Volume 13 No. 1 SPRING 2012

Blended Learning for Undergrads

Finance Professor Sue White is pioneering a new style of teaching at the Smith School and at the University of Maryland. White is one of 10 professors at the university – and the only professor at Smith – to begin a blended learning-style of teaching this semester, meaning part of her class is taught online and the rest is taught in person.
For her first semester, White is doing a ¼ and ¾ split of her class. Many of her lectures will be available online for her students, with class time focusing on group assignments and discussions.

“Blended learning is a way of keeping up with the students,” White explains. “They are constantly connected to the Internet and on their smart phones, iPads and laptops. It just makes sense to take some of the content we teach and make it available to them online.”

This spring is White’s first semester teaching her class in a blended learning fashion, and if she is successful she plans on making half of her class in person and half online for fall 2012.

“I am really excited to be combining the best of online learning with the best of face-to-face learning,” says White, adding that she thinks students will skip class less often with lectures online and discussions in class. “With blended learning, class will be more exciting and engaging for students.” -JS

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