Inquiry and Blended Learning at the University of Calgary • Dr. Randy Garrison, Professor • Director, Learning Commons • Dr. Norm Vaughan, Instructor • Coordinator, ITBL • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel: 220-6764 • email@example.com• Tel: 220-7811
Learning Plan: University of Calgary • That inquiry-based learning approaches be at the centre of the undergraduate learning experience. • All students must have the opportunity to participate in communities of inquiry • Learning technologies (i.e., eLearning) offer opportunities to enhance the campus experience and extend learning through the innovative use of on-line resources, asynchronous collaborative learning opportunities,
Inquiry Defined • Essential Features: • problem or question driven, • involves critical discourse, • requires self-direction—i.e. students take responsibility for their own learning, • incorporates research methods such as information gathering, synthesis of ideas, and communication, • evaluation of the student is appropriate to foster Inquiry Learning—it must include reflection on the learning experience of the student, what they have learned, and why the work is relevant (to their discipline). • Inquiry Learning Action Group
Inquiry Defined • Enhancing features: • small-group feature • multi-disciplinary.
IBL - Humanities • Involves shared exploration and encourages group discussion • Application or project focused • Focus on questions, issues • Learn how to ask good questions and challenge assumptions (discussion groups) • Give up anxiety about covering material • Inductive? Constructing schema? (RG) • Anne McWhir, English
IBL – Sciences(Problem Based Learning) • Problem-based learning is intended to acquire specific knowledge and skills through the solution of genuine problems • Requires students to be self-directed, critical thinkers, and work collaboratively • Particularly applicable to professional practice contexts (e.g., project, case study). • Deductive? Applying principles?
Technology • The University community must consider how to redesigncourses whereby the integration of communication technologies supports inquiry and enriches the teaching and learning enterprise.
President of Penn State • … cites the convergence of classroom and online education as “the single greatest unrecognized trend in higher education today” • (Young, 2002).
Re-Design Flexible Blended Distance
BL Described • Thoughtful and logical integration of the inherent strengths of face-to-face and online learning. • Not an add-on to a classroom lecture nor an online course • An optimal (re)design approach to enhance the campus experience and extend learning through the innovative use of Internet information, online inquiry and communications technology.
Why Blended Learning? • New approaches to teaching • Enhanced student engagement • Focus on higher learning (e.g., CT) • Strategy to fundamentally redesign courses and programs • Flexibility re designing learning activities • Cost-effective
BL and Inquiry • Blended learning enhances inquiry approaches through • Access to information • Practice in making sense and organizing information • Support and sustained discourse (communities of inquiry)
Online Learning Framework • The concept of a community of inquiry provides the framework to guide the research and practice of asynchronous online learning (i.e., e-learning)
Community of Inquiry Model Social Presence The ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally as ‘real’ people (i.e., their full personality), through the medium of communication being used. Cognitive Presence The extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse in a critical community of inquiry. Teaching Presence The design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000)
NEW APPROACHES NEW METHODOLOGIES
Redesign Characteristics • Rethink the whole course • Integrate appropriate approaches (i.e., capitalize on strengths of f2f and online) • Emphasize learner engagement and discourse (CoI) • Include strong facilitation
Example - University of Wisconsin-Madison • Redesigned its General Chemistry sequence to increase the level of active learning and student feedback • Eliminated one lecture and one discussion period per week and implemented a modularized, online system of diagnostic examples, tutorials, and quizzes • Controlled study found learning to be equivalent to that of students who were conventionally taught • UWM expects a cost-per-student reduction of 28% • http://www.center.rpi.edu/PewGrant/rd1award/UWM.html
Example - Brigham Young University • Redesigning its first-year writing course (3400 students) • The redesign will • reduce classroom time from three hours to one hour per week • make use of interactive multimedia lessons, more one-on-one time with faculty, and additional peer-to-peer sessions • Initial pilot revealed overall paper quality is higher in the online versus the traditional version of the course • A 41% cost savings estimated • http://www.center.rpi.edu/PewGrant/RD3%20Award/BYU.html
FIRST-YEAR SPANISH University of Tennessee • Increase active speaking via in-class interaction • Use technology to support skill practice • Provide immediate feedback online • Encourage collaborative learning, both online and in class
Traditional 57 sections (~27) Adjuncts + 6 TAs 100% in class $167,074 ($2931/section) 1529 students @ $109 Redesign 38 sections (~54) Instructor-TA pairs 50% in class, 50% online $56,838 ($1496/section) 2052 students @ $28 • Oral skills: significantly better performance • Language proficiency & language achievement: no significant difference
More • National Center for Academic Transformation. • http://www.thencat.org/ • PEW Program in Course Redesign • http://www.center.rpi.edu/PewGrant.html
Science 311 – U of C • Writing & Reviewing Scientific Reports • Originally capped at 40 students; BL used to increase cap and implement inquiry approaches • Students focus on writing instead of passively listening to lectures • Allows professor more time to engage with students in the writing process • Course material presented online; weekly discussion drop-in tutorials with professor • Peer review document mgmt system facilitates anonymous feedback (reduced administration)
IMPROVED LEARNING • 25 of 30 have shown improvement • 5 have shown equal learning • PEW Grant Program in Course Redesign • http://www.center.rpi.edu/PewGrant.html
COST SAVINGS • Redesigned courses reduce costs by 40% on average, with a range of 20% to 77%. • PEW Grant Program in Course Redesign • http://www.center.rpi.edu/PewGrant.html
Inquiry Through Blended Learning • Faculty member plans, designs, and develops their blended learning course • ITBL is a formal course with a combination of class meetings, labs, and web instruction • Course models the blended learning format (i.e., f2f & online) • Faculty learn from each other and web vets
ITBL Topics • Inquiry & blended learning • Assessment & feedback • Teaching approaches & techniques • Administration of blended courses • Copyright, information design & library resources
ITBL Options • Cohort participation in a set of specially designed, structured sessions • Series of stand-alone workshops • Website with tip sheets • Consulting • Technical Help
UK Survey • 94% of lecturers stated that blended learning “is more effective than classroom-based teaching alone” • 85% of lecturers “stated that online learning improves both teaching creativity and student learning” • WebCT Survey, 2004
Blended Courses • 80% of U.S. institutions offer hybrid [i.e., blended learning] courses • (Evolving Campus Support Models for E- Learning Courses, 2003)
Challenges • Awareness and understanding of true inquiry (too much focus on content & lecturing; too little effective use of collaboration) • Student orientation (resistance) • Commitment to fundamental redesign • Strategic plan covering all four undergraduate years • Teaching-research imbalance
Following Up • http://commons.ucalgary.ca/ • Learning Commons Website • Contact Information • Dr. Randy Garrison, Director • firstname.lastname@example.org 220-6764 • General Inquiries: 220-4949