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American Higher Education in Crises book cover

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Join Keynoters Goldie Blumenstyck (Chronicle of Higher Education) and Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein (MindWires Consulting)

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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

Making the Leap into Online Education Through Blended Programs

Rhonda Spells (Prince George's Community College, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 8:30am
HBCU Innovations (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Pre-Conference Workshop
Oceanic 8
Session Duration: 
3 Hours
Pre-Conference Workshop Session 3

There is a fee for this Pre-Conference Workshop: $195 Early Bird / $225 Full Price / $250 Onsite Price

This workshop is free for HBCU affilates with use of the HBCU affiliate registration code.

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A highly interactive workshop exploring a systematic way institutions can enter the world of online education through a blended approach. The presenter will highlight twelve strategies in building a blended program at your institutions. Aspects will over insight into what every online administrator should consider utilizing at their institution. Participants will have an opportunity to determine a plan for implementation of key strategies.

Extended Abstract

There has been significant and steady growth in the number of online courses and degree programs being offered across all institutional types in higher education. For many institutions still interesting in entering the filed, the challenge to create an online degree program can be daunting. This session is geared to construct and strategize the operational components of creating an online program through a blended approach. It appears that the rate of growth in online offerings has declined slightly but most faculty and administrators anticipate the overall growth in online education will persist. As colleges and universities continue to explore and expand online programming, it is important that quality and student learning remain the focus. This informative and interactive workshop will cover twelve strategies successfully used by the author to promote growth in online offerings while maintaining quality. The author serves as the primary administrator with oversight for online education at Prince George's Community College as Dean and has had experienced significant skepticism and resistance from faculty, some key administrators and staff to online offerings. However, this resistance has been steadily decreasing as they implement the strategies she will cover in this workshop .

The presenter's approach in developing and delivering this workshop would provide for a comprehensive look back over the field of online education and what we have learned as an online administrator navigating distance education for the last 15 years. Information will be shared and strategies offered to grow online courses and degree programs while ensuring the quality of those offerings. There are many lessons learned from the past and many of our policies are the direct result of those challenges. Participants will be able to benefit from the lessons learned of the presenter as well as other senior leaders in online education that have been surveyed.

The goal is to demystify the online learning administrator world and stress that institutions cannot expect to achieve all 12 strategies at once. For institutions that have done little in the area of online education, this can be intimidating. The presenter will also share opinions about which strategies should be implemented, based upon where an institution is in regards to the amount of online programming they offer.

Logistics of Format: I have been working in the digital landscape for over 20 years and realize the importance of creating and delivering online and blended programs in a way that is informative, meaningful and engaging to students. The presenter has also learned this holds true for professional audiences at workshops, seminars and conferences. Generally, there will be a limit on the amount of “direct speaking at audiences” we do use engagement strategies such as sharing content through videos, work related stories, having participants interact with each other and then share major points to the entire group, etc. This would be a highly interactive session.

Workshop objectives and expected outcomes:

After participating in this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify 12 strategies their institution could consider developing that would contribute to the growth of online education while ensuring quality.
  • Describe how implementing some or all of the 12 strategies could benefit their institution.
  • Create a strategic plan to prioritize and implement key strategies.
  • Develop a plan for sharing these 12 strategies with faculty, staff and administrators on their campuses.