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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

Sustainability Strategies for Blended Learning

Mary Niemiec (University of Nebraska, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 8:30am
Institutional Leadership & Strategy
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Interactive Workshop - 210 minutes
Plaza Ballroom F
Session Duration: 
210 Minutes
Workshop Session 1 & 2 (combined)
Virtual Session

Workshop examines critical factors in sustaining a campus blended learning initiative. Strategic approaches incorporating blended learning meeting mission and goals _ how resources are allocated.


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Extended Abstract

For many institutions, significant resources have been committed to provide access to higher education for place-bound working professionals and national audiences of adult learners through online learning initiatives. What had been considered radical and suspect is now considered traditional when discussed in context with MOOCs and competency based programs. While institutions are challenged to incorporate multiple ways in which students who want a degree have access and affordable avenues to achieve that goal - we must keep in mind that this applies to our campus students as well. Consistently, institutions find that campus students want and need the same flexibility that online courses provide i.e., blended learning.

But how do you pay for it? Fully online programs provide access to new markets and tuition revenue that would not be realized without expanding the geographic boundary of the institution. A blended initiative focuses on existing students meeting institutional goals of enhanced learning, retention, time-to-degree and graduation. Institutions of higher education are also being asked to provide solutions for the soaring cost of an education. Public institutions of higher education, in particular, are struggling to fulfill their commitment to quality and affordability despite diminishing state support. Lofty goals that must be accomplished within the confines of existing resources.

This workshop will walk participants through key considerations in developing a blended learning initiative. Interspersed throughout will be strategies used by universities to leverage and re-allocate resources to create a sustainable blended learning initiative that addresses institutional goals. Finally, participants will leave with a worksheet guide to evaluate their institutional readiness and opportunities to implement a truly successful blended learning initiative.

Lead Presenter

Mary Niemiec is Associate Vice President for Distance Education and Director of University of Nebraska Online Worldwide at the University of Nebraska. She leads the integrated University‐wide distance education program which offers more than 80 online programs from its four campuses – University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha. Niemiec has worked in the areas of online and blended learning, presented at conferences, seminars and workshops on topics regarding adult learners, online and blended instruction. Ms. Niemiec was conference chair for the Sloan Consortium 2010 and 2011 Blended Learning Conference. She was given the University of Illinois at Chicago Model Administrator/Alumnus Award 2011 by The American Society of Public Administration, Greater Chicago Chapter. She has also been designated as a Sloan Fellow in 2011.