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Friday, August 14 • 9:00am - 9:50am
Case Study: Blended Learning for Professional Development

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This presentation reports on a 2014 professional development project targeting teacher-scholars in undergraduate liberal arts institutions. Funded by a grant for blended learning from the Associated Colleges of the South, this project had three principal goals: (1) to provide online and in-person professional development opportunities for current and future language educators at ACS institutions, (2) to promote cross-school collaboration among ACS faculty members, and (3) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of multi-site blended learning for faculty. The project consisted of four workshops delivered via multi-point videoconferencing with both online and face-to-face pre- and post-workshop activities. The presenters will outline the planning, implementation, and assessment of the workshops, including a discussion of the technologies used and their impact on the project’s success.

Topics for the workshops were chosen for their relevance to language educators at undergraduate liberal arts institutions. Participants are excellent language teachers who teach at all levels of instruction; their training and research interests are not language acquisition and pedagogy, however. Limited time and travel funding generally keep them from attending conferences that focus on language pedagogy, but they need to be aware of current trends and issues. Moreover, many of them, particularly those teaching less-commonly-taught languages, feel isolated on their own campuses. The interactivity of the workshops was intended to build professional communities across multiple institutions.

The presenters will use excerpts from recordings of the videoconferences and examples of the project’s online documents, discussions, and participant evaluations to discuss whether the project met its goals. There was a positive response to the topics chosen, but scheduling of the videoconferences, particularly across time zones, limited participation. Face-to-face discussion was lively, but faculty participation in the online discussions was limited. Modifications to address these and other issues will be made in any continuation of the project.


Dick Kuettner

Washington and Lee University
avatar for Sharon Scinicariello

Sharon Scinicariello

retired, University of Richmond
World language advocacy; technology and language learning; self-directed language learning; infusing culture into language instruction; medieval Romance languages and literatures

Friday August 14, 2015 9:00am - 9:50am EDT
CGIS South S020 (Belfer Case Study Room) 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA