#blend13 Session: Online Professional Development: Perspectives on the BlendKit Course

Kelvin Thompson

Kelvin Thompson on Blendkit

What is it about the concept of “Online Professional Development” that brought you to the session?

Part of the reason to have OPD is that it helps to leverage some of the same benefits that blended learning does.  Blended learning initiatives sort of begs that things like the blendkit be used.  Faculty don’t want to come to face to face workshops – but they seem like they’d like to ‘attend’ the online modality – similar to preferences that students have. Some of the reasons to offer online PD is that it helps to bridge the gap and help build buy-in by faculty to reinvent their courses into hybrid/blended courses.

Observation: Not many in the session are familiar with the ‘blendkit materials’.

The objective of the blendkit course materials are intended to provide ‘courseware’ and a segment or ‘experience’ brought on by doing professional development online.

Take a look at www.blendedlearningtoolkit.org, which provides, “free, open resources for educational institutions who are interest ed in developing or expanding their blended learning initiatives.”

Within the above website exists OER’s (open educational resources) that can/could be used at other institutions.  Part of the intent of the course materials there is to help faculty to design and develop blended learning courses.  The blendkit also provides a mechanism for faculty to be grouped into cohorts to understand and work through the content.

The blendkit includes:

  • instructional modules
  • blendkit reader
  • do-it-yourself design tasks
  • recordings of interdisciplinary faculty interviews
  • recordings of online webinar discussions with faculty group

All of these are available for use at your institution for no cost. Look up: http://bit.ly/blendkit

The site also has a blendkit course schedule, which happens to give a good structure or unit chronology through the blendkit chohorts.  There are do-it-yourself project deliverables.  The activities included five weeks of encouraging messages, 30 minute webinars, weekly reading and response opportunities, as well as social networking opportunities -within Blendkit2011.

The Blendkit2012 delivered some modifications: LMS use, participant roles, online badging, certificates of completion (carrot dangling), new guest faculty in webinars, additional case study faculty audio interviews.

Check out HootCourse – http://bit.ly/blendkit_hootcourse Check out Diigo Aggregation – http://bit.ly/blendkit_diigo

There are ‘attractive elements’ of blendkit2012:

  1. it was a MOOC, and it wasn’t on Coursera
  2. there are many ways to participate
  3. there were badges and credentialing
  4. Adobe Connect synchronous session
  5. public learning log
  6. reusable materials

See also: http://bit.ly/ak_perspective

See also: http://idstuff.blogspot.com

See also: http://johnoke.blogspot.com/2012

See also: TOPR (Teaching Online Pedagogy Repository): http://topr.online.ucf.edu

See also: http://bit.ly/teach_online

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