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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

My First Experience with Blended Learning, and Why the Second Experience Will Be Better

Britt M. Shirley (University of Tampa, USA)
Session Information
July 9, 2014 - 9:10am
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Court 2
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 4

The first experience using a blended learning approach is a learning experience, and using student feedback can make the next experience a better one.

Extended Abstract

Teaching a course using a blended learning approach is like learning to teach all over again. No matter how many times an instructor has taught a particular course in the past, using a blended approach requires using a combination of techniques that are familiar to the instructor and techniques that might be new to the instructor. As with any other approach to teaching, the first experience provides a chance to learn from mistakes and missed opportunities. Using the lessons from the first experience can make the second experience more comfortable for the instructor and more rewarding for the students.

This presentation examines an instructor's first experience with blended learning. Even though the instructor had taught the course as a face-to-face course five times before teaching it as a blended course, using the blended approach required the extensive use of tools and techniques that the instructor had not used in the past. While teaching the course, the instructor realized that the new techniques were less of a challenge to being an effective teacher than the habits that had been developed teaching the course using the traditional approach. While reflecting on the experience and preparing to teach the course again using a blended approach, the instructor identified opportunities for improvement. These opportunities not only included improved implementation of tools like discussion boards and online presentations, but also simple actions like increased communication between face to face meetings and a better defined schedule of meetings.

In addition to examining the opportunities for improvement, the presentation will present the results of the second experience with the course. Specifically, the presentation will discuss assessment of students' performance on course learning goals in the second experience teaching it as a blended course vs. students taking the course in a face-to-face format.

This presentation will be useful for those who are considering teaching a course using a blended learning approach, as well as those who have taught blended courses but felt they could have done a better job.

Lead Presenter

Britt Shirley is a Professor of Information and Technology Management at the University of Tampa's John H. Sykes College of Business. Dr. Shirley joined the University of Tampa in 1992. During his first 18 years at UT, his primary teaching responsibilities included the core Operations Management course at the undergraduate level and graduate courses in Decision Sciences. In 2009-2010, he helped create an updated curriculum in the College of Business, including the new Introduction to Global Business (BUS 101) course. Currently, he serves as coordinator for all sections of BUS 101 and teaches sections each semester and summer. His first experience teaching BUS 101 as a blended course was in Summer 2013. During Summer 2014, he implemented the changes discussed in this presentation in a new and improved version of the blended course.


See the notes attached to each slide in the presentation.