214 paper

Modelling blended learning environments: Designing an academic development blog

Geraldine Lefoe, Wendy Meyers
University of Wollongong

A major challenge facing academic developers is meeting the development needs of both time poor academics and those staff in multi-location campuses, especially sessional tutors, who may start teaching several weeks before electronic access is enabled. Necessary restrictions placed on access to local intranet and Learning Management Systems meant rethinking how to meet the needs of all staff and in the process model good practice through the use of blended learning environments. One regional university, with seven national and one international campus, is currently redesigning their staff development program to incorporate the use of blogs and wikis to provide access for all staff to a collaborative space to support improved teaching. This paper provides a rationale for the new direction and outlines the design phase to incorporate the use of collaborative technologies within the staff development program. It outlines the challenges faced in designing the environment and provides an overview of the design for the pilot phase.

Keywords: staff development, blogs, wikis, blended learning environment, sessional tutors