SALT LAKE CITY, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Instructure today announced that the University of Central Florida (UCF) and EDUCAUSE are teaming up to offer "BlendKit2014 - Becoming a Blended Learning Designer," a free massive open online course (MOOC) on the merits and methods of blended learning. The "BlendKit2014" course on Instructure's Canvas Network marks EDUCAUSE's first foray into the MOOC space.
"The BlendKit2014 MOOC amplifies our role in micro-credentialing and digital badging," said Julie Little, EDUCAUSE vice president over teaching, learning and professional development. "EDUCAUSE continues its tradition of collaboration and excellence in delivering creative and convenient career development opportunities as we build the profession within higher education IT."
Blended learning is the strategic combination of face-to-face and online learning experiences and is growing in popularity in both K-12 and higher education settings. This new five-week MOOC, which was designed by faculty at UCF, will provide not only an introduction to key issues related to blended learning, but also practical step-by-step guidance in producing materials for a blended learning course. Participants, largely educators and instructional designers, will come away with best practices for developing design documents, content pages and peer review feedback tools.
UCF, a pioneer in online education for more than 20 years, laid the groundwork for the course with two prior BlendKit cohorts. Backed by a Next Generation Learning Challenges grant, the school partnered with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 2011 to create a course that would make blended learning available to more educators.
"As blended learning continues to grow across higher education, we are very pleased to partner with EDUCAUSE and Instructure to deliver BlendKit2014," said Tom Cavanagh, associate vice president of distributed learning at UCF. "With UCF's extensive experience in blended learning and EDUCAUSE's national IT leadership, we hope that content and available credentials will be of value to the higher-education community. By offering this course to educators and administrators across the country, we will be able to share the valuable tools, information and methods that we, along with other participants in the course, have developed during the past two decades."
The BlendKit2014 MOOC will be designed and delivered by the UCF Center for Distributed Learning's associate director, Kelvin Thompson, and department head, Linda Futch. Based on previous iterations of the course, which attracted hundreds of participants, Cavanagh expects the new course to gain a lot of traction among faculty and administrators.
"This is a great opportunity for the education space to investigate new ways to most effectively reach students, and how to best organize learning experiences beyond the confines of a classroom," said Melissa Loble, senior director of Canvas Network at Instructure. "Education practices continue to evolve, and Instructure is proud to provide a means of improving accessibility and outcomes for learners across the globe."
Registration for BlendKit2014, which begins April 21, 2014, is currently open on Canvas Network. More information can be found at www.canvas.net. Those interested in the course can also follow along on Twitter at #BlendKit2014.
Canvas is the learning management system by Instructure that gets used. Why? Because it's easy to implement and easy to learn, so it makes teaching and learning easier. In addition to the Canvas LMS, Instructure provides Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses taught by educators everywhere. To keep learning, visit www.instructure.com.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation because IT plays a transformative role in higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities. For more information, visit www.educause.edu.
About the University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida, the nation's second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation in its first 50 years. Today, the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. UCF, known as America's Partnership University, is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region's future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation. For more information, visit http://today.ucf.edu.
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