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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

What Do I Do with All These Square Pegs? Incorporating Online Learners Into a Traditional Class

Jeffrey Goetz (Wesleyan University, USA)
Additional Authors
Petra Bonfert-Taylor (Wesleyan University, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 4:30pm
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Areas of Special Interest: 
Innovative Blends
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Innovation and Experimentation
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Court 1
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 3

Combining remote and physically present students in one post-baccalaureate flipped class

Extended Abstract

As part of a pilot initiative in Spring 2014, Wesleyan's office of Continuing Studies trialed an advanced mathematics course as a hybrid where some students were present traditionally in the classroom while others synchronously took the course entirely via an interactive, streaming virtual classroom. We maximized the difficulty of this challenge by attempting to accomplish several things at once: Making it a flipped class, thereby maximizing student interactions. Using a mathematics class for this pilot, which presents numerous challenges over a typical discussion-based seminar course (e.g., integrating tablets for writing equations on the virtual whiteboard). Adapting a course originally conceived (and offered) as a Coursera MOOC, but targeting it as a SPOC for just six people. All the while, we held up one goal as the most important, ensuring that the students participating remotely would receive every bit of the quality of education from which students in the physical classroom benefit.

Walk with us through the steps that led to this hybrid. You'll see an overview of the Coursera version of the course before learning how the MOOC video content served as the foundation for the flipped course. Then follow along with our exploration of expanding this idea to blend online and in-person students in the same synchronous class. We will discuss and demonstrate the technology used to achieve this goal (as well as cover some alternatives we considered) and explore how the lessons from this pilot can inform not only our future courses, but also the ongoing debate between residential and remote education. Whether you're considering a fully blended class or looking for a "break glass in case of emergency" snow day option, this session will give you a window into the pros and cons of our experience to help you decide if a similar path is right for you.

Lead Presenter

Jeffrey Goetz (M.A., Educational Psychology, Univ. of Illinois) is an experienced innovator at the edge of technology, curriculum, and pedagogy. He has conducted several faculty informational talks and led conference roundtables on topics as diverse as MOOC innovation and Twitter in the classroom. Previously focused on academic technology support for the sciences, he now devotes his efforts full-time on the online classroom across all disciplines, leading its emergence as companion piece to Wesleyan's residential, liberal arts foundation.