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Three Skidmore Faculty Selected for NY6 Teagle Blended Learning Grants

Congratulations to the Skidmore faculty who have been awarded New York Six Teagle Collaborative Blended Learning Grants:

Jordana Dym - Associate Professor, History
Bina Gogineni - Assistant Professor, English
Flip Phillips - Professor, Psychology

With the resources available through these grants, they will be exploring blended pedagogical approaches in partnership with faculty at both Union College and St. Lawrence University. During this two year commitment, Jordan Dym and Flip Phillips will each be collaborating with colleagues at Union College and Bina Gogineni will be collaborating with a colleague at St. Lawrence. This summer they will work with both Academic Technologies and the Library to begin planning the blended and online components of these courses. This is an exciting time for exploring innovative approaches to collaboration across institutions. There will be more information to share as the project progresses. We are currently preparing for a kick-off workshop to be hosted by Union College on Friday, May 29th from 10:00 to 2:30. 

What is "Blended Learning"?

Some of you may be wondering what the term "blended learning" means. It is a phrase with varying definitions, also referred to as hybrid or mixed-mode learning. The many different definitions all point to one main descriptor: a blended course is one in which a portion of its traditional face-to-face components are replaced by web-based online components. The key difference between blended and online is that there is a planned approach to determine which portions will be delivered online and which will be delivered face-to-face, as opposed to moving all the course content and interaction online.

What is a "Flipped" Classroom?

There has been a good deal of conversation this past year regarding "Flipping the Classroom". Just what does this mean? Most people involved in instructional technologies will tell you it is a model of blended learning. Typically, in a flipped class the face to face seat time remains the same while adding elements of blended learning for class preparation and review. It often takes the form of watching a short video or reading material outside of class and spending time problem solving with a group during the class meeting time.

Abby Drake, Assistant Professor of Biology, has been experimenting with a flipped classroom approach and Team-Based Learning (TBL) in both Biological Sciences I (BI 105) and Quantitative Reasoning (MA 100). She conducted a very informative workshop for Academic Technologies this spring in which she demonstrated her approach for faculty and staff, and discussed feedback from her students. Abby is currently experimenting with using a Microsoft Surface computer to create short videos of her lectures, using an app called Ink2Go. Students are required to view the lectures prior to attending class, where they will be expected to participate in a group problem solving exercise using what they have learned.

For more information on Flipped Classrooms, check out this article by EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative titled, 7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms