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Implementing and Supporting Hybrid Learning in a K-12 Environment

Implementing and Supporting Hybrid Learning in a K-12 Environment

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Published by Tammy Stephens
Paper presented by PODetc Instructors Connie Jaeger and Dr. Victoria Lovejoy at the Madison Distance Teaching & Learning Conference.
Paper presented by PODetc Instructors Connie Jaeger and Dr. Victoria Lovejoy at the Madison Distance Teaching & Learning Conference.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Tammy Stephens on Oct 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Implementing and Supporting Hybrid Learning in a K-12 Environment
Connie Jaeger, M.S.Computer Science Department ChairHomestead HS Mequon-Thiensville SD, WI.Instructor POD
 The Stephens GroupVictoria Lovejoy, Ed.D.Department Chair of ScienceRolling Hills Prep SchoolSan Pedro, CADirector POD
 The Stephens Group
Hybrid learning, also known as blended learning, has come to be recognized as a method of instructionaldelivery combining a face-to-face component with an online instructional component. Hybrid courses orunits are not meant to replace a face-to-face course but rather to support and facilitate the course.Instructors in a hybrid environment might use the online component to deliver materials and resourceswhile using the face-to-face in the more traditional format, while other teachers may use the onlinecomponent to expand the classroom discussions and to support collaborative work.The K-12 learning environment encompasses all members of our learning community. Using hybridlearning in our K-12 community includes support for the traditional classrooms, the expanded classroom,staff development, and extra curricular activities as well as enhances communication with all members of our learning community.
Why Implement a K-12 Online Learning Community?
Five years ago the Mequon-Thiensville School District (MTSD) conducted an informal needs assessmentin the area of student readiness for higher education and life long learning. During that process,whichincluded feedback from former students as well as educational experiences of current staff ,we realizedthat we were not preparing our students to be life long learners. With the increasing access to onlinelearning resources,we identified a need to prepare our students for success in the online environment. Ourinitial goal was to provide an opportunity for our students to experience online learning prior tograduation. Palloff and Pratt (2007) discuss the impact that moving teaching and learning online has onboth the instructor and the student. The role or function of the instructor changes with a subsequentimpact on the role of the student. Derrick (2003) reasons that success in the online learning environmentmay require a different skill set then success in a face-to-face classroom. Online learners are encouragedto be more autonomous, resourceful, and independent - characteristics that are in keepingin linewith alearner-centered approach. Our initial goal then required a prerequisite goal of preparing our faculty to beboth online learners as well as online instructors.
In the early stages of implementation, our task was to select the content management tool and the methodfor deliver. The strategy that we implemented was to introduce the use of hybrid or blended courses. Coleand Foster (2008) suggest that hybrid courses combine the best of both worlds. Teachers can save timeand increase student learning by delivering materials outside of class and use face-to-face time for
additional activities. Online discussions also give students the opportunity to express themselves in adifferent way. It gives voice to the quiet student. We acknowledged that the hybrid environment wouldgive our instructors the opportunity to experience online learning without leaving the familiar classroomenvironment.Our plan for implementation involved several stages in the first two years. We knew it was necessary tosupport our staff as they entered the world of online learning. Palloff and Pratt (2007) discuss thechanging role of the instructor in the online environment. Teachers are moving from the role as the sourceof information and knowledge to a facilitative role that allows learners to work together in a collaborativeenvironment. While the role of the instructor is changing so is that of the student. Fink (2003) describesthe necessity to teach learners how to learn. He contends that there are three aspects to this task: teachingstudents to become better learners, to inquire and construct knowledge, and to become self-directed. Wefelt it was important to provide an opportunity for our instructors to experience the role of an onlinelearner prior to becoming an online instructor. Derrick (2003) notes that learning in the onlineenvironment requires a new set of skills. Online learners need to be more autonomous, resourceful, andindependent. With this in mind, we developed stages of implementation that could be replicated as wecontinued to introduce our staff and students to online learning.Stages of implementation:1.
Provide the opportunity for teachers to function as online learners2.
Deliver staff development opportunities training our teachers to be online instructors3.
Develop online course materials4.
Implement the hybrid courses/units5.
Provide a vehicle for analysis, reflection, and refinement of course content6.
Develop a plan for sustaining and expanding the program
In support of our implementation plan we initially provided out of district opportunities for a cadre of instructors to attend an online course designed to provide experience as online learners and onlineinstructors. We selected a required course as our pilot vehicle for delivering our first online learningopportunities. This strategy provided a collaborative team of teachers and guaranteed that all of ourstudents would experience a hybrid online learning course prior to graduation.In phase two of implementation we developed a series of district staff development opportunities thatwould take teachers through the stages of implementation. The first course provided the opportunity to beonline learners and instructors resulting in the development of course materials. The second courserequired teachers to “go live” with their course implementing their unit. Course three required teachers togather data, analyze student performance, and begin the refinement process.Phase three of implementation provides us the opportunity to work with staff at all levels of implementation. The cycle of staff development allows us to continually work with staff new to onlinelearning while implementing the refinement process with experienced online instructors. The plans forexpanding the program will require us to provide staff development opportunities outside of our district toassist our experienced online instructors as they continue to develop as online instructors.
After five years of implementation we are extremely pleased with the implementation process. All of ourstudents have the opportunity to experience online learning prior to graduation from our district. Studentsand staff are involved in all facets of online learning. Courses are used by:
Administrators to enhance communication, deliver staff development and promote learningcommunities
Teachers to deliver content, promote collaboration and transform their instruction
Students to support extra-curricular activities.We currently have teachers in all stages of implementation and our early adopters have becomeexperienced online instructors. We have expanded our project to include all 6
– 12
grade students andwe have begun to explore the use of online learning opportunities in our elementary schools. As ourteachers become more comfortable in the online environment, they are stretching the boundaries of theirclassroom and shifting the balance from teacher centered to student centered learning.
Cole J., and Foster H.
Using Moodle Teaching with the Popular Open Source Course Management System,
O’Reilly Media Inc., 2008Derrick, M.G. “Creating Environments Conducive for Lifelong Learning.” New Directions for Adult andContinuing Education, no. 100. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 2003Fink, L. D.
Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing CollegeCourses.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003Palloff R. M., and Pratt K.
 Building Online Learning Communities.
San Francisco: Jossey-BrassPublishers, 2007.
Bibliographic SketchesConnie Jaeger
teaches Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom for PODetc. She has 30+ years of experience as an educator; has worked with K-12 students and faculty as a math/computer scienceteacher, technology integration specialist, and instructional technology coordinator; and has beenrecognized as the Wisconsin Media Professional of the Year. Areas of emphasis over the past six yearshave included the implementation and support of online learning in the K-12 environment and support forthe Intel Teach to the Future Program where she is certified as a Master Instructor. She earned a MastersDegree in CS Education at Cardinal Stritch University.Address: 1304 Edward CourtWest Bend, WI 53095Phone: 414 750-0104Email: cjaeger@gmail.com
Victoria Lovejoy
has been an administrator and educator for more than twenty years. In 2009, Dr.Lovejoy formally joined The Stephens Group as the Director of Online Learning for PODetc. As theDirector of PODetc, Dr. Lovejoy has developed and implemented two new courses, Technology 101:Foundations in Collaborative Tools and Focus on STEM. Courses offered through PODetc are designedto cover the student and teacher ISTE standards providing teachers with the tools they need to harness thepower of educational technology. Dr. Lovejoy earned her doctorate in Educational Technology fromPepperdine University in 2004.Address: 3737 Cedar AveLong Beach, CA 90807Phone: 562 843-1791

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