UVaCollab and SHANTI make outstanding hybrid classes a reality!

As the OLLI at UVa webmaster, I have been very impressed with the total and unending support from the faculty and staff engaged in online innovation at the University of Virginia!

Our website, olliuva.org, is a WordPress website/blog hosted by UVa SHANTI,  a very impressive example of innovation in the digital humanities. I have watched the impressive growth of the SHANTI initiative over the last few years, and I am so proud to be a part of it.  I am pleased to have been able to attend classes  in setting it up and maintaining it.

I am also the instructor for one of the earliest entirely online courses offered by Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the country.

From my last post: “Also, entirely online nutrition & health course for those who enjoy learning at home.”

I have had several inquiries from OLLIs at other universities asking about the  online course and how it is set up.  I am always happy to tell them about UVa Collab, the University’s excellent implementation of Sakai, the open-source course management system.  I have been privileged to attend workshops on Grounds dealing with setting up and administering online courses and discussion groups.

Hybrid (blended) Courses

In my opinion, the very best implementation for online learning lies in hybrid (blended) courses in which the classroom meetings/week are reduced  and the actual face-time lost is replaced with carefully crafted reading, quizzing, and discussion assignments online.  This saves money by reducing the requirements for classroom space (different sections can use the same classroom on different days of the week) and keeps students engaged with the instructor and course.

My results at Judson College: http://www.ruthk.net/spinner/nutritiondinner04/blended04.html

SHANTI and UVaCollab are implementing this model of hybrid courses at UVa!

Thank you to UVa Collab and  SHANTI for all of your kind encouragement and support.  I just wish that I had posted this a few weeks ago!