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Monday, April 22, 2013

SJSU Launches Blended Learning Training Center

Last fall, San Jose State University became the first institution to try incorporating edX’s massive open online course (MOOC) content with the teaching concepts of a flipped classroom. Now, the university is opening its Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning, a program to train faculty members in the California State University (CSU) system to use flipped learning in their classrooms.

The university also announced it will expand its edX pilot program to as many as 11 of the 23 schools in the CSU system. The effort is being driven, in part, by the completion rates from the pilot program started last fall. Nine of 10 students completed the blended engineering course offered, while just six of 10 finished the traditional course.

The center will show CSU faculty members how to run a flipped course, which allows students to watch online lectures and take quizzes outside of class. Classroom time is used to provide students with assistance on the material covered in the videos and homework.

“We’re placing the instructor front and foremost, rather than facing the blackboard [with their back to students],” edX President Anant Agarwal told eCampus News. “The real value is in helping students learn and helping students process information.”

The program is also seen as a possible way for universities in the state to speed up degree completion while keeping costs under control.

“These digital natives cannot be educated like we were educated,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newson during the SJSU press conference. “The old system has run its course, like the industrial age has run its course.”

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