I had the opportunity to attend the annual Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) conference this February in Austin, TX. I came away from the conference re-energized and excited to move forward in two different spaces:
- Blended learning
- Learning Analytics (more on this in a future post!)
As the Institute continues to explore our role in online and blended learning, this year's ELI contained two fantastic sessions, one from Northwestern College and one from the University of Central Florida, on approaches to blended learning. I especially feel good about the conference take aways, things I can apply here at PSU immediately upon return. Both of these presenters provided just that.
University of Central Florida
UCF was well represented at ELI this year, with a wide variety of interesting presentations from UCF personnel. One specific presentation contained a wealth of resources designed to help faculty get started with blended learning. Kudos to UCF for making the resources all Creative Commons licensed, allowing other institutions to leverage them.
The primary resource is the Blended Learning Toolkit. It would take too long to review each section of the site, but I'd like to point out a couple very good resources.
- Working through the BlendKit - This is a professional development course offered to UCF faculty, but it's designed so anyone can take advantage of it. You can complete the course on your own in its entirety, or pick-and-choose elements of the course to complete for your own development.
- Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository - This is a vast collection of resources, submitted by a wide variety of people, into a large wiki repository. The level of detail is fantastic, as each entry typically has both a synopsis and description of a pedagogical strategy, but also links to resources, examples and citations.
Northwest College presented on a blended learning program they implemented to help faculty take face-to-face courses, and migrate them to a blended model. I specifically enjoyed this presentation because it both applies to efforts taking place in the Institute around online learning and the presenters provided a set of fantastic resources for others to use. The entire project has a website full of resources. A few resources that I find particularly useful:
- Radio James - This is an online objective builder tool, allowing faculty to build objectives in an interactive format, following Bloom's taxonomy.
- Top Ten Tech Tools - A great list, short and articulate.
- Workshop Documents - samples of documents the Northwest team used in their 2-week faculty workshop series to help faculty redesign their course. I particularly link the checklist.
The two primary 'hub' websites for both of these initiatives are flooded with resources. I highly recommend exploring the sites if you're working with faculty, or if you are a faculty member, designing a blended or online course.