Case Studies of ICT-Enhanced Blended Learning and Implications for Professional Development

Case Studies of ICT-Enhanced Blended Learning and Implications for Professional Development

Gail Wilson (Bond University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-296-1.ch013
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This chapter draws on a collective case study of six faculty members working in ICT-enhanced blended learning environments at a large regional university in Australia. The chapter identifies seven dimensions of the blended learning environments created by each teacher, with a particular focus on four of these dimensions – the teacher, the online, the resource-based learning and the institutional support dimension. The research showed how individual faculty members worked to blend their courses through their overall approaches to course planning, their focus on combining the strengths of both the face-toface and the online learning environments, and their eagerness to shift their pedagogical approaches to accommodate the best features of both the face-to-face and the online environments. The chapter makes recommendations for professional development for teachers that is effective in preparing them for creating and working in blended learning environments and suggests areas for future research in the area of blended learning.
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In this chapter blended learning is defined as a mix of face-to-face and ICT components, united through a carefully considered learning design, combining a mix of formats, media and activities. Implied in this definition is a need to blend the strengths of both the face-to-face and the online learning environments, including the pedagogical approaches best suited to both, or, as Garrison and Vaughan (2008, p. 6) stress, combining “the properties and possibilities of both to go beyond the capabilities of each separately.” Overall, the dominant arguments for blended learning in higher education resonate with the rationale for the move towards flexible learning and flexible delivery in the 1990s: improved pedagogy, enabling courses to become more student-centred and less teacher-directed; increased access for students and flexibility in terms of time that students needed to be on-campus; responding to the diversity of students needs; enhancement of the campus experience; the demands of a global education marketplace; and increased cost effectiveness (Graham, Allen & Ure, 2003).

Institutional research on blended learning conducted by Canada’s Collaboration for Online Higher Education and Research (COHERE) group concluded that faculty members blended their courses to achieve “a more flexible, efficient, accessible, and varied learning experience for their students” (Cook, Owston & Garrison, 2004, p. 348). This Canadian research found that institutional success in the implementation of blended learning required broad organisational support and incentives for staff, such as workload allocation and recognition and reward schemes. In one US research study (Christensen, 2003), while it was found that blended learning was an effective strategy when seeking to implement constructivist pedagogy, it still presented significant challenges in terms of time demands placed on individual faculty members. A study published a year later (Dziuban, Hartman & Moskai, 2004) affirmed that faculty members adopting blending learning also experienced more demands on their time, while at the same time they became more facilitative in terms of their teaching approach, and more focused on course design.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robin Mason
Elizabeth Stacey, Philippa Gerbic
Chapter 1
Elizabeth Stacey, Philippa Gerbic
Blended learning is now part of the learning landscape in higher education, not just for campus-based courses but for courses designed for students... Sample PDF
Introduction to Blended Learning Practices
Chapter 2
Philippa Gerbic
Online discussions are now available as a pedagogical option in blended learning environments in universities. Much of the research to date has... Sample PDF
Including Online Discussions Within Campus-Based Students' Learning Environments
Chapter 3
Ruth Geer
This chapter describes an investigation of strategies for fostering higher order cognition in a blended learning environment. The exploration, which... Sample PDF
Strategies for Blended Approaches in Teacher Education
Chapter 4
Mary Simpson, Bill Anderson
A teacher education programme previously taught in distinct on-campus and distance forms was redesigned to take advantage of the affordances offered... Sample PDF
Redesigning Initial Teacher Education
Chapter 5
Ana A. Carvalho, Zdena Lustigova, Frantisek Lustig
This chapter describes two European projects that respond to blended learning by integrating innovative technologies into blended learning... Sample PDF
Integrating New Technologies into Blended Learning Environments
Chapter 6
Guglielmo Trentin, Steve Wheeler
This chapter provides a further two European perspectives on blended learning. The first section is an overview of the ways in which the concept of... Sample PDF
Teacher and Student Responses to Blended Environments
Chapter 7
Peter J. Smith, Elizabeth Stacey, Tak Shing Ha
The majority of research and literature in collaborative learning online has been focussed on groups of students organised into units of study by an... Sample PDF
Blending Collaborative Online Learning with Workplace and Community Contexts
Chapter 8
Terrie Lynn Thompson, Heather Kanuka
The growing need for professional development to help university instructors with the adoption of online teaching is being propelled from several... Sample PDF
Establishing Communities of Practice for Effective and Sustainable Professional Development for Blended Learning
Chapter 9
Julie Mackey
Blended learning is examined via the experiences of teachers participating in qualification-bearing online professional development courses while... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning and Real Communities: Online Professional Development for Teachers
Chapter 10
Suzanne Riverin
This chapter examines the use of blended learning in an online community which supported teacher professional development in the province of... Sample PDF
Blended Learning and Professional Development in the K-12 Sector
Chapter 11
Faye Wiesenberg, Elizabeth Stacey
This study explores the similarities and differences between Canadian and Australian university teachers’ face-to-face and online teaching... Sample PDF
Blended Learning and Teaching Philosophies: Implications for Practice
Chapter 12
Gayani Samarawickrema
This chapter focuses on the factors relating to adopting blended learning by teaching academics and the associated social world around technology... Sample PDF
Blended Learning and the New Pressures on the Academy: Individual, Political, and Policy Driven Motivators for Adoption
Chapter 13
Gail Wilson
This chapter draws on a collective case study of six faculty members working in ICT-enhanced blended learning environments at a large regional... Sample PDF
Case Studies of ICT-Enhanced Blended Learning and Implications for Professional Development
Chapter 14
Cathy Gunn, Adam Blake
An accredited course in Academic Practice aligns with university and national strategic goals related to teaching and learning enhancement within a... Sample PDF
Blending Technology into an Academic Practice Qualification for University Teachers
Chapter 15
M. Brooke Robertshaw, Heather Leary, Andrew Walker, Kristy Bloxham, Mimi Recker
For teachers in the 21st Century it has become critical that they develop the skills to be able to teach in a world that is being transformed by... Sample PDF
Reciprocal Mentoring "In The Wild": A Retrospective, Comparative Case Study of ICT Teacher Professional Development
Chapter 16
Conclusion  (pages 298-311)
Philippa Gerbic, Elizabeth Stacey
The conclusion draws together the main themes identified under the sections of the book with a synthesis of the recommendations presented by the... Sample PDF
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