Dr. Harrison to Present on Blended Learning at Univ of Helsinki

Organised annually SULOP 2012 is an academic seminar about blended learning in higher education. The goal of blended learning is to unite the best features of in class teaching with the best features of online learning to promote active, self-directed learning opportunities for students. This seminar brings together teachers, scholars and other experts from various Sectors of Higher Education in Finland. One of only three English language presentations (March 8th, 2012), Dr. Harrison’s abstract is as follows:

Blogging as Blended Learning: An example from University of Jyväskylä’s Language Centre (in English): In this presentation, examples from a number of JYU kielikeskus courses will be provided in order to illustrate the ways that blogging platforms can be used to support blended learning. With an emphasis on scaffolding investment, agency and community learning, the presenter introduces the use of blogs as online learning journals. While students construct digitial identities where ideas and information may be shared with and commented on by other learners, the relative ease of user customization and administration – a hallmark of blogging platforms – decreases the control usually wielded by instructors with more traditional platforms such as Moodle, Optima and PBWorks. The presenter will more deeply explain both the theoretical basis for blog use as well as the practical implementation so that audience members will be prepared to experiment with such an approach in their own learning environments by the end of the presentation.

This presentation is intended for anyone involved with blended or distance learning environments, or even those who would like to emphasize the written word and interactive teaching/learning via technology and social media. One of the main focuses of this kind of approach is “community” and moving the emphasis from learner-teacher interaction to learner-learner interaction. This presentation is representative of ongoing research into interactive learning and teaching, as well as discussions of learner investment and autonomy.

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