Link to Hybrid Framework Worksheet
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As usual, I’m using the blog to post about my next conference — this year it’s the SLOAN-C Blended Learning Conference in Denver, CO. I’m really pumped as it will be my first time attending this event.
It is also my first time presenting with new colleagues – Jennifer Ayotte (Dean for the School of Design, Rasmussen College) & Matthew Otremba (Director, Professional Development & Training, Rasmussen College). We are sharing the framework we use to select, design, and deliver hybrid online courses, Online+ courses specifically. We use the term Online+ as these are online courses with a live classroom component included as part of the curriculum in the course. Some of the courses have weekly live classes, others are placed at specific points in the course. We use the hybrid framework (outlined in the slide deck below) to select courses based on the student outcomes, being thoughtful about the learning environment for a given outcome — synchronous or asynchronous.
SLOAN-C Effective Practice – Online+: A standards-based approach to hybrid learning
You can find out more about Online+ and our standards-based approach to hybrid course development through SLOAN-C Effective Practices. We were 1 of 3 institutions to be selected as recipients recipients of SLOAN-C’s Blended Learning Effective Practice Awards, which “recognize effective techniques, strategies and practices in online education.” I worked with Kathe Kacheroski, Rasmussen’s Assistant VP of Academic Affairs, Program Leadership, to construct this framework as the basis for our hybrid course delivery. We are honored to be recognized by SLOAN-C for this method, and excited to share it at the conference in July!
I’m in Orlando again…at another conference-do you see a trend of conferences in a sunny region? I’m excited to be here presenting with a colleague, fellow online faculty member Miranda Dyer. She and I have been working on the Live Lecture initiative at Rasmussen for over a year now, so it’s great to be finally meeting in person. She offers a great faculty perspective on how these synchronous sessions have dramatically improved her students’ engagement in the course, as well as their performance and retention in some cases. We start bright and early at 8am on Monday.
I wanted to share our slide deck in case you were interested in the most recent data from our Fall courses. I’ve talked about this project before in past posts, so I don’t know that I need to go into detail here. A quick summary though — we are requiring online students in a select group of Q1/Q2 courses to attending a weekly live class session using a virtual classroom tool (we’ve finally moved everyone to Adobe Connect!! Woohoo!!). The students interact with other students across the College in the same online class, as well as a variety of faculty teaching sessions throughout the week. We offer a variety of session times for students to pick from, as they are online students with busy schedules. You’d be surprised though at how many students attend a Friday or Saturday night class session, even Wednesday and Friday lunch hour sessions!
As we’ve passed the one year mark on offering these sessions, it’s time to step it up in regards to the activities in the sessions. My goals for 2013 are to push the faculty to offer more case study discussions, create breakout room sessions where students teach each other, add more faculty to our pool of ‘lecturers’, find creative ways to integrate more student-led discussions, and final change the name “Live Lectures” to Live Virtual Classrooms (or something similar, I just can’t decide). We are in a good place, but there are always room for improvements.
I’m excited for a fun-filled day of learning tomorrow — I look forward to making new connections and hopefully find time to reflect and share my findings here! Oh, I actually had a great experience at the Opening Keynote tonight — Eric Mazur filled both a physical and virtual room (we were in an overflow conference room because of the capacity of the auditorium) with great energy on his work surrounding a peer instruction model. I’m excited to read more on his findings and test these ideas out with our Live Lecture folks. Tomorrow looks to be just as engaging!
It’s Day 2 of the Sloan-C International Online Conference and it’s been a great experience so far. I’m meeting so many great folks interested in learning more about our live lecture project and the types of activities we add to the sessions to engage the students. This morning I presented with our VP of Academic Innovation, Greta Ferkel, to a group of about 20 online learning professionals. I’ve added our slides below — please feel free to comment on the presentation or use the slides as you see fit.
The themes emerging from both keynotes and information sessions are access, affordability, quality, and educational attainment. These are themes I’ll take back to my work to improve our hybrid delivery offerings at Rasmussen. It seems that MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are the buzz word this week. After hearing from Sebastian Thrun this morning from Udacity, I can see the huge value and opportunity for a global course offering. I look forward to the remainder of the conference and seeing the remaining presentations.
Do you see a trend in the last few posts?
I’m talking to a lot of folks about the required synchronous learning sessions we’re doing at Rasmussen. They have been highly successful in improving student success in Q1/Q2 higher volume classes. Being able to bring online students together in a virtual classroom experience provides them a unique opportunity to make connections with each other and with faculty teaching the course.
I’m talking with the faculty at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts on Thursday in how they can use virtual class sessions to connect with their own students. I’m again using the blog to share the information with this group. I’ll be presenting using their Adobe Connect platform, with it actually being only my second time using this platform as a presenter. I have the most experience using Wimba Live Classroom, but I’m enjoying the evaluation of other tools to suit course-specific needs. Adobe has a great set of interaction tools, really robust and sophisticated technology, in my opinion (though I’m only a microbiologist turned teacher turned teacher of teachers — so don’t quote that or anything).
In the presentation, I’m using a deck of PowerPoint slides — linked here through SlideShare, and displayed below.
I’m also sharing a few weblinks related directly to the presentation, helping the faculty to understand the variety of learning activities & opportunities available while in a virtual synchronous session. The weblinks are included below:
I hope that the faculty will enjoy the presentation and consider adding some of the elements I shared into their own virtual presentations with students. One more link to the video podcast I created for students in my Medical Terminology course last term — M120 Video Podcast — these are the archived versions of our live lectures each week. Students can subscribe to the feed and get new episodes downloaded to the mobile device every week — they can take me with them! I know most are not as excited about that as me, but podcasting is one of the greatest learning tools for online students. More on that in future posts….
Have a fantastic day!!
This quarter I’m serving more as a presenter during our week of faculty development as opposed to a participant. I have frequently presented sessions in the past, but this quarter there is a specific purpose and goal behind my presentations — to prepare online faculty to deliver engaging and interactive live lecture presentations to students during the Summer 2012 Live Lecture Series. We are currently running the required live lecture component in 8 high enrollment courses and looking to grow this each quarter. With a solid plan in place for summer, I’m excited for the quarter to begin next week.
I thought it was best to share my presentation materials here, in addition to archived presentations once they are available. Faculty can return to the presentation for reference at any point, in addition to download the slides for quick reference as they create their own live sessions.
Wimba 1.0: Basic Training for Engaging Participants in the Wimba Live Classroom slides here
Wimba 2.0: Creating Content to Engage Students in Wimba Live Classroom slides here
As I transition into my new role as the Hybrid Classroom Manager, I get excited at the potential for flexible learning environments within our courses. We have a lot of great innovative teaching practices already infused within the Rasmussen culture, I’m proud to work with our faculty and spread these intitiatives throughout the system. Feel free to leave me any comments or feedback on the presentations in response to this post.
Enjoy the week!!
I was asked by CollegeOnline to speak about my thoughts on the future of online learning and ideas surrounding the hybrid classroom. It was a pleasure to offer up my experiences so far and where I think it’s heading. I’m excited to see hybrid learning models become the norm and more traditional route for new program offerings. With more and more individuals entering the higher education system, we need an approach to accommodate a variety of learning and scheduling needs. We can create engaging, interactive course material in the asynchronous environment, but faculty and students need to come together regularly to make that material come alive and bridge the communication gap that sometimes results in the world of online education. The ‘flipped classroom’ will continue to grow and I think we will see more colleges and universities move to increase their online offerings through lecture capture technology. This allows for students across the country and the world collaborate and learn from one another. It’s an exciting time in the world of online education and higher education, I’m thrilled to be a part of it!
Where do you see hybrid learning going? What are you currently working on at your institution to reach online students more effectively? I love to bounce ideas off colleagues. Let’s chat!