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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

Challenges and Best Practices in Support of Blended, Hybrid, Online and Technology-Enhanced Learning

Sheryl Hathaway (University of California, Riverside, USA)
Therese DeSimone (Learning Consultant, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 4:30pm
Institutional Leadership & Strategy
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Ballroom F
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Concurrent Session 3
Virtual Session
Best in Track

In this session, explore the political backdrop and structural/institutional influences affecting how the support of blended, hybrid and online learning is happening today.

Extended Abstract

In this session, explore the political backdrop and structural/institutional influences affecting how the support of blended, hybrid and online learning is happening today. Explore the units involved and the shifts occurring in who supports blended/hybrid/online learning and learn how to best orchestrate these groups to the collective benefit of blended or online learning at your campus.

Learning Consultants Sheryl Hathaway and Therese DeSimone share the culmination of a one year action-research project where they examined leading universities in the areas of blended and online learning to see what common threads they all shared. What resulted were some surprises and key learnings. Sheryl brought her first-hand perspective from the UC-system level in which she worked and collaborated, while Therese took a broader view, exploring the universities nationwide considered to have success implementing/supporting hybrid/blended and technology-enhanced models of learning at their campuses. Over a year the two collaborated, shared their research, footwork and first-hand knowledge to compile a vision of the forces and campus units at work toward this goal. There were many units involved, the two foremost among them being (1) Centers of Teaching and Learning which were generally pedagogy-focused units and (2) Offices of Information Technology/Audio Visual Units had initially been support roles to faculty but which had more recently - with the onset of online learning - taken on broader roles. These 2 units grew up largely isolated from each other but now collectively support the growing trend toward online and hybrid/blended models of learning. The question becomes how do they collaborate? What tasks does each continue, what tasks does each move on from, and most importantly, how best do we define roles but also orchestrate collaboration between these two key groups? With technology-enhanced learning demanding robust support from a variety of units, these included, a well-defined and well-orchestrated collaboration is the answer. Several universities will be showcased who have succeeded in renegotiating the roles and functions of university units and orchestrated well-defined collaboration among them. Leading universities all shared another thing in common: a combination of top-down endorsement and openness to blended/online/tech-enhanced learning models and grassroots support for it from the bottom up. In such environments, a reflective-teaching cycle emerged where Early Adopter faculty were acknowledged by the university and then shared their lessons and learning with the next group of adopters, and so on. In this way, the teaching and collective expertise grew and perpetuated itself, all under an umbrella and university culture that highlighted and acknowledged - but did not force - technology-enhanced learning/course models as they emerged. With environments open to innovation by faculty, these leading campuses produced a wide array of technology-enhanced course models from hybrid and flipped to entirely online and everything in between. Both the structural influences and the best practices of universities will be explored in this session with the goal of providing a beacon to universities who too would like to foster an environment supportive and encouraging of new, innovative models of teaching and learning at their campuses.

Lead Presenter

Sheryl Narahara Hathaway, PhD, is a Learning Strategy Consultant at the University of California, Riverside. She consults with faculty to find the best blend of instructional technologies and methods to create dynamic and effective learning environments for students. Sheryl has presented nationally and published in the areas of performance improvement and learning & development. Her professional interests are emerging technologies, media design, active and open learning. Her personal interests are oral history and folklore. She received her PhD in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. www.linkedin.com/in/sherylhathaway

Therese DeSimone (MA, MBA) began her career as a K-8 Educator, interested in issues of gender and racial equality and ensuring success for all students regardless of economic background. Later, as an Instructional Designer for the largest critical-care nursing organization in the nation, she helped develop over 200 hours of self-paced and blended programming used in hundreds of hospitals nationwide. Currently, Therese enjoys splitting her time between motherhood and Educational Consulting with organizations, helping them design a blend of face-to-face and self-paced programs that engage learners and sharpen real-life skills. As a mother, she worries about issues like too much screen time yet is the first to acknowledge the many affordances technology brings.