This Week for Faculty: Blended Learning Strategies for Fall 2020

by | Jun 1, 2020

Online Offerings on Blended Learning

The CTL offers several ways for faculty to explore teaching approaches on Blended Learning to further engage students and prepare for the Fall 2020 semester:

Blended Learning Guide

Blended or “Hybrid” Learning is a learner-centered approach that carefully considers what parts of learning should occur in person / in community with the guidance of the instructor, and which can occur online on the learner’s own time.

What are the benefits to a blended learning approach? What are some strategies for getting started? The CTL has developed a guide that helps instructors answer these questions by describing the elements of an effective, learner-centered “blend” derived from research and evidence-based practices. In addition, the guide offers questions that instructors can reflect on before designing their course and additional references and resources.

Faculty Spotlight: Alfredo Spagna on the Benefits of Blended Learning

Alfredo Spagna headshot “Having a combination of ways to engage with the course material and ideas has been beneficial for students with different strengths and learning preferences, and has given all students a chance to be included…The interactive nature of the hybrid course makes it easier to track individual students’ progress, which is incredibly rewarding and helpful to see. It’s just amazing, and looking at the creative process of the students’ minds is something that I find very rewarding. Totally recommended!”

Alfredo Spagna, Lecturer in the Discipline of Psychology and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience and Behavior, and recipient of a Provost’s Innovative Course Design award, worked with the CTL and Eunjoo Byeon, a Psychology student, to design the new course Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Dr. Spagna used a blended learning approach to create a class environment that resembles a real-world research setting where collaboration and active and critical thinking skills are key to discoveries.

Read more about his process of designing a blended course from scratch, how the class is going, and how this approach had some unintended benefits during the abrupt shift to remote teaching due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Blended Learning Essentials Institute

The Blended Learning Essentials Institute provides an overview of blended learning and guides instructors through a research-based, stepwise design process for a lesson or unit of study. Over the four-day institute, faculty will complete reading, workbook, and discussion activities complemented by live group discussion activities and one-on-one office hours. Throughout the institute and beyond, faculty will have access to CTL staff and a cohort of peers to discuss their work. Columbia faculty are invited to sign up by Monday, June 15, 2020.

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020 – Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Self-paced Course: Blended / Hybrid Learning Essentials

This self-paced course provides a deeper overview of blended learning (with a focus on the “flipped classroom”) and guides instructors through the design process for a lesson or unit of study. The course features videos of Columbia University faculty and former recipients of the Provost’s Innovative Course Design grants who share their blended teaching and learning experiences. Instructors are provided worksheets and checklists to draft and document their blended learning design and implementation plans. 

Active Learning Institute: Last Day to Apply!

Looking for ways to increase student engagement in your face-to-face or online classroom? In this four-day immersive online experience, Columbia faculty will explore the purposes and benefits of active learning and learn how to apply these research-based practices by developing their own active and learner-centered course units. Faculty are invited to apply by today, Monday, June 1, 2020.

Date: Monday, June 29, 2020 – Thursday, July 2, 2020

The CTL is Here to Help All Summer

CTL staff are holding daily virtual Office Hours Monday through Friday to help faculty with questions related to teaching online, as well as any other teaching-related inquiries. You can also arrange a one-on-one consultation by phone or via Zoom for support. Please email to set up a time to meet with one of our consultants. You can also request a CTL session for your next department or school gathering.