Title

Building Sustainable Collaborations: The Associated Colleges of the South's Blended Learning Program

Streaming Media

Submission Type

Event

Abstract

This presentation will address the conference theme--blended learning in the liberal arts educational context--from a consortial perspective. The Associated Colleges of the the South, an alliance of sixteen liberal arts schools located throughout the southeast, is working through its recently established Blended Learning Program to help its member campuses, individually and as a group, understand the potential impact of blended learning on the liberal arts classroom and the liberal arts institution. At the same time, we are encouraging our campuses to develop collaborative blended courses and programs that create new learning opportunities not otherwise available at our institutions. At both levels, the program is driven by a collaborative, decentralized approach that emphasizes lessons learned in the liberal arts classroom and seeks the means to replicate and share innovative work across member campuses. Building such collaborations--especially if they are to be sustainable--takes time and effort, and this presentation will examine both our successes and our continuing challenges through the lens of recent projects we have supported on member campuses. It will highlight some of strategies we have found to be most successful in building our program, including our faculty- and staff-centered seed grant program, our emphasis on peer training, and our efforts to disseminate and build upon innovative faculty- and staff-led projects. The presentation will also address some of the key challenges we still face, such as administrative barriers to shared courses, assessing the impact of blended courses, and raising the profile of blended learning projects in the promotion and tenure process. While moving beyond the scope of the individual course or project, we hope that this presentation might be useful in framing some of the larger issues faced by liberal arts faculty and their institutions as they negotiate the process of blending courses, flipping classrooms, and otherwise experimenting with online learning. We hope, by the same token, to learn from the feedback and experiences of others who will be presenting at the conference, helping us to shape a program that will better serve our constituents. We also hope that our emphasis on collaboration will prove a provocative point for other attendees as they imagine new opportunities for blended learning at their own institutions; even as we recognize that collaboration is not the fastest way to create change, we believe that it does achieve the most meaningful and lasting results.

Session

Session 3: Supporting Faculty Experimentation

Location

Thomas 110

Start Date

5-21-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

5-21-2014 2:20 PM

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May 21st, 1:30 PM May 21st, 2:20 PM

Building Sustainable Collaborations: The Associated Colleges of the South's Blended Learning Program

Thomas 110

This presentation will address the conference theme--blended learning in the liberal arts educational context--from a consortial perspective. The Associated Colleges of the the South, an alliance of sixteen liberal arts schools located throughout the southeast, is working through its recently established Blended Learning Program to help its member campuses, individually and as a group, understand the potential impact of blended learning on the liberal arts classroom and the liberal arts institution. At the same time, we are encouraging our campuses to develop collaborative blended courses and programs that create new learning opportunities not otherwise available at our institutions. At both levels, the program is driven by a collaborative, decentralized approach that emphasizes lessons learned in the liberal arts classroom and seeks the means to replicate and share innovative work across member campuses. Building such collaborations--especially if they are to be sustainable--takes time and effort, and this presentation will examine both our successes and our continuing challenges through the lens of recent projects we have supported on member campuses. It will highlight some of strategies we have found to be most successful in building our program, including our faculty- and staff-centered seed grant program, our emphasis on peer training, and our efforts to disseminate and build upon innovative faculty- and staff-led projects. The presentation will also address some of the key challenges we still face, such as administrative barriers to shared courses, assessing the impact of blended courses, and raising the profile of blended learning projects in the promotion and tenure process. While moving beyond the scope of the individual course or project, we hope that this presentation might be useful in framing some of the larger issues faced by liberal arts faculty and their institutions as they negotiate the process of blending courses, flipping classrooms, and otherwise experimenting with online learning. We hope, by the same token, to learn from the feedback and experiences of others who will be presenting at the conference, helping us to shape a program that will better serve our constituents. We also hope that our emphasis on collaboration will prove a provocative point for other attendees as they imagine new opportunities for blended learning at their own institutions; even as we recognize that collaboration is not the fastest way to create change, we believe that it does achieve the most meaningful and lasting results.