The Center for Teaching and Learning invites faculty to apply to participate in the Fall ‘19 Hybrid Faculty Learning Community and to design a Corvallis campus hybrid course. Professional development funding is provided. Short proposals are due July 1. See Call for Hybrid Proposals. For more information, contact Cub Kahn, Hybrid Initiative Coordinator.
CTL invites OSU faculty to submit brief proposals to take part in the Hybrid Faculty Learning Community in Spring 2018 and redesign an established Corvallis campus course as a hybrid course. Special consideration given for large-enrollment Bacc Core courses. The proposal due date has been extended to Jan. 22. See Call for Hybrid Proposals. Professional development funding is provided!
The Center for Teaching and Learning invites OSU faculty to submit proposals to participate in the Hybrid Faculty Learning Community in Spring 2018 and redesign an established Corvallis campus course as a hybrid course. Special consideration given for large-enrollment Bacc Core courses. Proposals are due Jan. 8, 2018. Professional development funding is provided. See Call for Hybrid Proposals.
Hybrid works at OSU. Eighty-three different courses in 9 OSU colleges have been offered in a hybrid format on the Corvallis campus during the past three years. The 2014-2015 academic year saw a 24% annual increase in the number of hybrid course sections and 5,390 students enrolled in hybrid courses. A hybrid (“blended”) course by definition includes both regularly scheduled, on-site classroom meetings and major online learning activity that replaces regularly scheduled class meeting time.
The Center for Teaching and Learning is offering $2,500 in professional development funds and course development support to faculty to participate in the winter 2016 Hybrid Faculty Learning Community and redesign established Corvallis campus courses as hybrid courses. Instructors and tenured/tenure-track faculty and instructors with at least 2 years of teaching at OSU are eligible to participate.
See the Request for Proposals to learn how to apply; proposals are due Nov. 1, 2015. Join the Center for Teaching and Learning in advancing teaching excellence at OSU!
As we look ahead to the future of higher education, we see some repeating trends in innovation, and not all of them are taking place online. Increasing class sizes are driving a number of innovations in class design, and one of those innovations is a strong push to improve group interaction, both online and in the real world.
One of the most common critiques I hear about MOOCs is how students can often feel isolated from instructors and other class participants, and this can work against meaningful interactions with peers and/or instructors–it really is like learning in a vacuum. It’s hard to imagine not feeling lost in a class that may have tens of thousands of students. As a remedy, it’s common to see instructors (or the students themselves) assembling group formations within the first few hours of the class. The designs for many modern real-world classrooms, including some right here at OSU, accommodate for this with round tables and decentralized instruction.
You can see this design trend in many places around the world, including the SCALE-UP Project at North Carolina State University, and the Komaba Active Learning Studio (KALS), at Tokyo University, in Japan. The KALS innovation is particularly interesting because the modular tables allow for quick reconfiguration to accommodate different learning scenarios. Rooms like these make for interesting proving grounds as we investigate models for different kinds of pedagogy.
Is the trend catching on? Today, I saw this building design, where the concept was extended throughout an entire building. The resulting design looks somewhat like a beehive (complete with hexagonal tables to galvanize that metaphor). And while some may see negative connotations associated with productivity, I see a beautiful application of both biomimicry and convergent evolution, hopefully paving the way for more meaningful interactions, not with the room or the technology, but with each other.
Last Thursday marked the first meeting of the Excellence in Media Professional Learning Community (PLC), a group of OSU instructors interested in delivering high-quality videos to students and peers. Today more than ever, faculty who want to delve into video production as a means to enhance their classes have many powerful, affordable hardware and software options to help them achieve their learning objectives. Rapid growth in online and hybrid courses, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and high utilization of OERs (Open Educational Resources) have all led to unprecedented demand for high-quality educational media. You can see examples of good videos (and a few not-so-good) in places like the Khan Academy, TED, and Coursera.
So what is it, exactly that constitutes high-quality educational media? It’s more than just production value–certainly you can judge media by its technical achievements: is the video recorded in high definition? Is it well-lit? Is the audio clear? These are questions that can be answered with prescribed techniques, and our initial Excellence in Media PLC meetings will discuss these techniques in detail. But later, I hope we can also address the more difficult questions–questions of content. Are the concepts clear and easy to follow? How well are the messages getting through? Is video the best medium for communicating concepts about a particular topic, or are these concepts not really suited for visual treatment? These are difficult questions because there are so many diverse applications of video in educational environments. It’s not always abundantly clear why some applications of educational video are successful when others are not. Approaching this question from the reverse angle–i.e., what is it that constitutes poor quality in educational media–is much easier. Edward R. Tufte sets a precedent for this approach in his book, Visual Explanations. In the book’s third chapter, he deconstructs some popular magic tricks in order to describe what constitutes disinformation design. In other words, he attempts to explain what techniques constitute good information design by contrasting them with techniques that confuse or obfuscate, drawing attention away from critically important elements, which might spoil the illusion in a well-conceived magic trick. If we extend this analysis technique to video, we end up with something like the BBC series Look Around You (hilarious, by the way, and worth the click). This series exaggerates poor information design in video: poor context, lots of irrelevant (or inaccurate) information, and lengthy transitions and interstitials that don’t adhere to visual storytelling conventions or contribute to understanding in any meaningful way. This, at the least, gives us a partial list of what not to do.
One of my goals for the Excellence in Media series is to go beyond the technical considerations. I want to help develop a rubric for educational media that instructors can use to make judgements about what to do, both technically and conceptually. What characteristics do effective educational media have in common? How well does a particular piece of media fit with the learning objectives? And finally, is video the right choice for communicating a particular concept?
Every term a group of OSU faculty participate in the hybrid faculty learning community. Group members each redesign a classroom course for hybrid (a.k.a. blended) delivery in which a substantial portion of the course learning activity takes place online, and face-to-face meeting time is typically cut in half. In this video, Eric Weber of the College of Education describes his hybrid design for SED 412/512 Technology Foundations for Teaching Math and Science.
Beyond individual hybrid courses on the Corvallis and Cascades campuses, some entire OSU graduate programs are now offered in a hybrid format through Ecampus, such as the College of Education’s doctoral program in Community College Leadership.
In what ways are hybrid, fully online and traditional classroom course pedagogy the same? In what ways are they different? For more information about hybrid course design and delivery, visit the Hybrid Course Initiative. And, if you’re interested in participating in the hybrid faculty learning community, see the Request for Proposals for the Fall ’13 program; the proposal deadline is April 30.
Instructors who teach large-enrollment Bacc Core Courses are encouraged to submit proposals to participate in the Spring 2013 Hybrid Faculty Learning Community. Access the latest Request for Proposals for the Hybrid Course Development Pilot Program.
You can learn a lot more about this program and about blended learning in general by visiting the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Hybrid Course Initiative.