Showcase Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Supporting academic change to pedagogically focused blended learning (#85)

Katherine Legge 1 , Linda Pannan 1
  1. La Trobe University, Bendigo, VIC, Australia

Our brief has been to move an academic cohort to an efficient and effective blended learning model in which students take more active control of their learning; formative assessment has an enhanced role in encouraging engagement and performance; and increased active interaction occurs between peers, and between students and their academic teacher at a higher cognitive level. This requires a redesign of the subject learning model and a radical shift in pedagogy for the academic teaching- developer. Blended learning is often interpreted as the combination of face-to-face and computer mediated instruction (Graham, 2006). Unfortunately, this simple definition not only hides the complexity and transformative possibilities of blended learning, it can also leave the academic confused and without adequate tools to address their institutional blended delivery expectations or meet their students’ learning needs.  

Our approach to supporting academic change to blended learning addresses the uncertainty about what blended learning entails and, following the style of Torrisi-Steele’s (2011) blended learning definition, it places emphasis on the pedagogic strategies that underpin the learning experiences presented for students in a blended learning environment. We present a new design model that lies at the heart of this approach and demonstrate how we use it. Early indications of the effectiveness of our approach are promising, in both engaging academics in radical redesign of their subjects and production of effective blended learning products.

  1. Graham, C.R. (2006). Blended learning systems: Definition, current trends, and future directions. In C.J. Bonk & C.R. Graham (Eds.), The Handbook of blended learning: global perspectives, local designs (pp. 61-95). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
  2. Torrisi-Steele, Geraldine (2011). This Thing Called Blended Learning — A Definition and Planning Approach. In Krause, K., Buckridge, M., Grimmer, C. and Purbrick-Illek, S. (Eds.) Research and Development in Higher Education: Reshaping Higher Education, 34 (pp. 360 – 371). Gold Coast, Australia, 4 – 7 July 2011.
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