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Lessons Learned From a Faculty Learning Community on Blended Learning

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A faculty learning community (FLC) comprised of six professors representing different disciplines was formed in 2011 to study, develop, and teach blended learning courses. As part of this project, we sought to evaluate the efficacy of blended learning on faculty (efficiency, satisfaction) using interview questions designed by Garrison and Vaughan (2011) and students (access, learning effectiveness, satisfaction) through survey responses including the Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey (Swan, et al., 2008).
This study found evidence that student perceptions of the CoI may be useful in predicting differences in students' blended learning experiences. The study also found that perceived differences in blended learning experiences varied by discipline. This difference may be a result of differences between students, such as their age, or differences between instructors. A second research outcome was that FLCs are a useful form of professional development when correctly implemented. For example, faculty benefit from participation in an FLC when they receive helpful advice on promising practices and encouragement when experiencing instructional or technical challenges. On the other hand, FLCs are less effective when there is a lack of dialogue between meetings or when a facilitator does not provide adequate preparation for face-to-face meetings.
During our presentation we will share both faculty and student findings from our study. We will engage our audience by asking them to share promising practices for blended learning classrooms and professional development for blended learning instructors.

Published in: Education

Lessons Learned From a Faculty Learning Community on Blended Learning

  1. 1. Lessons  Learned  From  a  Faculty  Learning   Community  on  Blended  Learning   David  Wicks   Associate  Professor   Chair  of  MEd  in  Digital  Educa?on  Leadership   SeaBle  Pacific  University     Email:  dwicks@spu.edu   TwiBer:  @drdavidwicks   7th  Annual  Interna?onal  Symposium  on  Emerging  Technologies  for  Online  Learning  (2014)   #et4online  
  2. 2. Abstract    A  faculty  learning  community  (FLC)  comprised  of  six  professors  represen?ng  different  disciplines   was  formed  in  2011  to  study,  develop,  and  teach  blended  learning  courses.  As  part  of  this  project,  we   sought  to  evaluate  the  efficacy  of  blended  learning  on  faculty  (efficiency,  sa?sfac?on)  using  interview   ques?ons  designed  by  Garrison  and  Vaughan  (2011)  and  students  (access,  learning  effec?veness,   sa?sfac?on)  through  survey  responses  including  the  Community  of  Inquiry  (CoI)  survey  (Swan,  et  al.,   2008).    This  study  found  evidence  that  student  percep?ons  of  the  CoI  may  be  useful  in  predic?ng   differences  in  students'  blended  learning  experiences.  The  study  also  found  that  perceived  differences  in   blended  learning  experiences  varied  by  discipline.  This  difference  may  be  a  result  of  differences  between   students,  such  as  their  age,  or  differences  between  instructors.  A  second  research  outcome  was  that  FLCs   are  a  useful  form  of  professional  development  when  correctly  implemented.  For  example,  faculty  benefit   from  par?cipa?on  in  an  FLC  when  they  receive  helpful  advice  on  promising  prac?ces  and  encouragement   when  experiencing  instruc?onal  or  technical  challenges.  On  the  other  hand,  FLCs  are  less  effec?ve  when   there  is  a  lack  of  dialogue  between  mee?ngs  or  when  a  facilitator  does  not  provide  adequate  prepara?on   for  face-­‐to-­‐face  mee?ngs.    During  our  presenta?on  we  will  share  both  faculty  and  student  findings  from  our  study.  We  will   engage  our  audience  by  asking  them  to  share  promising  prac?ces  for  blended  learning  classrooms  and   professional  development  for  blended  learning  instructors.     Cox,  M.  D.  (2004).  Introduc?on  to  Faculty  Learning  Communi?es.  New  Direc)ons  for  Teaching  and   Learning,  5–23.   Garrison,  D.  R.,  &  Vaughan,  N.  D.  (2011).  Blended  Learning  in  Higher  Educa)on.  San  Francisco:  Jossey-­‐Bass.   Swan,  K.,  Richardson,  J.  C.,  Ice,  P.,  Garrison,  D.  R.,  Cleveland-­‐Innes,  M.,  &  Arbaugh,  J.  B.  (2008).  Valida?ng  a   measurement  tool  of  presence  in  online  communi?es  of  inquiry.  e-­‐Mentor,  24(2),  1-­‐12.  
  3. 3. Objec?ves     •  Describe  sehng   •  Explain  methods   •  Share  findings  from  study   •  Share  lessons  learned   •  Explore  your  ideas  
  4. 4. The  Sehng   hBp://spu.edu  
  5. 5. Faculty  Learning  Community   •  Why?   – Workshops  &  informal  training  are  common  but   may  not  be  enough   – FLC  may  be  more  effec?ve  for  deep   understanding   •  Define   – Designated  groups  of  interdisciplinary  faculty  that   work  together  on  a  yearlong  collabora?ve  project   around  a  specific  topic  related  to  teaching  and   learning    (Cox,  2004)    
  6. 6. SPU  FLC  Plan   Faculty   technology   survey   Determined   need   Approval  from   administra?on   Recruit  faculty   –  3  ques?ons   Select   members  &   honorarium     Meet  and   agree  on  plan   (Team  Charter)   Meet  regularly   Learn  together   Conduct  study   Share  findings  
  7. 7. Kevin  Bolding,  Electrical  Engineering   Erla  Champ-­‐Gibson,  Nursing   Baine  Cra<,  Psychology   Kris  Gri?er,  Curriculum  &  InstrucBon   Geri  Mason,  Economics   David  Wicks,  InstrucBonal  Technology   Blended  Learning  FLC  
  8. 8. Blended Learning Community Goals 1.  Increase  dynamic  learning  and  interac?on   in  the  classroom  in  exchange  for  seat  ?me   2.  Explore  disciplinary  boundaries  for  applying   blended  learning   3.  Build  a  set  of  promising  prac?ces  for   implemen?ng  blended  e-­‐learning  
  9. 9. Required  Reading  
  10. 10. Methods   •  Materials   –  Demographic  Ques?onnaire   –  Blended  Course  Student  Survey   •  Garrison  &  Vaughan  (2008)   –  Community  of  Inquiry  Survey   •  Swan,  et  al  (2008)   •  Procedure   –  Tradi?onal,  Face-­‐to-­‐Face  Format   –  Blended  Course  Format   •  70/30,  face-­‐to-­‐face/online   –  Measures  given  during  the  final  week  of  classes  
  11. 11. F   O   Course   Blend  Students   Techniques   F   O   F   O   F   O   F   O   F   O   Impression    5  students    Recorded  Screencasts    Blogs    Online  Quiz    Student  video    Disc.  Groups    Experiments   +   +  
  12. 12. Findings   •  Faculty  benefit  from  par?cipa?on  in  FLC  by  receiving  helpful   advice  on  promising  prac?ces.     •  Faculty  benefit  from  par?cipa?on  in  FLC  by  receiving   encouragement  from  peers  when  experiencing  challenges   within  their  blended  courses.     •  FLCs  are  less  successful  when  there  is  a  lack  of  dialogue   between  mee?ngs  or  when  the  facilitator  does  not  provide   adequate  prepara?on  for  face-­‐to-­‐face  mee?ngs.   •  CoI  is  predica?ve  of  students’  experiences  in  blended  courses.   •  By  working  to  facilitate  a  CoI  within  blended  courses,   instructors  should  see  an  increase  in  student  sa?sfac?on  within   the  blended  course.   •  Differences  in  the  student’s  experience  in  blended  learning   courses  vary  depending  on  the  discipline  of  the  course.  
  13. 13. Lessons  Learned   •  Always  allow  ?me  for  sharing  in  mee?ngs   •  Mix  required  and  discovered  readings   •  Use  blog  to  reflect  publicly  on  progress   •  Mix  face-­‐to-­‐face  and  web  conferences  to   meet  more  than  once  a  month   •  Use  incen?ve  to  encourage  par?cipa?on   •  Conference  presenta?ons  and  publishing   mo?vate  interest  and  par?cipa?on  
  14. 14. Your  ideas   •  Promising  prac?ces  for  blended  learning   classrooms     •  Professional  development  for  blended   learning  instructors  
  15. 15. Comments  or  Ques?ons?   David  Wicks,  EdD   Associate  Professor   Chair,  MEd  in  Digital  Educa?on  Leadership   School  of  Educa?on   SeaBle  Pacific  University   dwicks@spu.edu   hBp://spu.edu/soe   hBp://davidwicks.org   15  

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