Blended Learning in a Creative Writing Program: Lessons Learned from a Two-Year Pilot Study

Blended Learning in a Creative Writing Program: Lessons Learned from a Two-Year Pilot Study

Chris Morgan (Southern Cross University, Australia) and Janie Conway-Herron (Southern Cross University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-880-2.ch004
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Abstract

This case study reports on the results of a two-year pilot study in blended learning in an undergraduate creative writing program at Southern Cross University in Australia. It documents the development and implementation of a blended delivery model that dispenses with outdated divisions between face-to-face and distance modes of delivery, creating a converged, blended learning experience for all students. Findings from the pilot provided important data in relation to student satisfaction, pedagogical considerations, institutional constraints, teaching technologies, faculty workload issues, and costs associated with blended learning. These findings will contribute to a University-wide move to converged, blended learning in 2009.
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Setting The Stage

It was decided, therefore, in 2006 to blend the on-campus and distance students into one, flexible mode of delivery, offered in the same manner to all students irrespective of location. The learning encounter comprised intensive one day face-to-face traveling workshops held in multiple locations at key times in semester, supported by print-based study materials, Web conferencing, and a variety of asynchronous online activities and interactions. Students were encouraged to make their own decisions about how they would interact with the program, given their own preferences, learning styles, and other life commitments. The weekly traditional on-campus lectures and tutorial classes were significantly reduced.

The pilot project was funded by SCU to explore new models of blended learning and report to SCU community on its methodologies, strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and potential ways forward for other programs wishing to proceed down this pathway.

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