Holt School Embraces Blended Learning
The Hamilton Holt School is pioneering blended learning in its spring 2013 courses through a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South. Through the grant, five faculty participants learned how to integrate traditional teaching methods with virtual or online teaching methods where a portion of instruction is presented through online-mediated modules and discourse.
Faculty participants attended two 2-hour informational sessions taught by Associate Professor of Communication Rick Bommelje to learn more about blended learning and how it can be applied to course development. During the intersession from January 7-11, the faculty completed a 20-hour workshop taught by Carrie Schulz and Meribeth Huebner during which they developed a blended learning module for one of their courses. The faculty involved in the training represent a wide range of disciplines including biology, psychology, foreign languages, among others.
According to Adjunct Professor Dianne Bennett, “The blended learning initiative workshop was instrumental in helping me design my Psychology 101 blended course for spring 2013. The workshops provided me with the opportunity to deeply reflect on how to effectively transform and deliver course content in a meaningful student-centered, blended format. I am much more prepared to incorporate technological tools into my course. Furthermore, the sharing of information, resources, and ideas between colleagues was fantastic!” she explained.
Holt School Dean David Richard, who instigated the endeavor, said, “This gives our faculty the chance to expose our students to a wider range of teaching methodologies to supplement the traditional face-to-face lecture. We are still maintaining the personalized education that is the hallmark of liberal arts colleges but utilizing 21st century technology to enhance the learning opportunities.”
Students will be assessed before, during, and after the blended learning modules. Reactions to the blended learning formats and traditional face-to-face instruction will be compared, and learning outcomes will be assessed.
The blended learning initiative is designed to create the foundation for additional blended learning efforts. Dean Richard envisions several blended learning courses in the fall semester with more courses coming in subsequent semesters.
This project was funded by the Associated Colleges of the South through a Mellon Foundation Faculty Advancement Grant.