Blended Teaching Workshop

Blended Teaching Workshop

A new Blended Teaching Workshop has been developed by CEITR Team to train faculty members and staff at College of Education to further integrate synchronous communications into asynchronous courses. The workshop has been developed as a result of collaboration between Dr. Jonathan Lewis, Dean of College of Education, and Dr. Mark McCaslin, Dean of Research and Scholarship at SAS, and Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, Chair of CEITR at SAS.  Two CEITR fellows, Dr. David Proudfoot and Dr. Medgar Roberts have greatly assisted in developing and delivering the workshop.  

 

The purpose of the workshop is to help the participants learn about available synchronous communication tools and develop skills for preparing synchronous learning experiences to increase students’ engagement and learning. Integration of synchronous communication into asynchronous courses enhances students’ engagement, increases instructors’ social and teaching presence, and promotes quality of instructors’ feedbacks. All these advancements improve student learning and success.  Additionally, synchronous communication allows students practice real time presentations and team collaboration that are essential skills for their professional success.

 

However, integrating online asynchronous learning experiences into synchronous learning experiences can be challenging. Decisions such as how and when to use synchronous tools and strategies are difficult to make for many faculty members. Additionally, some of the faculty members are not familiar with the available synchronous tools. The workshop has been developed to address these difficulties and enhance faculty members’ skills and understanding of further integrating synchronous communication tools into asynchronous online courses. The learning objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Explore available tools for synchronous communication
  • Discuss synchronous pedagogical approaches, applications, and instructional materials
  • Discuss strategies and rules for effectively using synchronous communications
  • Develop a plan for integrating synchronous communication into the asynchronous courses  

 

The Workshop Overview and Format  

The workshop has been housed at Special Interest Group for Engaged Learning at Research Hub and has a blended mode of integrating synchronous and asynchronous communications. It consists of 3-day activities. On Day1, the participants prepare themselves by reviewing instructional materials, articles, the conceptual framework, the recorded videos for using synchronous tools provided at the SIG site. On Day 2, the participants attend a synchronous webinar offered via Skype for Business. During the webinar the workshop team discuss synchronous communication benefits, tools, pedagogical approaches and applications, effective strategies, and instructional materials. Additionally, the participants will have opportunity to get engage in live synchronous discussion and gain a better understanding about involvement in synchronous sessions. On Day 3, the participants complete and submit their implementation plans for integrating synchronous tools and surveys reflecting on their learning experiences at the workshop. Implementation plans play a major role in guiding the participants applying what they learn in the workshop in their future courses. Template for the implementation plan is provided. The participants describe their selected synchronous tools, strategies, and pedagogies to be used in their online courses. They also share their course descriptions and challenges for using synchronous communications.  

 

The workshop team review the participants’ plans and provide them with feedback and support to better integrate synchronous communications.  The team continue instructional support for the workshop participants even after completing the workshop. The workshop is the beginning of collaboration with the participants. During the three-days’ workshop participants post their questions and concerns into an asynchronous discussion forum at the SIG site. They are encouraged continuing their discussion via the forum. The certificate of completion will be provided to the participants upon completing the workshop. The participants receive scholarship engagement credits by completing the workshop.  

 

The Workshop Attendances and Requirements

Faculty members who teach asynchronous online courses, staff who govern faculty members, instructional designers, and lead faculty area chairs may greatly benefit attending the workshop. The workshop is appropriate for the participants at beginner and intermediate level of integrating synchronous tools and strategies into online asynchronous courses. The workshop will require approximately 4 hours of work, including reading research-based articles, viewing presentations, attending the webinar, and submitting the assignments.

 

The Workshop Schedule and Further Details

The workshop is offered once a month. It was offered for the first time to College of Education administrators, lead faculty members, and instructors on July 2018.  Many positive feedbacks have been received for the first workshop. The participants were excited about enhancing their knowledge of synchronous communication applications and tools and developing implementation plans to apply their knowledge in their courses.  To further learn about the Blended Teaching workshop, please see Special Interest Group for Engaged Learning. If you have questions or are interested in CEITR team offer the workshop to your college or department, email us at EducationalTechnology@Phoenix.edu.

 

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