Developing and Implementing Collaborative Blended Learning Programs for Academics

Shelda DEBOWSKI
Senior Consultant, Higher Education Development, Australia
shelda@debowski.com.au

Abstract

Blended learning has become a strongly advocated concept in higher education. Primarily, its use has been directed toward encouraging students to take ownership of their learning and to engage more fully with the learning process. However, blended learning also has considerable potential as a support for academics in their ongoing professional development. The design and delivery of blended learning programs requires considerable care to successfully recruit and engage academics in extended learning. This presentation draws on two significant blended learning programs that support the development of academics' research capabilities. In the first program, a collaboration across eight universities was successfully undertaken in designing and delivering a long-standing program that comprises nine modules. In the second, the collaborators were drawn from 20 universities located across the world and resulted in a sophisticated suite of learning modules. The presentation will explore the factors that contributed to the successful design, development and implementation of the programs; challenges encountered in implementing blended learning for academics and tips for successful future initiatives.

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