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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

Towards a Theory of Faculty Development for Blended Learning

Peter Rennert-Ariev (Loyola University Maryland, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 4:30pm
Institutional Leadership & Strategy
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research and Evaluation
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Governor's Square 15
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Concurrent Session 3
Virtual Session

A theoretical framework is described to strengthen institutional planning for faculty development for blended learning.

Extended Abstract

This presentation details how a "mission-driven" comprehensive university developed a philosophy of blended education that lay the foundation for an innovative and integrated institutional approach to faculty development for blended learning and, more generally, proposes a related theory of professional development for blended learning that may be of use to other institutions involved in similar planning.

Central to the university's approach was the development of a theoretical framework emphasizing a "transformative" approach to faculty development. This framework reflected the university's mission as well as the complexity of learning to teach effectively in blended environments. Four dimensions of this framework guided institutional planning: 1. fostering an image of the faculty as empowered and engaged in intellectual work that requires careful deliberation; 2 having a view of the knowledge base for blended teaching as complex and requiring integration of technological pedagogical and content knowledge; 3. having a view of blended teaching and assessment that focuses on learner-centered experiences requiring exercise of judgment; and 4. offering professional development practices that fostered critical reflection such as simulations, analysis of cases and dilemmas, self reflection and autobiographical work.

Several examples will be provided of ways that this framework informed institutional planning around professional development to support blended learning outcomes, such as a digital pedagogy fellowship pairing faculty with an experienced mentor and blended learning "inquiry groups". More broadly, a theory of high quality faculty development for blended learning will be offered that ensures that critical reflection and transformation is placed at the heart of institutional planning for faculty development.

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.