Blended Learning: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy

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Overview

The book constitutes a practical introduction to blended learning – typically involving activities half of which take place face-to-face in a classroom, and half online – illustrated by implementations across a broad spectrum of disciplines. It enables faculty unfamiliar with this mode to address the core challenge of blended learning – which is to link the activities in each medium so that they reinforce each other to create a single, unified, course – and offers models they can adapt.

Today’s technologies make it possible to conduct discussions, collaborative writing, assessments, case studies, and other learning activities as easily online as in a classroom, as best suits the instructional design of particular courses. By allowing students to take more time and reflect on the course content, blended learning can promote more student engagement and, consequently, deeper learning; while also appealing to today’s digital natives accustomed to using technology to find and share information, to communicate, and to collaborate, as well as allowing non-traditional students to juggle their commitments more efficiently and successfully.

This book takes two findings as its point of departure. First, that online learning, and blended learning in particular – when they incorporate active-learning strategies, including opportunities for reflection and interaction with peers – can result in significantly better student learning than can be achieved in the conventional classroom. Second, that because they can provide repeated opportunities for students to devote more time on review of information and practice of skills, courses with both synchronous and asynchronous components— for example, blended courses—report more positive outcomes than do courses that are entirely synchronous or entirely asynchronous.

Francine Glazer and the contributors to this book describe how they integrate a wide range of pedagogical approaches in their blended courses; and how they use groups to build learning communities and make the online environment attractive to students. They illustrate under what circumstances particular tasks and activities work best online or face-to-face, and when to incorporate synchronous and asynchronous interactions. They introduce the concept of “layering” the content of courses to ensure that students see both the online and the face-to-face components as equal in value, and devote equal effort to both modalities; and to appropriately sequence material for beginning and experienced learners. The underlying theme of the book is to encourage students to develop the skills to continue learning throughout their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Blended Learning: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy is a collection of essays that provides wisdom for redesigning courses to fit a format that is "partially virtual, partially tangible." The five essays that form the heart of this book highlight fundamental values of blended learning: activity, interactivity, and a learning community. There is much to gain from the authors' arguments for the benefits of blended courses and practical tips for assignments in both "virtual" and "tangible" formats. For instructors who want to move beyond lecturing with three exams and a term paper and who appreciate the challenge of dabbling in something new to improve student learning, redesigning courses to fit a blended format is worth the work. I walk away from this book excited about the versatile and experimental nature of designing blended courses. Prepare to have your imagination sparked as you contemplate your own teaching."

"Blended Learning offers readers an opportunity to develop and/or refine online pedagogical teaching skills, strategies, and dispositions while enhancing overall teaching style in a blended learning environment. It takes a practical approach to blended learning course design, informed by academic practitioners. The book is easy to navigate and provides simple examples for application. As distance education channels continue to grow and expand, cultivating the craft of teaching in an online learning environment from an in-depth comprehensive knowledge base has become a highly sought-after skill. Readers can readily use the book as an instructional guide to eliminate complexities often associated with online and blended learning course design."

"writings on how to integrate a variety of pedagogical approaches in courses in both online and face-to-face interactions with students."

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Foreword
James Rhem

Introduction
Francine S. Glazer

1 Blended Learning in the Culinary Arts
Tradition Meets Technology
Carl Behnke

2 Baby Steps to Blended
Introduction of a Blended Unit to a Conventional Course
Francine S. Glazer

3 Teaching a Survey Course in Anthropology
Alan Aycock

4 Combining Tradition With Technology
Redesigning a Literature Course
Tracey M. Gau

5 Blended, With a Twist
Robert Hartwell and Elizabeth F. Barkley

6 Concluding Thoughts on This Volume
Francine S. Glazer

Contributors

Index

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