University of Malta (Valletta Campus)
Pictures of innovative blended practice are not uncommon in schools, and whilst celebrating the efforts of ‘champions’ in schools who are willing to innovate and put in extra effort, the challenge of scaling blended pedagogies and innovation school-wide is a greater challenge. This study highlights how Ruyton Girls’ School, a K-12 school in Melbourne, Australia designed a bespoke professional learning program that empowered faculty leaders to design a blended learning framework that reimagines pedagogy across the school. The professional learning program shifted focus from empowering a few to a comprehensive, structured and evidence-based approach that empowered all teachers to develop innovative blended learning practice. The study details our journey to build teacher capacity and a culture of pedagogical innovation that is scaleable. We review the process we undertook with faculty leaders that developed their knowledge about blended learning and pedagogy, and their participation in the design of the school’s blended learning framework. Insights into how the school scaled blended learning innovation through its ‘Teacher Inquiry Group’ action learning approach are also shared. A key feature of the work we did with faculty leaders was that professional learning sessions were blended. Combining face-to-face and virtual activities gave faculty leaders lived experience of innovative blended approaches and enabled the school to complete this important work during numerous COVID-19 lockdowns.
We developed an online statistics lab for undergraduate psychology students. This paper outlines the processes that we went through while developing the class. The first step was to develop the purpose and educational goals of the class. This step helps guide the rest of the process, so it is important to spend a significant amount of time creating your educational goals. Our class emphasizes learning to manipulate and analyze data using statistical software. The next step was to decide on the best platform. We have been using Blackboard for many years and considered using Blackboard. However, we wanted to offer a visually appealing platform that was more engaging, and easier to use. After comparing several platforms, we decided to use Wix. The next step was to design the website. The site has a homepage with a menu bar at the top of the page that allows students to select several topics, including the lab assignments that count toward student grades. Each tab in the menu has many resources, primarily instructional videos, and instructions. Students are allowed to complete assignments in either R or Excel, requiring instructional videos in R and Excel. There were challenges in figuring out the best way to upload videos, allow students to submit assignments, develop a method for students to submit their assignments, give students feedback, and keep up with grades. Over the past few years, we have tweaked the course, based on student feedback. We look forward to sharing the website and answering questions.