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<a name="top"></a>Inquiry through Blended Learning (ITBL) Resources

Key Topic Areas:

  1. <a href="#one">Inquiry </a>
  2. <a href="#two">Blended Learning </a>
  3. <a href="#three">Inquiry through Blended Learning </a>
  4. <a href="#four">Course Redesign </a>
  5. <a href="#five">Learning Outcomes </a>
  6. <a href="#six">Teaching Strategies </a>
  7. <a href="#seven">Communication and Information Technology Tools </a>
  8. <a href="#eight">Assessment </a>
  9. <a href="#nine">Student Orientation </a>
  10. <a href="#ten">Piloting and Evaluation </a>

 <a name="one"></a>1. Inquiry
Inquiry learning is problem or question driven learning involving critical discourse, self–direction, research methods, and reflection throughout the learning experience. The inquiry approach supports and enriches the teaching, learning and research process, and actively engages students in responsible learning activities.

ITBL Tip Sheet:

<a target="_blank" href="">Inquiry Learning
</a>An Inquiry is at the heart of the University of Calgary’s Institutional Learning Plan, and a central feature of course redesign. Instructors who want to foster inquiry in their classes put less emphasis on lectures, while incorporating more critical discourse, research, and group work. Discussion and reflection are critical features of the inquiry process.

Learning Series Sheets:

<a target="_blank" href="">Inquiry into Inquiry-Based Approaches to Learning
</a>An introduction to inquiry-based learning in higher education.

<a target="_blank" href="">Inquiry and Critical Thinking – Reflective Inquiry
</a>An overview to a reflective (practical) inquiry model

<a target="_blank" href="">Communities of Inquiry
</a>A discussion about the role of communities of inquiry in higher education


<a target="_blank" href="">Web-Based Inquiry Search Process for Research (WISPR) in the Library </a>
The framework for the Web-Based Inquiry Search Process for Research (WISPR) in the Library is based on the theoretical model of Information search as developed by <a target="_blank" href="">Dr. Carol Kulhthau. </a>

University of Calgary Context:

<a target="_blank" href="">Institutional Learning Plan
</a>The University of Calgary is “a place of education and scholarly inquiry ” (U of C Mission Statement) . The distinguishing elements of scholarly inquiry are the construction and dissemination of knowledge. The University of Calgary is committed to integrating this process into the educational experience of its students.


<a target="_blank" href="">What is Unique About Inquiry Courses?</a>
McMaster University has been involved in teaching Inquiry for over twenty years in elite programs and professional schools. Now, Inquiry is being offered to all first year students with a growing number of follow-up courses offered in subsequent years. In 2001, over 670 students in year one chose an Inquiry course. So, what is Inquiry you ask?

<a target="_blank" href="">Handbook of Enquiry and Problem-based Learning Irish Case Studies and International Perspectives </a>
This comprehensive volume composed of about twenty individual essays not only offers a good grounding in enguiry and problem based learning but looks at them in practice, as each essay contains numerous examples and case studies (free download under the Creative Commons license).

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<a name="two"></a>2. Blended Learning
Blended learning is the integration of face–to–face and online learning to enhance the classroom experience and extend learning through the innovative use of information and communications technology. Blended strategies enhance student engagement and learning through online activities to the course curriculum, and improve effectiveness and efficiencies by reducing lecture time.

University of Calgary Context:

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning 
</a>An overview to the concept of blended learning at the University of Calgary

Learning Series Sheets:

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning
</a>An introduction to the concept of blended learning.

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning in a Research University
</a>A discussion about the role of blended learning in a research university, such as the University of Calgary

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning Dialogue and Reflection
</a>A case study of how blended learning is being applied within the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary

Related Resources:

<a target="_blank" href="">Hybrid Course Web Site - University of Wisconsin @ Milwaukee </a>
Student and faculty perspectives about blended learning plus numerous resources

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning Unit - University of Hertfordshire</a>
The Blended Learning Unit (BLU) is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). The BLU helps to develop, promote and evaluate the combination of established ways of Learning and Teaching and the opportunities offered by technology in order to improve students' learning and increase flexibility in how, when and where they study.

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning: Frameworks, Models, Stories, and Examples </a>
Curt Bonk's PowerPoint slides (in PDF format) from his presentation at the University of Calgary in November 2005

<a target="_blank" href="">Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs </a>
Sample chapters (in PDF format) from a blended learning book that Curt Bonk co-edited.

<a href="">Encyclopedia of Educational Technology</a>
Overview of basic terms and concepts in ed. tech. and instructional design.

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<a name="three"></a>3. Inquiry through Blended Learning (ITBL)
ITBL is an umbrella term referring to a variety of faculty development opportunities – all focused on furthering faculty understanding, skill and confidence in using technology to facilitate effective teaching and learning approaches. Blended learning can enhance the inquiry approach by providing greater access to information, opportunities to analyze and organize information, and support sustained discussion and reflection through communities of inquiry. Technologies such as Blackboard, videoconferencing and instructional applications can offer convenient and effective schemes to design a variety of opportunities for instructor/student, student/student, and student/content interactions. Such interactions can augment, and often replace, traditional face–to–face instructional methods.

Related Resources:

<a target="_blank" href="">University of Calgary ITBL Funded Projects </a>
This PDF document provides an overview to the 44 ITBL projects, which are currently funded by the University of Calgary

<a target="_blank" href="">Inquiry through Blended Learning (ITBL) Program - Home Page on the Teaching & Learning Centre Web Site 
</a>This is the "home" page provides an overview to the ITBL program with a series of related resource links.

<a target="_blank" href="">Inquiry through Blended Learning (ITBL) - Tip Sheets</a> 
This is the menu page for the ITBL Tip sheets.  These Tip sheets have been designed to provide practical advice to common issues encountered within Inquiry and Blended Learning courses.

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<a name="four"></a>4. Course Redesign
In designing or revising a course, faculty are faced with at least three crucial decisions:

  1. what to teach,
  2. how to teach it,
  3. and how to ensure that students are learning what is being taught.

Often, the most difficult step in preparing or revising a course is deciding which topics must be excluded if the whole is to be manageable. Many teachers, hoping to impart to students everything they know about a subject, attempt to include too much material (the course and a half syndrome).


<a target="_blank" href="">University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – Examples of Blended Learning Courses </a>
Examples of blended learning courses from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee that have been developed in the learning management system – Desire2Learn.

Planning Guides:

<a target="_blank" href="">Redesign Guide for your Blended Course (MS Word) </a>
A series of questions to reflect on as you move through the (re)design process for your course.

<a target="_blank" href="">Course Planning Guide (MS Word)
</a>A series of course planning questions focused on the learning outcomes for your course.

Related Resources:

<a target="_blank" href="">Five Principles of Successful Course Redesign </a>
A summary of the redesign techniques that are essential to improving student learning while reducing instructional costs from Carol Twigg's course redesign study.

<a target="_blank" href="">Finks Five Principles of Good Course Design </a>
Five criteria for designing a good course from Dee Fink, former President of the Professional Organization Development Association (POD).

<a target="_blank" href="">Guidelines for Preparing or Revising a Course </a>
Strategies and tips from Barbara Gross Davis at the University of California, Berkeley on preparing or revising a course.

<a target="_blank" href="">Improving Learning and Reducing Costs - New Models for Online Learning </a>
A recent article from Carol Twigg which outlines five distinct course redesign models.

<a target="_blank" href="">Hitchhiker's Guide to Course Development </a>
Lots of good stuff on this site, for online, blended, and classroom-based courses.

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<a name="five"></a>5. Learning Outcomes
The articulation of learning outcomes for your ITBL course addresses the following questions:

  • What do I want my students to learn, and how can I express my goals to them and make these goals clear to my colleagues and myself?
  • What changes in understanding do we expect students to undergo as a result of experiencing the course?   What will students be able to do after the course that they could not do before?

Examples from ITBL Courses:

<a target="_blank" href="">NURS503.24 - Child & Youth Health Promotion - Course Outline
</a>This is the PDF version of the course outline for the NURS503.24 course.

<a target="_blank" href="">NURS503.24 - Child & Youth Health Promotion - Course Syllabus
</a>This is the PDF version of the course syllabus for the NURS503.24 course.

Related Resources:

<a target="_blank" href="">Are you Teaching What you Think You're Teaching?
</a>A series of web-based activities to help you match your teaching philosophy with your course learning outcomes

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<a name="six"></a>6. Teaching Strategies
The development of a set of teaching strategies for your ITBL course answers the question:

  • How should I arrange my teaching so that students have the greatest chance of learning what I want them to learn?  

ITBL Tip Sheets:

Online Discussion Forums

<a target="_blank" href="">Reasons for Online Discussion Forums</a>
The online discussion board tool is often one of the first features that many instructors try to use. You may, however, find that your first experience using a discussion board falls short of what you had hoped for. It is important to understand why discussion is a good teaching strategy and know what outcomes you can expect from a discussion. When instituting discussions online, it is also important to plan up front and make online dialogue relevant to course content.

<a target="_blank" href="">Motivating Students to Participate in Online Discussion Forums </a>
Utilizing an online discussion board can deepen student learning and extend dialogue about core course concepts. Creating and facilitating effective online discussions requires just a bit of preparation and a few proven strategies. Motivating students to participate in online discussions is at the core of many frequently asked questions.

<a href="">Evaluating or Marking Online Discussion Participation</a><a target="_blank" href="">
</a>Online discussions can provide valuable forums where complex content and perspectives are examined, and understood through collaborative processes and knowledge sharing. The discussions can take many forms such as debates, small group work, and case studies, for example. However when we incorporate online discussions into our courses we must, at the same time, consider whether and how to assess

<a href="">Student Roles / Faculty Roles
</a>Online discussions can provide valuable forums in which complex content, and perspectives are examined and understood through collaborative processes and knowledge sharing. They can take many forms such as debates, small group work, and case studies, for example. Roles and responsibilities of instructors and students need to be delineated to help things run smoothly.

Creating Community

<a target="_blank" href="">Facilitating Student Introductions
</a>Learning about each other is a critical part of building community in the classroom. A comfortable community encourages people to participate in and take risks that help learning occur. For example, learners participate in discussions and ask questions rather than remaining silent. In online classes, creating this sense of community is just as vital to student engagement and learning, if not more so, since online learners are often concerned with a sense of invisibility as they cannot "see" each other.

<a target="_blank" href="">Establishing Class Norms</a>
Classroom norms are agreed upon guidelines for how students conduct themselves in a classroom environment. Just as in face-to-face settings, online classroom norms are an important part of creating a positive learning environment. Norms give students an understanding of class expectations, help students feel comfortable, and establish a sense of trust between classmates. Norms also make the course environment safer and learning as a result is more likely to occur.

Other Strategies

<a target="_blank" href="">Active Learning in Face-to-Face and Online Courses
</a>The information for this tip sheet comes from Mel Silberman's (1996) book Active Learning: 101 strategies to teach any subject . Silberman has been using active learning techniques in university classrooms for over 25 years. His book Active Learning 101 strategies to teach any subject has concrete ideas which can be used for face-to-face classes and many can be adapted to an online environment. This book is an excellent resource to have on your bookshelf.

<a target="_blank" href="">Connecting Theory to Practice through the use of Case Studies
</a>A case study is a scenario or problem written in the form of a story. It presents an issue relating to an event, activity, or problem, which students are asked to research, debate, and/or solve. Case studies offer a number of educational benefits, including forming connections between course content, real issues, and student experiences, motivating students, making interdisciplinary connections, strengthening student skills in analysis and critical thinking, and promoting active learning.

<a href="">Improving Student Writing through Peer Review</a>
Peer review is an active learning strategy with a number of benefits for learners. It focuses on the writing process, improves students’ critical analysis skills, and allows them to improve their work before it is graded. Facilitate the peer review process online by using tools such as Blackboard, email, or the Peer Review Tool.

Related Resources:

<a target="_blank" href="">Personalizing Pedagogy </a>
There are many kinds of good teaching and good teachers -- just as there are many kinds of learners and learning. Information technology offers new options for matching them more effectively, to making the most of diverse gifts to meet diverse needs.

<a target="_blank" href="">David Brown - Articles about Online Learning Activities </a>
David Brown writes a monthly article in Syllabus magazine about online learning activities.

<a target="_blank" href="">Developing On-line Interactivities on a Shoestring Budget </a>
A Breeze presentation, outlining many free or cheap tools to help you create online interactivities.
If you'd rather not watch the presentation, see the list of tools here: <a target="_blank" href=""></a>

<a target="_blank" href="">Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as a Lever</a>
This by Art Chickering and Steve Ehrmann describes some of the most cost-effective and appropriate ways to use computers, video, and telecommunications technologies to advance the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.

<a target="_blank" href="">The Seven Principles of Good Practice:  Using Technology to Improve Learning Outcomes</a>
There are literally hundreds of ways to use technology to implement the seven principles. The Teaching Learning and Technology (TLT) Group has created an online library of related resources.

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<a name="seven"></a>7. Communication and Information Tools
Tools which can be used to support the inquiry through blended learning process

Blackboard - Learning Management System

ITBL Tip Sheet:

<a target="_blank" href="">Why use Blackboard Announcements for Blended or Face-to-Face Courses?</a>
As a default, current announcements are the first thing students see when they access a Blackboard course. Since announcements are accessible to an entire class, all students can view the announcements at any time. As an added benefit, the instructor has complete control over the announcements. The use of the Announcement Tool can stretch far beyond the posting of "announcement" type material. This is the ideal place to post time-sensitive material for students to access outside of class time.

Other Resources

<a target="_blank" href="">BbMatters</a>
BbMatters is an electronic publication which has been developed to bring together examples of best practice and feature issues relevant to Blackboard users

<a target="_blank" href="">Instructors Help Page at the University of Calgary</a>
A comprehensive listing of the most often asked questions asked by instructors about Blackboard as well as an extensive collection of tutorials.

<a target="_blank" href="">Student Help Page at the University of Calgary </a>
Computer and technical requirments needed for students to utilize Blackboard.


ITBL Tip Sheet

<a target="_blank" href="">Supporting Reflective Learning through the use of Weblogs</a>
A weblog is an online personal journal. Easy to create and use, blogs - a short hand term for weblogs - are a forum for Internet publishing that have become an established communication tool.

U of C Examples

<a target="_blank" href="">D'Arcy Norman's dot net</a>
Just a lowly edtech geek, blogging from the University of Calgary

<a class="l" target="_blank" href="">Richard Zach's Logic and Philosophy Blog</a>
Logic. Philosophy. Other Fun Stuff.


<a target="_blank" href="">the personal learning environments blog</a>
The PLE (personal learning environments) project team at CETIS is currently working on developing the definition, scope and a reference model for PLEs. It will also be developing desktop and portal based prototypes. The project hopes to report early in 2006.

<a target="_blank" href="">Blog (WebLog) - Educause Library</a>
An extensive listing of resources and articles related to the use of weblogs in higher education

Classroom (student) Response Systems

ITBL Tip Sheet

<a target="_blank" href="">Using “clickers” to Engage Students and Enhance Learning</a>
“Clicker” is the colloquial term for a personal response device similar to a TV remote control. The radio (or infra red) signal from the individual student clickers is picked up by a receiver connected to a computer in the classroom which collates: records and immediately displays the results graphically. The technology is easy to use and can be made available to students at a reasonable cost. They are already very popular in scores of colleges and universities around the world. Each clicker can be registered to a specific student (or not, depending on the teacher’s choice).


<a target="_blank" href="">Popular Feedback Devices Involve Students in Learning </a>
At Ohio's University of Akron , a pilot program introduced last year is successfully using wireless feedback devices to increase student involvement in the learning process. The relatively simple technology uses portable infrared receivers connected to faculty laptop computers, and a small infrared “clicker” device for each student in class.

<a target="_blank" href="">New for back-to-school: 'clickers' </a>
Gadgets called "clickers" are appearing at hundreds of U.S. colleges and high schools, giving teachers and students alike instant feedback on how well lectures are sinking in. Cell phones may be used next.

<a target="_blank" href="">An investigation of the effectiveness of electronic classroom communication systems in large lecture classes </a>
Since 2002 we have been investigating the use of an electronic classroom communication system in large first year lecture classes. Handheld keypads were distributed to teams of students during a lecture class. Students used the keypads to answer two step multiple choice problems after a discussion within their group. The questions were generated using students' answers from previous exams. We have evaluated our use of the classroom communication system using a survey about how comfortable students are with this type of interaction. In addition, we have tried to determine if the use of the classroom communication system can be linked to student performance on exams. Our results show that students are comfortable with this technology and feel that, on the whole, interactive lectures are useful. At a first glance, there is an improvement in students' exam performance, but there are too many competing factors to clearly say that this improvement is solely due to the use of the classroom communication system. Even though this paper is based in physics and a physics example is used to illustrate points, the technique can be applied to other discipline areas.

<a target="_blank" href="">Student Response Systems - Educause Library </a>
An extensive listing of resources and articles on student (classroom) response systems

Concept/Mind Mapping

University of Calgary Article

<a target="_blank" href="">An inquiry and blended learning module for senior engineering design</a>
The paper presented at the CDEN/RCCI International Design Conference


<a target="_blank" href="">Cmap </a><a href="">
</a>A widely used open-source concept mapping tool

<a target="_blank" href="">Free Mind - Mapping Software</a>
Open-source, Java mind mapping tool. Features downloads, screen shots, license, essays and project information.

A commercial concept mapping tool that is widely used in K to 12 education

<a target="_blank" href="">Smart Ideas</a>
A concept mapping tool developed by the Calgary based company Smart Technologies


ITBL Tip Sheet

<a target="_blank" href="">Engaging Students in Real Time with Elluminate Live! </a>
Changing student demographics and new technologies provide motivation for the university as a whole and for individual instructors to design greater flexibility into course structures and learning environments. Elluminate Live! allows instructors to "meet" with students and colleagues in real-time even though they may not be physically in the same room.


<a target="_blank" href="">Elluminate - Instructor Support at the University of Calgary</a>
Elluminate Live is a new technology creating an 'in-the-moment' virtual classroom direct to student desktops. This web-based audioconferencing software package enables instructors to have real-time discussions with students supported with PowerPoint slides, web sites, whiteboard mark-up capability and shared applications.

<a target="_blank" href="">Elluminate - Student Support at the University of Calgary</a>
Computer and technical requirments needed for students to utilize Elluminate

Macromedia Breeze

ITBL Tip Sheet

<a target="_blank" href="">Connecting Students and Content through Macromedia Breeze </a>
It is often stated that students need to interact with the instructor, with other students and with the content of a course for optimum learning to occur. The Breeze presentation tool offers a number of ways to help students engage and interact with the content.


<a target="_blank" href="">Instructors Help Page at the University of Calgary</a>
A comprehensive listing of the most often asked questions asked by instructors about Breeze.

<a target="_blank" href="">Student Help Page at the University of Calgary </a>
Computer and technical requirments needed for students to utilize Breeze

Examples from ITBL Courses:

<a target="_blank" href="">POLI343 - Student Orientation
</a>This Breeze presentation provides a student orientation to the POLI343 course at the University of Calgary.

<a target="_blank" href="">Introduction to Elluminate Live!</a>
Andrew Bamfield's Breeze presentation to introduce his Political Science students to Elluminate Live!

<a target="_blank" href="">Example of a Self-Study Module </a>
A Breeze presentation that demonstrates how this tool can be used to narrate PowerPoint presentations as well as provide self-assessment opportunities for students.

<a target="_new" href="">Breeze Example from Aradhana Parmar</a>
Click to view Aradhana's first Breeze presentation. It introduces the structure of her redesigned course and starts students on their road to inquiry.

<a target="_blank" href="">The Difficult Negotiator</a>
Breeze presentation from Loren Falkenberg, Business Negotiations.  Her students will view this prior to coming to class.


<a target="_blank" href="">7 Things You Should Know About Podcasting</a>
"Podcasting" refers to any software and hardware combination that permits automatic downloading of audio files to an MP3 player for listening at the user's convenience. Part of the appeal of podcasting is the ease with which audio content can be created, distributed, and downloaded from the Web. Barriers to adoption and costs are minimal, and the tools to implement podcasts are simple and affordable. Podcasting allows education to become more portable than ever before, giving educators another way to meet today's students where they live and learn—on the Internet and on audio players.

<a target="_blank" href="">There's Something in the Air: Podcasting in Education </a>
Podcasting is taking its place among the dizzying variety of grassroots media now available to everyone. Those in higher education need to understand the potential uses and value of rich media authoring, bringing podcasting into courses so that students can lift their learning to a whole new level.

<a target="_blank" href="">Stanford's Educators Corner - Podcasts </a>
Educators Corner is pleased to announce that it is podcasting the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series held at Stanford University.

<a target="_blank" href="">When iPod goes collegiate </a>
There are many - faculty and students alike - who rave about the iPod's potential. But there are also a considerable number who scratch their heads and say that the excitement over use of the device in classrooms reminds them of the fable of the emperor's new (and nonexistent) clothes.

Social Bookmarking

<a target="_blank" href=""></a>
A social bookmarks manager. Using bookmarklets, you can add bookmarks to your list and categorize them.

Video Conferencing

<a target="_blank" href="">NASA CONNECT™ Space Exploration Challenge </a>
The NASA CONNECT™ Space Exploration Challenge was associated with the program Rocket to the Stars . In a two and one-half hour video conference on November 1, 2005 (November 2 in New Zealand), six teams presented their designs for a future NASA mission to explore the Moon, Mars and Beyond.

<a target="_blank" href="">Videoconferencing at the University of Calgary</a>
Videoconferencing provides faculty with the tools to enhance and internationalize the undergraduate experience through real-time interaction with distinguished speakers and researchers from around the world. Students have the opportunity to participate in global classrooms, gaining an international and intercultural perspective in an area of study. Students benefit through learning from esteemed colleagues from around the globe - a definite enrichment to curriculum and the learning environment.

<a target="_blank" href="">Video Conferencing (VC) Alberta</a> is an Alberta resource for all things videoconferencing. It helps you find and connect to other sites in the Alberta learning system with its directory system.


ITBL Tip Sheet

<a href="">Supporting Student Collaboration through the use of Wikis </a>
A wiki is a collection of Web pages that can be edited by anyone, at any time, from anywhere. The possibilities for using wikis as a platform for collaborative projects are limited only by one's imagination and time.


<a target="_blank" href="">Wiki-Building Tools & Wikis </a>
An introduction to wikis and associated tools by the Teaching, Learning and Techology Group (TLT group)

<a target="_blank" href="">Wiki Pedagogy </a>
This article endeavours to denote and promote pedagogical experimentations concerning a Free/Open technology called a "Wiki". An intensely simple, accessible and collaborative hypertext tool Wiki software challenges and complexifies traditional notions of - as well as access to - authorship, editing, and publishing. Usurping official authorizing practices in the public domain poses fundamental - if not radical - questions for both academic theory and pedagogical practice.

<a target="_blank" href="">Teaching, Learning, and Other Uses for Wikis in Academia</a>
Like many academic technology groups at campuses around the country, the Center for Scholarly Technology (CST) at USC has been wrestling with how to implement various types of social software, such as blogs and wikis, in the classroom. Over the past few years we have found some very good uses for blogs, including peer-reviewed journaling, Just-in-Time Teaching (Novak, et al, 1999), and meta-cognitive reflective practice. While we hit a few stumbling blocks early on, we seemed to be coming to some level of sophistication and adoption with the use of blogs as tools for enhancing teaching and learning as we entered into the 2005-2006 school year.

<a target="_blank" href="">Wiki - Educause Library</a>
An extensive listing of resources and articles related to the use of wikis in higher education

Examples from ITBL Faculty:

<a target="_blank" href="">PeopleSoft for Faculty at the U of C - Wiki </a>
A very useful wiki with lots of information about how to use PeopleSoft to submit common faculty expenses

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<a id="eight" name="eight"></a>8. Assessment
Designing an assessment framework for your ITBL course that addresses the question:

  • How can I find out whether students have learned what I hoped they would learn?

ITBL Tips Sheets:

<a target="_blank" href="">Using Assessment Tools for Blended or Face-to-Face Courses
</a>The use of learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard can increase student opportunities for feedback and assessment. An LMS can also decrease the amount of time that faculty and teaching assistants spend on preparing assessment activities and on grading, recording and posting results.

<a target="_blank" href="">Using Classroom Assessment Techniques to Provide Feedback </a>
Classroom assessment techniques are simple methods that educators can use to collect feedback, early and often, on how well students are learning.

<a target="_blank" href="">Creating and Using Rubrics for Student Assignments
</a>Rubrics help illustrate course and assignment expectations and can save faculty valuable time during the assessment process.


<a target="_blank" href="">Triangle of Assessment </a>
A "triangular" approach to online assessment.

<a target="_blank" href="">Online Assessment - Challenges and Recommendations </a>
A list of challenges and recommendations for online assessment

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<a id="nine" name="nine"></a>9. Student Orientation
Creating the environment, structure and support to ensure student success within your ITBL course:

  • Developing a learning community
  • Study and time management skills
  • Technology skills and orientation

ITBL Tips Sheets:

a) Creating community
<a target="_blank" href="">Establishing Class Norms
</a>Classroom norms are agreed upon guidelines for how students conduct themselves in a formal learning environment.

<a target="_blank" href="">Facilitating Effective Student Introductions
</a>Learning about each other is a critical part of building community in the classroom.   A comfortable community encourages people to participate in and take risks that help learning occur.


Macromedia Breeze Presentation - Orientation to an Inquiry and Blended Learning Course
<a target="_blank" href="">POLI343 - Student Orientation
</a>This Breeze presentation provides a student orientation to the POLI343 course at the University of Calgary.

Orientation to a Blended Learning Course
<a target="_blank" href="">Blackboard Orientation Site</a>
This site is used for the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work's Virtual Learning Circle Program
login - itblguest
password - guest

<a target="_blank" href="">Blended Learning Course Description - University of Calgary </a>
The text used to describe a blended learning course at the University of Calgary

<a target="_blank" href="">English 239 01: The Quest </a>
Introduction to Dr. Murray McGillivray's blended learning course

<a target="_blank" href="">Example of a Course Invitation Letter from an Instructor </a>
An example of a course invitiation letter from an instructor to her/his incoming students

Technology Skills and Orientation:

<a target="_blank" href="">e-Learning @ U of C </a>
Overview and tutorials to the various e-Learning tools, which are used at the U of C.

<a target="_blank" href="">Information Technologies - University of Calgary </a>
IT's home page with support links and tutorials

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<a id="ten" name="ten"></a>10. Piloting and Evaluation
Piloting and evaluation strategies help address the question:

  • How can I estimate the effectiveness of my teaching in the ITBL course, and use the information I gather to improve it?

Related Resources:

<a target="_blank" href="">ITBL Course - Student Survey Questions (MS Word )</a>
This document outlines the proposed student survey questions for ITBL courses at the University of Calgary

<a target="_blank" href="">ITBL Student Survey Summaries - Winter 2006 </a>
This PDF document provides a summary of the student surveys that were administered in 8 ITBL courses that were implemented during the winter 2006 semester at the University of Calgary.

<a target="_blank" href="">ITBL Faculty Interview Summaries - Winter & Spring 2006 </a>
This PDF document provides a summary of the post-course interviews that were conducted with U of C faculty who implemented their ITBL courses in either the winter or spring 2006 semester.

The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

<a target="_blank" href="">Inquiry & Blended Learning Scholarship Dissemination Grant Program</a>
This grant programis intended to directly support expenses related to designing, conducting and publishing research on teaching innovations related to the inquiry and blended learning projects and for travel to present a paper at a conference based on the results of a study that describes lessons learned in the course redesign and implementation.

Spring 2006 Awards:

The Virtual Learning Circle Project for the Bachelor of Social Work Program - Dr. William Pelech
The goal of this project was to implement the entire Bachelor of Social Work Access program in a blended format to enable the faculty to better respond to the needs of students in rural and aboriginal communities. The scholarship dissemination grant was used to provide funding for Dr. Pelech to attend the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work conference in June 2006 in Toronto, Ontario. At this conference he presented a summary and the evaluation findings for the Virtual Learning Circle project.
Related Links:
<a target="_blank" href="">Classroom Without Walls: The First Year of the BSW Virtual Learning Circle</a>
PowerPoint slides from the presentation to the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work - Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario in June, 2006.
<a target="_blank" href="">Faculty of Social Work - BSW Virtual Learning Circle</a>
This Web site provides an overview to the BSW Virtual Learning Circle program

Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering Design Methodology and Application – ENME538/ENMF512 - Dr. Robert Brennan, Dr. Theodor Freiheit and Marjan Eggermont
The goal of this Inquiry & Blended Learning project was to redesign the ENME538/ENMF512 courses to more effectively prepare students for the "application" aspect of the course by creating a short inquiry based learning exercise at the beginning of the academic year that is then augmented by a series of Web-based teaching modules. The scholarship dissemination grant was used to provide funding for the project's research assistant to attend the CDEN/RCCI International Design Conference in Toronto, Ontario in July 2006. At this conference, the three co-investigatros presented a paper entitled "An inquiry and blended learning module for senior engineering design". This paper and the results of the Inquiry & Blended Learning project will also be posted to CDEN's e-Design Portal.
Related Links:
<a target="_blank" href="">An inquiry and blended learning module for senior engineering design</a>
The paper presented at the CDEN/RCCI International Design Conference
<a target="_blank" href="">An inquiry and blended learning module for senior engineering design</a>
The PowerPoint slides from the conference presentation
<a target="_blank" href="">CDEN's e-Design Portal</a>
The purpose of this portal is to make web-based design engineering courseware (i.e., “CDEN Modules”) accessible for the engineering education community

The Life of Bacteria – CMMB343 - Bill Huddleston
The goal of this project was to redesign the laboratory portion of the CMMB343 course from the present cookbook-style exercises to student-directed inquiry-based activities, which make use of modern laboratory techniques and data analysis.

Child & Youth Health Promotion in Schools – Nursing 503.24 - Dr. Sandra Reilly, Wendi Lokanc-Diluzio and Mina Sisodiya
The goal of this Inquiry & Blended Learning project was to create a new inquiry-based course in the Faculty of Nursing that could be offered in a blended learning format during the spring 2006 semester. A portion of the scholarship dissemination grant was used to support an evaluation study of this new course. The evaluation consisted of pre- and post-course student focus groups, an end of term student survey and an interview with the course instructors. The remaining grant funds will be used to attend the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) annual conference in Victoria, British Columbia in November 2006. The results of the NURS503.24 evaluation study will be presented at this conference.

THE QUEST (Introduction to Literary Studies) - English 239 - Dr. Murray McGillivray
The goal of this Inquiry & Blended Learning project was to redesign the ENGL239 - Introduction to Literary Studies courses into "THE QUEST". The redesigned course was focused on student group research into texts from the database of Early English Books Online (EEBO) about which neither students nor instructor started out knowing very much. Supported by a Blackboard site which gave background information, largely in the form of Breeze presentations, about the Early Modern period and about EEBO and also provided support for research process. First-year students were divided into groups using a skills inventory, then pointed at EEBO early in the term. Their task was to select a text that the whole group could work on (each student had to investigate a text and make a formal argument for its adoption by the group), then work together to elucidate the text for other readers. Teamwork was central: most formal class meetings were cancelled in favour of team meetings either with or without the instructor and teaching assistants, meetings which could occur either online or in person. The final product of each team was a Web site designed to introduce other readers to the chosen text and explain any puzzling or important features, such as vocabulary, ideology, authorship, and historical positioning. Along the way to that goal, students learned research methodologies; improved their information literacy in both library and Internet; discovered their strengths in team processes and learned interpersonal skills; and also gained experience in a wide variety of forms of written and oral communication (this was an English course, after all), including formal and informal oral reports, argumentative essays, and Web information design.

The scholarship dissemination grant will be used to provide funding to attend the Text Creation Partnership Conference, "Bringing Text Alive: The Future of Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Electronic Publication" in Ann Arbor, Michigan in September 2006. Dr. McGillivray will present a paper on THE QUEST and draws conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the instructional methodology used in the course based on the experience of teaching it for the first time.

Portfolio Project - Year 1 and 2 Pilot Project of the Master's of Teaching Program - Dr. Susan Crichton
The goal of this Inquiry & Blended Learning project is to create a portfolio process and structure for all students and faculty involved in the Master of Teaching Program. The scholarship dissemination grant will be used to provide funding for students, involved in this project, to attend a teacher preparation conference in the spring of 2007. The students will be part of a panel presentation about this portfolio project.
Related Links:
<a target="_blank" href="">Deepening Understanding of Inquiry Teaching and Learning with E-Portfolios in a Teacher Preparation Program</a>
This paper provides an overview to the Portfolio Project.

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Last Update : <a href="">N.Vaughan </a>2006/09/17