • Issues affecting uptake at Unitec
    • Geographically dispersed campuses
    • (expanding)
    • Distinct learning & teaching community
    • Assumptions e.g. ICT doesn't improve
    • learning experience (Fuchs &
    • Woessmann, 2004; Downes, 2005)
    • Relevance of ICT to practical courses
    • Diverse learners
  • Potential barriers to uptake
    • Failure to bridge gap between pedagogic
    • design & technology at institution level
    • Lack of relevant training
    • Minimal expertise at management level
    • Few champions in senior management
    • Negligible management & faculty buy-in
    • Few policies based on needs analysis &
    • field research
    • Resistance to changing paradigms
    (Owen & Allardice, 2007)
  • Uptake & integration Group A
      • Course supplemented by ICT resources:
      • Student & teacher participation optional
      • Possibly some interactive resources; often
      • unidirectional
      • Possibly some communication/collaboration
      • through online forums
      • VLE provides flexible access to support info
      • Adapted from Jenkins (2002)
  • Uptake & integration Group B
      • Course ICT dependent (blended learning):
      • Mandatory interaction in VLE to achieve LOs
      • Some face-to-face sessions - may/may not
      • utilise ICT tools & resources
      • Students communicate using VLE/other
      • ICT tools
      • Assessed work uploaded to VLE
      • Models, examples, rubrics, & other tools used
      • Adapted from Jenkins (2002)
  • Promoting blended learning
    • The VLE
    • Assessment design (formative vs summative)
    • E-portfolios
    • Plagiarism detection software
    • 'Tailored' to specific programme
    • Technical support 'just in time' training /mentor/facilitator
    • Involvement from early stages
  • Model for implementation (Owen & Allardice, 2007)
  • How? (Initially)
    • Introductory seminar (s)
    • Workshops for voluntary participants
    • Needs analysis - determine what faculty
    • already know
    • Identify further training requirements
    • Definition of faculty responsibilities
    • Definition of institution responsibilities
    • Why use ICT?
  • Why ICT?
    • Supporting evidence from research
    • A shift in dynamic away from learners interacting “ with computers to interacting with other humans via the computer”
    • (Warschauer & Kern, 2000, p. 11)
    • Not a 'cure all'
  • Blended learning
      • Garrison and Vaughan (2007):
      • “ a blending of campus and online educational experiences for the express purpose of enhancing the quality of the learning experience” (p. 5)
      • Heinze and Proctor (2004):
      • “ learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course” (p. 21)
  • Concept Model Heinze & Procter (2004)
  • Benefits of blended learning
      • Increases use of course resources
      • Application of skills & concepts
      • Encourages self-directed learning
      • Provides variety of assignment /assessment types
      • Flexible access to interactive tools
      • Meets range of learning needs/styles
      • Increases peer to peer interaction & 'critical' dialogue
      • (Adapted from Garrison, & Vaughan, 2007, p. 35)
  • Issues with blended learning
      • Increased workload/lack of release time
      • Perceived disempowerment as an educator
      • Assessment perceived as open to cheating
      • Waste of time/distraction from programme
      • Technical problems
      • 'Buy in'
      • (Garrison & Vaughan, 2007)
  • How? (Ongoing)
    • Develop database of frequently asked
    • questions re: blended learning
    • Team teaching
    • “ Just-in-time” support
    • Technical support/advice/guidance
    • Mentor to the mentors
    • Mentoring
  • Mentoring
    • “ Mentoring is the establishment of a personal relationship for the purpose of professional instruction and guidance.”
    • (ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education, 1986, p.1)
    • ‘ New hire’ faculty
    • High-potential staff
    • Success of mentoring schemes
  • Benefits of mentoring Mutual building of trust Introduction Encourage risk-taking, communication, & professional skills Transfer of blended-learning ICT skills /reflection /support Dissolution
  • Conclusion and Recommendations
    • Blended learning developers – voluntary /requested
    • Development role – specific/task-focused
    • 'Tailoring' promoted
    • Semi-structured approach
    • Ongoing, 'user friendly' technical support
    • (Johnson, 2008, Driscoll et al., 1985)
  • Thank you
    • Are there any questions?
  • References
    • Driscoll, A., et al. (1985). Designing A Mentor System For Beginning Teachers. Journal of Staff Development, 6 (2), 6-11.
    • Garrison, R., & Vaughan, N. (2007). Blended learning and course redesign in higher education: Assessing the role of teaching presence from the learner perspective . Retrieved May 12, 2007, from http://www.ucalgary.ca/
    • Heinze, A., & Proctor, C. (2004). Reflections on the use of blended learning. Paper presented at the Education in a Changing Environment, University of Salford, UK. Retrieved June 10 2005, from the Salford University Web site: http://www.edu.salford.ac.uk/her/proceedings/papers/ah_04.rtf.
  • References
    • Jenkins, M. (2002). Implementing ICT: Strategies for the support of e-learning. Paper presented at the Learning Technology & Skills Support: LTSN/ALT Workshop, University of Gloucestershire, UK.
    • Owen, H., & Allardice, R. (2007). Managing the implementation of blended E-learning initiatives with the unconverted in a climate of institutionally driven change. The International Journal of Learning, 14 (9), 179-192.