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@ Sheraton Denver Downtown, Denver, CO

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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Are "Blended," "Hybrid," & "Flipped" Different Terms for the Same Thing (And Does It Really Matter)?

Kelvin Thompson (University of Central Florida, USA)
Liz Ciabocchi (St. John's University, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 3:30pm
Institutional Leadership and Strategy
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Governor's Square 15
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 2
Virtual Session

Despite its efficacy and widespread growth in higher education, a single, unified definition for blended learning remains elusive. The presenters will discuss why it matters!

Extended Abstract

Competing definitions of and labels for "blended learning" and a conflation of blended learning with other constructs (e.g., hybrid, web-enhanced, flipped, inverted, etc.) is rampant within our dialogue with colleagues and within our research/professional practice literature. Terminology and definitions for modalities/course delivery practices are contextually determined but have implications within one's institution (e.g., course scheduling, student expectations, faculty development, fees, faculty compensation, etc.) and for communication/collaboration beyond institutions (e.g., research, best practices, transfer student success, shared faculty development, etc.).

In this interactive session, rich with concrete examples and supporting resources, facilitators will lead participants through a consideration of the relevant issues and into a consideration of the implications our terminology choices have on our institutional implementations of blended learning. In addition to examples of the problem in practice, the presenters will lead a discussion of an approach to clarify one's situated use of particular terminology and definitions. Participants will be encouraged to identify a working set of definitions to guide practice at their own institutions.

An active Twitter backchannel will be encouraged through establishment of a session hashtag and monitored for response by an associate. Participants will receive "takeaways" containing a bibliography of references cited and a summary of practices/institutions referenced. In addition to the personal reflection and small group interactions designed into the session, the presenters will solicit input and feedback from the participants throughout the session.

The draft session outline below indicates the direction the session facilitators intend to take participants during this session:

Draft Session Outline

  1. Setting the Stage: Blended, Hybrid, Flipped, and More
    • Mini-Story of Our Journey 
    • Mini Lit Review
    • Problems with Terminology
  2. Labels and Concepts in Practice: Blended Learning and Beyond
    • "The Learning Experiences Taxonomy" (Margullieux et al, 2014)
    • Deconstructing the Concepts
    • Implications of Labels for Practice
  3. A Path Forward?
    • Concept cluster v. Learning Experience Taxonomy
    • Participant interaction (pairs): "Plot your institution's concepts on these two models."
    • Discuss (whole group): "What are the potential benefits of each of these models?" How can these models be improved for greater usefulness at your institution?"
    • Next Steps: Springboarding into Research
    • Q&A
Lead Presenter

Dr. Kelvin Thompson serves as an associate director for UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning (http://cdl.ucf.edu) and a graduate faculty scholar within UCF’s College of Education, and he has collaborated in the design of hundreds of online and blended courses over the past fifteen years.

Kelvin developed the BlendKit Course open courseware (http://bit.ly/blendkit) as part of UCF’s Blended Learning Toolkit. His personal research interests center around how interaction affects learner engagement, and information on his Online Course Criticism qualitative evaluation model for facilitating the scholarship of teaching and learning in online and blended environments is available online (http://onlinecoursecriticism.com).

Kelvin holds an EdD in curriculum and instruction and an MA in instructional systems technology from UCF and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Florida State University.