A small group of us gathered last week to watch the NITLE webinar on Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting http://www.nitle.org/live/events/142-blended-learning-in-a-liberal-arts-setting . The webinar was led by Dr. Jennifer Spohrer, Educational Technologist at Bryn Mawr College and highlighted the work she has been organizing as part of a grant funded by the Gates Foundation looking at how blended learning (a combination of on-line and face-to-face instruction) works at liberal arts colleges. Middlebury’s Jeanne Albert (Math) and Jeff Howarth (Geography) are both teaching courses that incorporate blended learning this semester and are receiving support for this effort from the Bryn Mawr grant.
You can see the slides from her talk at http://www.nitle.org/live/files/52-blended-learning-in-a-liberal-arts-setting
You can also watch a video recording of the webinar. To do that, you need to ask NITLE for access, which you can do via the form at http://www.nitle.org/NITLE_seminar_recording_request.php
The integration of on-line resources into face-to-face instruction is not particularly novel in 2012. What is novel is the thoughtful analysis of the costs and benefits of this approach, and the focus on measurable improvements in learning outcomes. Many of us wanted even more specific examples of how blended learning was incorporated into specific courses, and the sorts of gains enjoyed through this method. We are hoping that as the grant progresses that there will be further opportunities for us to learn more about what works (and what doesn’t) on campuses like ours.