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CIS 101 Meeting the Challenges in a Blended Learning Course Perspectives from the Implementation Team Dr. David Sachs, Associate Dean, CSIS Prof. Nancy Lynch Hale, Chair Technology Systems Prof. Catherine Dwyer, Course Designer Prof. Jonathan Hill, Faculty Administrator Agenda

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CIS 101 Meeting the Challenges in a Blended Learning Course

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CIS 101

Meeting the Challenges in a Blended Learning Course


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Perspectives from the Implementation Team

  • Dr. David Sachs, Associate Dean, CSIS

  • Prof. Nancy Lynch Hale, Chair Technology Systems

  • Prof. Catherine Dwyer, Course Designer

  • Prof. Jonathan Hill, Faculty Administrator

CIS


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Agenda

  • What is CIS101?

  • Why blended learning?

  • Evolution and implementation – the Course Developer’s perspective

  • Strategic positioning and role – the Dean’s perspective

  • Reality hits – the Chair’s perspective

  • Adoption, acceptance, and continuing evolution – the Administrator’s perspective

CIS


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Pace University

  • Multi-campus private university

  • Undergraduate campuses in downtown NYC and Westchester County

  • ~2,500 students take CIS101 a year (between both campuses)

  • One challenge is to keep curriculum consistent on campuses 33 miles apart

CIS


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What is CIS 101?

  • CIS 101 offers students an in-depth introduction to key topics in computing technology including computer concepts, computer applications, Web design and programming.

  • Our curriculum uses the following tools to teach these concepts:

    • Computer Applications = MS Excel

    • Web Design=HTML

    • Programming=JavaScript

    • Computer Concepts= Online Learning

CIS


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Why blended learning?

  • Cost effective re-design mechanism

  • Allowed smaller instructor-student ratio without huge costs

    • Went from classes of 72 to classes of 28

  • Since this is a required course, gives all Pace students a “taste” of online learning

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Evolution and implementation

  • Building consensus on topics

  • Creating course structure

  • Designing blackboard site

  • Creating instructor support materials

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The pilot

  • Fall 2002 – 13 pilot sections

  • All instructors new to course content and online teaching

  • Blackboard mechanisms less than optimal

  • But – lots of quick feedback, folded into revised course

    • Edited JavaScript manual

    • Revised quiz material

    • Enhanced assignments (HTML and capstone project)

  • Ran second “pilot” Spring 2003, added 3 sections in NYC

  • Course revised again, then full roll out Fall 2003

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Challenges of Blended Learning

  • How to integrate online and face to face content?

  • How to generate good online discussion when you are seeing students every week?

  • Course can become lopsided, favoring one component or the other

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Advantages of Blended Learning

  • Online and face to face can complement each other

  • Blackboard and technology serve as a platform for curriculum delivery

  • Bring structure and organization to entire course

  • Design assignments that weave between both elements (Internet research assignment, Iron Chef assignment)

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Strategic positioning – the Dean’s perspective

  • As a core requirement for all Pace University students*. All constituent schools of the university have input into the course curriculum.

    • Business asks for Spreadsheets

    • English asks for PowerPoint (declined)

    • Liberal Arts programs ask for HTML

    • CSIS asks for Computer Programming

  • CIS101 is great opportunity to introduce all students to technology, and creative and flexible approach has encouraged collaboration with other programs in the university

  • CIS101 is CSIS’s most visible course, now is a good ambassador for computing

  • CIS


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    Reality hits – the chair’s perspective

    • Obtaining adequate lab classroom resources was a challenge

    • Staffing 88 sections annually

    • Keeping things under budget

    • Assessing success for a moving target

    CIS


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    Adoption, acceptance, and continuing evolution

    • Implementing a new curriculum

    • Gaining faculty and student buy-in

    • Training faculty to teach in, and maximize the use of, a blended learning class

    • Training faculty to administer a blended learning class

    • Training students to learn in, and utilize the tools provided, in a blended learning class

    CIS


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    Wrap up and looking back

    • Crucial this move was made before enrollment pressures hit

    • Showed that a large scale blended course can be successful

    • Creative model, successful implementation and careful management has made this course a dynamic representation of technology in action

    • CIS101 is not just face to face + online -- blended learning model proved to be greater than the sum of its parts

    CIS


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