Bridging the Digital Divide in Post Secondary Institutions: Blended Teaching and Learning
As the demand for nontraditional instruction continues to increase, postsecondary institutions are being forced to seek alternative curriculum delivery platforms. Technology driven courses can be successfully developed and implemented without compromising andragogy and pedagogy. Blended instructional sequences can transform students from traditional informational consumers to producers of knowledge. Additionally, blended courses allow students and instructors to interact across vast distances and time without negatively impacting quality. Previous research findings suggested that e-learning platforms have many advantages: accessibility; flexibility; global connectedness, and increased institutional competitiveness disadvantages were also noted: student comfort level, network problems; immediacy of Response; digital stratification; and legal issues. It is obvious that financial constraints, global conflict, and the rise of on-line universities, have impacted student enrollment at postsecondary institutions. If colleges and universities desire to maintain a competitive edge, they must consider more extensive utilization of e-learning instructional sequences. Perhaps blended curricula can assist in making the these entities globally competitive. The purpose of this paper is to examine the academic values and ideological tenets grounding curriculum reform in the Information Processing Era. Additionally a research based process designed and utilized by the authors in teaching blended graduate level policy courses will be detailed. Finally, implications for professional practice will be elaborated.
Keywords: Blended Teaching, Curriculum Reform, e-Learning, Virtual Classrooms
Dr. Vivian Ikpa
Associate Professor, College of Education, Temple University
Dr. C.Kent McGuire
Dean College of Education, Temple University