Blended learning has been defined variously as “...the combination of online and face-to-face techniques in classroom teaching” (Hinkelman & Gruba, 2012, p. 46) and as “...the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies” (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008, p. 148). In the context of language education, blended learning entails the leveraging of technology to provide learners with language input as well as metalinguistic knowledge during out-of-class time so that maximal in-class time can be devoted to communicative language use (negotiation of meaning), which is widely acknowledged as a necessary condition for language acquisition. NFLRC professional learning experiences in the domain of blended learning target not only the creation of effective technology-based resources for learners, but also support for instructors in effective task design to complement the technology-based resources and effective curricular design to achieve optimal “flow” between in-class and out-of-class learning experiences.
Taking advantage of NFLRC expertise in blended learning, we will support professional learning experiences that focus on blended learning, including a 10-hour Blended Learning Pedagogy Series initially offered in-person to language departments on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus and neighboring community colleges (2018-19) and subsequently offered as an online MOOC (massive open online course) (to be offered 2020-22). The contents of the entire series will be made available as an OER to teacher developers or institutions that may wish to offer it as an instructed or facilitated short course in the future. The content will be modular and will make it easy to adapt and repurpose MOOC materials for different needs.
The NFLRC will join efforts with the National Resource Center East Asia (NRCEA), the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center), the Chinese Language Flagship Program at the University of Hawai‘i, and the Chinese Language Program at Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC), a minority serving institution, in order to develop model blended learning curriculumfor Chinese. The resultant blended learning resources in beginning Chinese created and piloted at KCC in 2018-20 will be designed to harmonize with the instructional sequence presented in the most popular set of Chinese instructional materials in North America, Integrated Chinese (Liu, Y., Yao, T., et al., 4th edition 2018). The potential audience appeal and impact of the resulting open educational resources are considerable.
The Teacher Portfolio & Preparation Series(TiPPS) is a face-to-face workshop series offered at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa since 2000. It is designed to help graduate students (pre-service world language educators) prepare for the job market they will face upon graduation. Sessions focus on developing key elements of a language teacher portfolio (e.g., statement of teaching philosophy, documentation of their teaching) and effective job hunting skills (e.g., strategies for job searches, tailoring curriculum vitae, writing effective cover letters, and interviews). With a view to making existing TiPPS materials, handouts, and tasks available as a nationwide resource, they will first be re-imagined into a series of online module lessons, complete with videos and activities, available to all nationally as OER (2020). However, the most valuable experience during TiPPS is the opportunity to receive feedback from facilitators and peers as participants develop their portfolio documents. Accordingly, we propose to further develop a MOOC incorporating the TiPPS resources and offer the MOOC in a facilitated format nationally in the summer (2020-2022), utilizing the online module content as preparatory material prior to each session and using online time for discussion and feedback activities.