Redefining community


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  • ESC is a 4 year public college in the State University of New York system serve 19,000+ students at 35 locations across New York State and online. 41.4 % (7000 + students) enrolled at CDL11.4 % (2000 + students) at Metropolitan center (largest regional center) Two largest centers are CDL and Metro
  • Our students reflect those on non-traditional. The average age of our students is 37. CDL attracts more in their 30’s, while a higher percentage of Metro are older.
  • Although we say we serve “nontraditional” students our student demographic mirrors the population of students enrolled in higher education nationwide…in essence “nontraditional is the new traditional” for educators and college recruiters alike, so the ESC story, however seemingly idiosyncratic, is emblematic of a much larger national narrative…
  • Founded in 1971 under the auspices of then SUNY chancellor Ernest Boyer, ESC was designedto serve nontraditional students. From the beginning, it conceptualized itself as a necessary alternative to traditional higher education, particularly as the latter was poorly positioned to serve the needs of adult learners. Committed to recognizing learning whenever and wherever it occurred, the mission emphasized recognizing and adapting to the diverse needs of our learners. That commitment in turn generated particular strategies:Individualized Curricula Across 11 Areas of StudyPrior Learning Assessment or PLAexpanding access to affordable, high-quality educational opportunities through partnerships with employers, unions, government agencies, the armed forces, community organizations and other educational institutionsFlexible Study Options: From very early on, ESC established itself as a so called “dual mode” institution, proving both ftf instruction at regional centers and distance learning through the center for Distance Learning (established in 1978 and bringing its print based curriculum fully online by 2005) Online ftf Study Groups Independent Studies Residencies
  • UCF Blendkit Reader: Begin with relevant metaphors for learning….Examine mental models (Hayes, Jelly, Whann, 2011) Varying assumptions between CDL and Regional CentersParable for CDL: driving a rental car (insert appropriate graphic)Parable for regional centers: building your own go-kart kitMentoring Paradigm:Faculty/Mentor and Student Co-Design Learning Contract for Each StudyIndividualized Student Goals/Interests Drive LearningOrganic, Iterative Objectives, Activities and Assessment: Emerge from Mentor Student Negotiation Instructional Design ParadigmFaculty/CID Team Design Course Course Templates for Use in Multiple SectionsBackward DesignClearly Stated Learning Objectives Transparent Assessment ProcessTwo Approaches to Curriculum DevelopmentRegional Course development is nonstandardized, flexible and adaptive: “takes account of the [changing] realities which characterize both Mentor and Student”Loose collaboration between Areas of Study and Associate Dean ensure coveragePresumes primary faculty role is as facilitator of learning rather than content area expertCourse development is deliberate, planned and structured Review of courses through center (online learning needs to have more review, ADA compliance)Oversight of courses by ACAll courses are structured and systematically presented due to large percentage of adjunct faculty
  • Varying assumptions between CDL and Regional CentersParable for CDL: driving a rental car (insert appropriate graphic)Parable for regional centers: building your own go-kart kitMentoring Paradigm:Faculty/Mentor and Student Co-Design Learning Contract for Each StudyIndividualized Student Goals/Interests Drive LearningOrganic, Iterative Objectives, Activities and Assessment: Emerge from Mentor Student Negotiation Instructional Design ParadigmFaculty/CID Team Design Course Course Templates for Use in Multiple SectionsBackward DesignClearly Stated Learning Objectives Transparent Assessment Process
  • Anomaly of “flexible college” when so many barriers in the differing silos of learning
  • Bringing Tacit Assumptions and Perceptions into the Open“Examine mental models:” we needed to spend more time surfacing and examining assumptions (Hayes, Jelly, Whann, 2011) -Structured and planful course development-Accountability and oversight by colleagues and the center as a whole-Engaged with students through a variety of means: online, phone, other web presence-Clear academic expectations and explicit means of assessment
  • -CDL may be perceived as impersonal, overly structured so as to be inflexible“one size fits all”More focused on outcome than process
  • -Focused on the individual learner-Flexible course development-Collaborative: learning activities emerge through negotiation between mentor and studentNo two pots the same!
  • -Center approach may be viewed as too loosely structured, not focused enough on tangible outcomes
  • Standing: we are not the first to blend---learn from previous efforts (i.e residencies, learning communities, blended webinars) Enrollment: Some responses emerge from a context of enrollment challenges and anxiety about budget cuts…don’t take personallyLocal: Local center practices—and readiness for blend-- are often a response to local conditions and needs---learn the context before whipping out the cookie cutter
  • Extra-curricular events: Garrison, Kanuka (2004):A sense of community is also necessary to sustain the educational experience over time so essential to move students to higher levels of thinking. This is important as “students with stronger sense of community tend to possess greater perceived levels of cognitive learning” (Rovai, 2002, p. 330)Blended identity/Presence: Educate faculty about blended throughout the college without generating negativity; focus on its support for learningSolution: Provide info about blendingBoth faculty and students need to know about blendingHave a “blendie” event & ad campaign
  • Take re-design seriously: (Aycock et al, 2002) In order to create effective interactivity, full course redesign is essential for successful hybrid coursesGarrison, Kanuka (2004):One thing is certain, blended learning does not represent more of the same. It is not just finding the right mix of technologies or increasing access to learning, although a secondary outcome may be increased efficiency and convenience for students and professor. Blended learning inherently is about rethinking and redesigning the teaching and learning relationship. Time: Hybrid instructors should allow six months lead time for course development. At the end of the project, the participants were universal in their advice to others developing hybrid courses, "Start early and plan very carefully; hybridization is a lot of work.“….The majority of the project's instructors started learning about hybrid methods and planning their courses in June 2000. By August they had developed a course plan which they continued to improve upon during the fall 2000 semester. They taught their first hybrid courses in spring semester 2001. (Aycock et al, 2002, on UWM blended project)Skill Development: Sands (2002) “Be prepared to teach new skills” Incorporate skill development into instructional model For regional students/instructors: online skills particularly in discussion; extend planning timeline, learn to make the tacit explicit; budgeting out of class time to incorporate designed learning activitiesFor CDL instructors/students: sharing synchronous learning spaces; adaptive strategies; budgeting in class timeIncremental implementation: both at level of course and level of “program” Thompson, (200?) Given the multilayered, multifaceted nature of blended learning environments, ….the most important design principle might be to start small. “Creating a blended learning strategy is an evolutionary process.” (Singh and Reed, 2001).Aycock et al (2002): Several instructors (at UWM) overestimated what they could accomplish in their first hybrid course and overworked themselves and the studentsBuilding upon the initial redesign, hybrid course development is an incremental process with new modules and learning activities added in subsequent semesters
  • Problem: Technological/instructional supportSelf-selection of different groups of students due to technology differencesFaculty also self-select technologySolution: Provide technological supportStudents will be trained in how to use MoodleFaculty will be provided with FIT and CID support
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge each otherShare/celebrate successes but be open and honest about problems as they emergePay attention to theory: Mortera-Gutierrez (2006) “there is an urgent need to reflect on the pedagogical and epistemological foundations [of blended learning] ”And a modification a a Ball/Lai argument (2004):As online [or blended] education continues to spread, though, it is becoming increasingly important for scholars of various pedigrees and diverse orientations to get involved in the conversations and disputes. We are not just talking here about involvement at the level of “online learning and mathematics” or “how to teach art online,” but about scholars examining the nature and culture of distance l[or blended] earning from their own particular disciplinary perspectives and concerns. For example, we think that the arts and humanities have much to contribute to a critical interpretation, clarification, and contextualization of online [or blended] learning
  • Reasons why we chose these specific courses to blend for our pilot – advantages of a blended environmentIntroduction to Human Services (CHS):This course gives an overview of human services as a profession and as an academic discipline. It provides a sampling of the knowledge, skills, ethical values, and practical experiences needed to successfully assist others to a higher quality of life. Assignments are based on case studies, practical experiences, ethical dilemmas and a field practicum or project designed to help you decide if human services is the career path for you.Disabled in America (CHS):Study the civil rights movement of individuals with disabilities through a review of significant historical events, changing social policy. Through this course, the student will find out about the daily lives and characteristics of the more than 54 million Americans who are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Current initiatives in education, employment, housing, transportation, communication, cultural activities, recreation, health services, assistive technology and access to public services are also covered.Corporate Finance (BME):This course aims to develop a strong conceptual framework for the understanding and application of the theories of managerial finance. Corporate Finance incorporates concepts from both accounting and economics. By using the appropriate theories and historical accounting data as a base, innovative corporate financial planning can occur.
  • Work toward a flexible, adaptive definition of blended for all courses Percentage of online vs. face to face instructionBest practices for balancing/managing ftf and online Making Blended Goals Transparent:Aycock et al (2002) : Students don't grasp the hybrid concept readily: he hybrid model is new to students, so they need a clear rationale for its use. Our instructors learned that students required repeated explanations about the model, explaining clearly what it is and why the instructor chose it. Note: For us the newness of blended works in two directions, so we need to be that much more deliberate
  • Background:Aycock et al (2002): On UWM experienceOsguthorpe and Graham (2003) there is always the threat of an out of balance, disocrdant blend that frustrates both student and teacher)Lesson #4: Redesign is the key to effective hybrid courses to integrate the face-to-face and online learning.There is only one effective way to use online technologies in hybrid courses: it is essential to redesign the course to integrate the face-to-face and online learning. The online learning modules are central to a hybrid course's success, and the students' work online must be relevant to the in-class activities. The project's participants emphasized this point repeatedly. When asked, "What would I do differently?" they were united in their response: "I'd devote more attention to integrating what was going on in the classroom with the online work." This was true even though the project's faculty development sessions repeatedly emphasized the importance of connecting in-class material with out-of-class assignments. One instructor responded emphatically, "Integrate online with face-to-face, so there aren't two separate courses." We found it impossible to stress integrating face-to-face and online learning too much.Additionally, the students were quite critical if they felt the face-to-face and time-out-of-class components of the course were not well integrated. This was one of the students' chief complaints about some of the hybrid courses. Sarah: Note that we are devoting a lot of time to this….using tools form UCF’s online Blendkit
  • Redefining community

    1. 1. REDEFINING COMMUNITY:FROM BLENDED COURSES TOBLENDED CULTURES Presented By: Thalia MacMillan, Rebecca Bonanno, Sarah Hertz, Cathy Leaker, Amanda Sisselman, Christopher Whann, and Susan Tratner
    2. 2. OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATIONI. Blending and Its Discontents: Literature Overview and Multimedia RepresentationII. Background of ESC and Institution Specific Blending ChallengesIII. Our Project: Blend In with the Blendies!IV. Early Challenges and ResolutionsV. Going forward to Phase II
    3. 3. BLENDING IN A NUTSHELL Successful hybridity—however that may be defined—requires bringing the two dissimilarparts together so that they work in concert and may produce a third result Sands, 2002
    4. 4. THE NUTSHELL’S THREE LAYERS Introducing technology into the classroom presents opportunities – and obstacles to overcome. The introduction of any new technology – no matter how transparent or easy to use – requires changed behaviors. In education, the challenges can be grouped into three key areas: cultural, process, and academic. Any of these can hinder achieving return on investment and the ability to leverage – and scale – blended learning technologies. Greenberg, 2012
    5. 5. IN OTHER WORDS……
    6. 6. EMPIRE STATE COLLEGE: WHO ARE WE?  4 year comprehensive college in SUNY system  Distributed throughout New York State  Serves 19,000 + students per year o 41.4% at Center for Distance Learning (mostly online) o 11.4% at Metropolitan Center (mostly f2f)
    7. 7. AGE OF OUR STUDENTS35 31.730 26.7 25.625 22 20 1920 16.216.8 Metro15 12.6 CDL 9.51050 Under 25 25-29 30-39 40-49 50+
    8. 8. % PART TIME ENROLLMENT Metro CDL 64.6 60.8 53.8 55.3 Fall 2010 Spring 2011
    9. 9. SERVING “NONTRADITIONAL” STUDENTS Profile of All US Non Traditional Characteristics Undergraduates, NCES 2002 According to NCES Age 25 or older (38% in 2007)  Entry to college delayed by at least one year following high At least one school nontraditional 73% characteristic  Having dependents  A single parent  Employed full time  Financially independent  Attend part time Traditional 4year residential 27%  No high school diploma
    10. 10. INSTITUTIONAL IDENTITY ROOTED IN ALTERNATIVEAPPROACHES TO HIGHER EDUCATION Learning occurs as new conditions require new responses, as new experiences excite new reactions. We learn when situations challenge competence, test purposes, question values. From ESC Bulletin, 1971
    11. 11. NEW INNOVATIONS – NEW IDEAS Creating a blended culture at ESC  New response – new reactions  Finding creative ways for students to complete courses The Open SUNY initiative
    12. 12. ESC’S “NEW RESPONSE, NEW REACTIONS”: TWO DRIVERS OFRESPONSE AND INNOVATION The Mentoring The Instructional Paradigm: Design Paradigm: Center for Regional Centers Distance Learning and FTF Studies and Online Courses
    13. 13. ….WITH SHARED VALUES AND A COMMON PURPOSE learning-centered interactive dynamic constructivist adaptive ―Ideally adult students do not take a course, they steer a course‖ (Ball and Lai, 2004)
    14. 14. OUR MISSION: TOWARD A COMMUNITY OFPRACTICE FOR BLENDED LEARNING Culture Blended Blended Community of Courses Processes Practice Academic
    15. 15. Culture Strategies: Surface Assumptions Maintain Sensitivity Cultivate Learning Community
    20. 20. MAINTAIN SENSITIVITY: “MOVE SLOWLY ANDSTAY IN FRONT!” Standing on the Shoulders of Giants The Pressure Cooker Effect Local Conditions  Local Practices
    21. 21. EMPHASIZE COMMUNITY BUILDING Planned Extracurricular Events Nurture Blended Identity/Presence Model Cross Center Collaboration
    22. 22. PROCESSESStrategies:Take Redesign SeriouslyResolve Administrative Glitches Early andOftenSupport Critical Dialogue
    23. 23. TAKE REDESIGN SERIOUSLY: BEYOND THE ADDN’ STIR STRATEGY Time Support for skill development Incremental implementation
    24. 24. RESOLVE “ADMINISTRATIVE” GLITCHES EARLY AND OFTEN Whose course is it? Who lists the course? What review processes are in play? Are there intellectual property issues? Is there a platform for this?
    25. 25. SUPPORT CRITICAL DIALOGUE/PRACTICE Challenge the paradigms (even when the paradigm Is sitting across from you!) Acknowledge problems Pay attention to theory
    26. 26. ACADEMICS Strategies: Cross Disciplinary Flexibility within Parameters Focus on Integration
    27. 27. CROSS-DISCIPLINARY1. Introduction to Human Services (CHS)2. Disabled in America (CHS)3. Survey of Social Science Research Methods (CHS)4. Corporate Finance (BME)5. Emerging Markets (BME)6. Cultural Anthropology (Cultural Studies)
    28. 28. TOWARDS A WORKING DEFINITION: FLEXIBILITYWITHIN PARAMETERS 60/40 Split Sharing Best Practices Making Blended Academic Goals and Strategies Transparent
    29. 29. FOCUS ON INTEGRATION What are my objectives? What do I want to achieve with this blend? What is the best sequence of learning activities? How much effort should be given to each activity (reading, reflection, learning activities)? How do we assess progress in the material?
    30. 30. WHAT’S NEXT?1. Implementation: Metro/CDL Pretzel Pilot (January, 2013)2. Expanded Blended Community of Practice3. Common Processes for CDL and regional Centers?4. Increased offerings5. Variations in synchronous delivery (i.e., Skype, Elluminate)
    31. 31. THINGS TO PONDERAs we go forward – some things to ponder: What are our long term institutional objectives? What do we want to achieve with this blend? How do we ensure this initiative strengthens online, ftf and blended modes? How do we assess progress in the project? How can we support students becoming agents of their own blend?
    33. 33. ANY QUESTIONS?