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Inquiry and Blended Learning at the University of Calgary Dr. Randy Garrison, Professor Director, Learning Commons Dr. Norm Vaughan, Instructor Coordinator, ITBL Email: • Tel: 220-6764• Tel: 220-7811 Learning Plan: University of Calgary

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inquiry and blended learning at the university of calgary
Inquiry and Blended Learning at the University of Calgary
  • Dr. Randy Garrison, Professor
  • Director, Learning Commons
  • Dr. Norm Vaughan, Instructor
  • Coordinator, ITBL
  • Email: • Tel: 220-6764
  •• Tel: 220-7811
learning plan university of calgary
Learning Plan: University of Calgary
  • That inquiry-based learning approaches be at the centre of the undergraduate learning experience.
  • All students must have the opportunity to participate in communities of inquiry
  • Learning technologies (i.e., eLearning) offer opportunities to enhance the campus experience and extend learning through the innovative use of on-line resources, asynchronous collaborative learning opportunities,
inquiry defined
Inquiry Defined
  • Essential Features:
    • problem or question driven,
    • involves critical discourse,
    • requires self-direction—i.e. students take responsibility for their own learning,
    • incorporates research methods such as information gathering, synthesis of ideas, and communication,
    • evaluation of the student is appropriate to foster Inquiry Learning—it must include reflection on the learning experience of the student, what they have learned, and why the work is relevant (to their discipline).
        • Inquiry Learning Action Group
inquiry defined5
Inquiry Defined
  • Enhancing features:
    • small-group feature
    • multi-disciplinary.
ibl humanities
IBL - Humanities
  • Involves shared exploration and encourages group discussion
  • Application or project focused
  • Focus on questions, issues
  • Learn how to ask good questions and challenge assumptions (discussion groups)
  • Give up anxiety about covering material
  • Inductive? Constructing schema? (RG)
          • Anne McWhir, English
ibl sciences problem based learning
IBL – Sciences(Problem Based Learning)
  • Problem-based learning is intended to acquire specific knowledge and skills through the solution of genuine problems
  • Requires students to be self-directed, critical thinkers, and work collaboratively
  • Particularly applicable to professional practice contexts (e.g., project, case study).
  • Deductive? Applying principles?
  • The University community must consider how to redesigncourses whereby the integration of communication technologies supports inquiry and enriches the teaching and learning enterprise.
president of penn state
President of Penn State
  • … cites the convergence of classroom and online education as “the single greatest unrecognized trend in higher education today”
        • (Young, 2002).





bl described
BL Described
  • Thoughtful and logical integration of the inherent strengths of face-to-face and online learning.
  • Not an add-on to a classroom lecture nor an online course
  • An optimal (re)design approach to enhance the campus experience and extend learning through the innovative use of Internet information, online inquiry and communications technology.
why blended learning
Why Blended Learning?
  • New approaches to teaching
  • Enhanced student engagement
  • Focus on higher learning (e.g., CT)
  • Strategy to fundamentally redesign courses and programs
  • Flexibility re designing learning activities
  • Cost-effective
bl and inquiry
BL and Inquiry
  • Blended learning enhances inquiry approaches through
    • Access to information
    • Practice in making sense and organizing information
    • Support and sustained discourse (communities of inquiry)
online learning framework
Online Learning Framework
  • The concept of a community of inquiry provides the framework to guide the research and practice of asynchronous online learning (i.e., e-learning)
community of inquiry model
Community of Inquiry Model

Social Presence

The ability of participants

in a community of inquiry

to project themselves

socially and emotionally

as ‘real’ people

(i.e., their full personality),

through the medium of

communication being


Cognitive Presence

The extent to which

learners are able to

construct and confirm

meaning through

sustained reflection

and discourse in a

critical community

of inquiry.

Teaching Presence

The design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose

of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes.

Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000)

new approaches



redesign characteristics
Redesign Characteristics
  • Rethink the whole course
  • Integrate appropriate approaches (i.e., capitalize on strengths of f2f and online)
  • Emphasize learner engagement and discourse (CoI)
  • Include strong facilitation
example university of wisconsin madison
Example - University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Redesigned its General Chemistry sequence to increase the level of active learning and student feedback
  • Eliminated one lecture and one discussion period per week and implemented a modularized, online system of diagnostic examples, tutorials, and quizzes
  • Controlled study found learning to be equivalent to that of students who were conventionally taught
  • UWM expects a cost-per-student reduction of 28%
example brigham young university
Example - Brigham Young University
  • Redesigning its first-year writing course (3400 students)
  • The redesign will
    • reduce classroom time from three hours to one hour per week
    • make use of interactive multimedia lessons, more one-on-one time with faculty, and additional peer-to-peer sessions
  • Initial pilot revealed overall paper quality is higher in the online versus the traditional version of the course
  • A 41% cost savings estimated
first year spanish university of tennessee
FIRST-YEAR SPANISH University of Tennessee
  • Increase active speaking via in-class interaction
  • Use technology to support skill practice
  • Provide immediate feedback online
  • Encourage collaborative learning, both online and in class

57 sections (~27)

Adjuncts + 6 TAs

100% in class

$167,074 ($2931/section)

1529 students @ $109


38 sections (~54)

Instructor-TA pairs

50% in class, 50% online

$56,838 ($1496/section)

2052 students @ $28

  • Oral skills: significantly better performance
  • Language proficiency & language achievement:

no significant difference

  • National Center for Academic Transformation.
  • PEW Program in Course Redesign
science 311 u of c
Science 311 – U of C
  • Writing & Reviewing Scientific Reports
  • Originally capped at 40 students; BL used to increase cap and implement inquiry approaches
  • Students focus on writing instead of passively listening to lectures
  • Allows professor more time to engage with students in the writing process
  • Course material presented online; weekly discussion drop-in tutorials with professor
  • Peer review document mgmt system facilitates anonymous feedback (reduced administration)
improved learning
  • 25 of 30 have shown improvement
  • 5 have shown equal learning
      • PEW Grant Program in Course Redesign
cost savings
  • Redesigned courses reduce costs by 40% on average, with a range of 20% to 77%.
      • PEW Grant Program in Course Redesign
inquiry through blended learning
Inquiry Through Blended Learning
  • Faculty member plans, designs, and develops their blended learning course
  • ITBL is a formal course with a combination of class meetings, labs, and web instruction
  • Course models the blended learning format (i.e., f2f & online)
  • Faculty learn from each other and web vets
itbl topics
ITBL Topics
  • Inquiry & blended learning
  • Assessment & feedback
  • Teaching approaches & techniques
  • Administration of blended courses
  • Copyright, information design & library resources
itbl options
ITBL Options
  • Cohort participation in a set of specially designed, structured sessions
  • Series of stand-alone workshops
  • Website with tip sheets
  • Consulting
  • Technical Help
uk survey
UK Survey
  • 94% of lecturers stated that blended learning “is more effective than classroom-based teaching alone”
  • 85% of lecturers “stated that online learning improves both teaching creativity and student learning”
      • WebCT Survey, 2004
blended courses
Blended Courses
  • 80% of U.S. institutions offer hybrid [i.e., blended learning] courses
  • (Evolving Campus Support Models for E- Learning Courses, 2003)
  • Awareness and understanding of true inquiry (too much focus on content & lecturing; too little effective use of collaboration)
  • Student orientation (resistance)
  • Commitment to fundamental redesign
  • Strategic plan covering all four undergraduate years
  • Teaching-research imbalance
following up
Following Up
  • Learning Commons Website
  • Contact Information
  • Dr. Randy Garrison, Director
  • 220-6764
  • General Inquiries: 220-4949