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ACS Blended Learning Collaboration


10/22/13: Blended Learning: A Design Based Approach

View this video on YouTube.


Mike Winiski, Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Furman University, and Jeremy Donald, Technology Interface and Assessment Coordinator atTrinity University, are exploring the question of how to design dynamic and effective online resources for the flipped classroom.  In a recent ACS webinar, Winiski and Donald described their collaborative effort to create online tutorials for their GIS (Geographic Information Systems) courses to help students learn to analyze and create complex maps. For them, the Kolb Learning Cycle, which emphasizes the importance of building abstract concepts upon the experience and knowledge students bring to the classroom, has been a major inspiration for rethinking their teaching. While a typical lesson on maps might start by introducing important concepts or terms in map-making, a Kolb-informed lesson might instead start with looking at a map itself–a “concrete experience” that leads into conversation about what the map might represent, how we arrived at that particular interpretation (“reflective observation”), and how mapmakers measure and visualize the information they wish to show (“abstract conceptualization”).

Unknown-6Accordingly, the collaborators’ GIS tutorials emphasize personal interaction, exploring maps in a conversational way and providing questions for students to answer. These tutorials are then followed by a classroom experience that includes discussion, evaluating the usefulness of the same maps, and working in groups to develop a guideline for mapmaking based on what has been learned so far.  This is followed by an application-based homework assignment that allows students to try their newly-developed guidelines on a new set of maps. The entire cycle is infused with the progression of the Kolb Cycle, and inspired by Dan Meyer’s call to bring the fun and creativity of real-world problem solving into academic learning.


Analyzing and Creating Maps (online tutorials). Created by Mike Winiski and Jeremy Donald.

The Flipped Classroom: Traps and Before the Lecture (blog post). By Mike Winiski.

Design for How People Learn (book). Julie Dirksen. 2011.

Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom (book).  John C. Bean. 2011 (1997).

Team-Based Learning: The Transformative Use of Small Groups in College Teaching (book). Edited by Larry K. Michaelsen , Arletta Bauman Knight ,  & L. Dee Fink.

Teaching with Your Mouth Shut(book). Donald L. Finkel. 2000.

9/26/13: Social Media in the Classroom: Extending the Learning Community 

View a full-size version of this video here.

Check out the conversation on Twitter: @ACSLearning


An in-depth look at how one ACS professor is using Twitter-based assignments to teach the all-important skill of close reading in his Religious Studies courses. “It may be a little counter-intuitive that a platform based on 140 characters can help you with making close reading a priority,” said Dr. Robert Williamson, Jr. of Hendrix College, “but it really does.” In fact, he explained, Twitter has helped him to accomplish a number of important course objectives and learning goals, including: teaching students how to make claims about a text or a topic (and to engage the claims of other students), increasing contact time with students, and creating a space in which the ideas of quieter students can come into class discussion.


Teaching with Twitter: 5 Resources for Getting Started . Five idea-packed articles that have shaped Williamson’s approach to teaching with Twitter.

Twitter How-To Videos. Created by Williamson to introduce his classes to using Twitter.

 Tweetdeck. A Twitter-based application which allows you to create categories for navigating and viewing the Twitter stream.

#VINE A Twitter-based application which allows you to display short, looping videos.

@skepscripThe Twitter profile Williamson created for his classes–a great model for running asynchronous discussions with classes.


1 Comment

  1. […] Bryn Mawr and its institutional partners, The Associated Colleges of the South and The Five Colleges Consortium are advancing initiatives to evaluate and expand the use of […]

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