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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

Beyond Competency: Supporting Faculty Learning and Development for Blended Learning

Peter Rennert-Ariev (Loyola University Maryland, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 5:30pm
Faculty Development & Student Support
Areas of Special Interest: 
Innovative Blends
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Plaza Foyer
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes
Discovery Session 1

This paper presents a theory to support faculty development for blended learning that differentiates competency-based from more powerful transformative approaches to faculty development.

Extended Abstract

With the growth of blended education, teachers are being challenged to rethink their underlying assumptions about teaching and learning and the roles they take it as educators. The notion that blended teaching requires the creation of new skills and pedagogy has led researchers to study the competencies and roles of instructors in blended environments. Approaches for teacher preparation for blended learning often emphasize "competency-based" models. However these approaches need to transcend limitations of strictly defined competency-based programs. Literature related to competencies in online and blended learning has tended to focus on the abilities and expectations of teachers in functional and observable terms that is intended to help institutions plan professional development outcomes. Frequently though these models tend to follow a technical view of teaching which focus on behavioral skills rather than a broader more intellectual and empowered view of teaching.

An alternative view based on transformative learning theory provides a broader more intellectually rich framework to guide faculty learning. This framework is based on empowering teachers, integrating technology into pedagogical inquiry, and promoting critical reflection.

A transformative learning theory might serve several key functions in supporting high-quality professional development for blended learning. These include the design of more impactful faculty development programs in K-12 and higher education settings, as well as the use of the framework as an analytical heuristic to interpret the growth of teachers in blended settings.

Several examples from the author's own self study as blended instructor will be used to illustrate growth through the transformative lens. Several implications will be discussed for improving faculty development and better connecting theory and practice to support blended education.

Lead Presenter

Peter Rennert-Ariev is an associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Chair of the Education Specialties Department at Loyola University Maryland where he has worked since earning a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland College of Education in 2002. His scholarship addresses characteristics of teacher education programs, the role of performance-based assessment in teacher development, and the use of teaching portfolios to promote professional development for higher education faculty. His work has highlighted the role of assessment in promoting student learning, the political context of teacher education reform, and the complex challenges underlying institutional change. Dr. Rennert-Ariev's research has appeared in publications such as Teachers College Record, The Journal of Teacher Education, Teacher Education and Practice, and The Journal of Curriculum Studies and he has presented his work at various educational conferences including the American Educational Research Association, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the National Media Education Conference, and the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Dr. Rennert-Ariev has been involved in mentoring college faculty in developing teaching portfolios and his analysis of the role of teaching portfolios in higher education appeared in the 2010 book The Teaching Portfolio, published by Jossey-Bass.