Developing a Blended Learning of the Introduction to American Politics Course
22 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2010
Date Written: February 3, 2010
[enter Abstract Body]This paper explains why how a blended learning version of Introduction to American Politics course was developed, approved, and introduced into the curriculum at the University of Illinois at Chicago by the authors. The rationales for the course included both expanding student access at a time of increasing enrollments and decreasing faculty size, and pedagogical improvements that could be introduced using the technology available to us online. All the major elements of the course are online and are designed to work together to produce an enhanced pedagogical platform for the course. The approval process was challenging and offers lessons concerning typical objections to blended learning and how they can be overcome. The course was first taught in the Spring semester of 2009, and then again with 230 students in Fall of 2009, after having been piloted for several semesters as a web-enhanced course. Our experiences as professor and teaching assistant, and student reaction to date along with test results, suggest that this is a successful experiment with blended learning. Both access and pedagogy have been improved, and it is now possible for us to offer a better Introduction to American Government course to a larger number of students, even in a time of declining resources.
Keywords: blended learning,american politics
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