Blended Learning Innovations: Leadership and Change in One Institution

University of the West Indies
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 2015, 11 (1), pp. 4 - 16
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This paper reports on the current experience of one higher education institution in Australia embarking on the path towards mainstreaming online learning opportunities by providing three complementary academic development initiatives that can inform strategies undertaken by other institutions internationally. First, an academic development program was redesigned and delivered in blended mode to provide teaching staff with the experience of learning in a blended environment to raise their awareness of effective strategies. Second, an accredited postgraduate course for teaching staff on the subject of educational design was redesigned to focus on strategies for online and blended course design and delivered fully online to raise awareness of online learning benefits. Third, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), entitled Learning to Teach Online (LTTO), was developed to offer professional development opportunities to teaching staff at the higher education institution, as well as to a wider international audience of educators. The threefold professional development strategies reported in this paper provide teaching staff with an opportunity to interact, mentor, and share knowledge with one another, alongside experiencing online and blended learning to effectively meet the challenge of improving the digital literacy of teaching staff and enhancing effective online and blended learning opportunities for students.
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