Earlier this month Professor Norm Vaughan gave a visiting scholar presentation on the topic of blended learning. Norm argued, citing the words of Gladwell (2000), that we have gone over the “tipping point”; blended learning has become an educational epidemic. The three societal forces that have converged (the perfect wave) to drive this epidemic are technology, financial constraints, and quality concerns. The blended approaches to learning that have arisen to address these forces have lead to three major non-contradictory affordances – effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience.
Set against this backdrop, Professor Vaughan’s talk was designed to provide participants with an opportunity to share and discuss strategies for designing, facilitating, and leading blended learning courses and programmes.
More specifically, the session offered participants with the opportunity to share and discuss strategies for: (i) designing and organizing a blended course, (ii) facilitating and moderating a blended course, and (iii) directing and leading a blended course. It is fair to say that Norm explored all three of these themes with considerable passion and the audience was highly engaged in ideas around creating and sustaining communities of inquiry.
Professor Vaughan is Co-founder of the Blended Online Design Network (BOLD), a member of the Community of Inquiry Research Group, the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning and he is on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Excellence in e-Learning, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, the International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, the Journal on Centres for Teaching & Learning, the Learning Communities Journal. and the Journal of Information Fluency.