Blended Learning Expert Visits U of C

By Allison Fitch-Markham

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On Tuesday, September 28, 2004, the University of Calgary welcomed Dr. Carol Twigg, Executive Director of the Center for Academic Transformation and an expert in the field of course redesign for blended learning. Dr. Twigg presented results from the PEW Course Redesign Project, a three-year analysis of thirty institutions that implemented the Center’s approach to enhance both effectiveness and efficiency at the undergraduate level. Results from the three rounds of the study show that the program’s ideas and practices mobilize students to become active and successful learners in a cost–effective manner.

Following the presentation, Dr. Twigg led a discussion and brainstorming session with the approximately 35 educational leaders from Alberta. Dr. Twigg hopes that participants will learn from the study and gain an understanding of how the results are significant for all academic institutions, both educationally and financially. The Teaching & Learning Centre currently facilitates and supports blended learning on the University of Calgary campus. Blended learning is a cost-effective way to improve instruction quality and student learning, particularly within large classes.

Dr. Randy Garrison, Director of the University of Calgary’s Teaching & Learning Centre, commented on the anticipated effect of Dr. Twigg’s study. “This represents an exciting opportunity to initiate demonstration projects in the Alberta post-secondary system and an opportunity for Alberta to provide leadership in blended learning initiatives.” The event with Dr. Twigg was co-sponsored by Alberta Learning.

For more information about the Center for Academic Transformation, see http://www.center.rpi.edu/. For more information about blended learning and the Teaching & Learning Centre, see http://commons.ucalgary.ca/pressroom/blended_learning.html.

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