About this Case Study

Sarah Haavind

"The first challenge you have when you want to develop good discussions is to create a community where people, participants, discuss and feel safe putting out half-baked ideas, asking each other questions."

- Sarah Haavind


Topics in this Case Study:

  • Creating an Online Community
  • Writing Effective Discussion Prompts
  • Facilitating Online Discussions
  • Managing the Logistics
  • The Rhythm of Discussions
  • Assessing Online Discussions

At Simmons College, we believe that faculty learn best from one another. However, time is a precious commodity for most faculty, particularly those who excel in teaching. Through these case studies, viewers will hear faculty talk about their experiences with blended learning and have the opportunity to view the online component of their courses. Ultimately, viewers will be able to apply what they learn in their own courses.

The cases are stand-alone modules that are designed to be used in a range of faculty development environments: self-paced study, fully online training courses, face-to-face institutes, and blended learning workshops. The case studies provide an opportunity for the integration of a variety of faculty experiences and perspectives into faculty professional development for blended learning.

Developing or redesigning blended courses is not a straightforward process. In addition to developing new skills and abilities as blended educators, faculty need time to consider their course goals and to identify which aspects of the learning could take place best online and which aspects could take place best face-to-face. The online and face-to-face components also need to be integrated so that students experience continuity, and even synergy, across the two modes of learning. This means that transitioning a face-to-face course into blended mode entails considerable planning and thought – it is a full-blown course redesign, not a minor revision!