Framework highlights moving from interested faculty to institutional implementation

blended-learning-implementationA recent study made a great point about blended learning: It starts with a few interested faculty who experiment with the model, but often faculty and IT are at a loss in how to get the institution on board. Indeed, where does full-scale implementation start, and what do admin need to know?

According to Charles Graham, professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University (BYU), and Wendy Woodfield Porter, attorney and PhD candidate in Instructional Psychology and Technology at BYU, a lot can be learned from institutional case studies to develop a concrete blended learning implementation guide.

In their study, “A Framework for Institutional Adoption and Implementation of Blended Learning in Higher Education,” published in ScienceDirect, but available in pre-published form for free through, investigating six cases of institutional adoption of blended learning helped glean key issues that can guide university administrators interested in full-scale implementation.

Each case reviewed included what the researchers call the “various stages of blended learning adoption,” including awareness/exploration, adoption/early implementation, and mature implementation/growth.

“One reason for lack of recognition by university administration is that adoption has occurred with individual faculty, not at the institutional level,” says Graham. “Increasingly, institutions of higher education are seeing a need to strategically support adoption and implementation of blended learning [BL]. Policies that enable and even encourage BL can strengthen a university’s commitment to improve student learning as well as increase side benefits such as access, flexibility, and cost effectiveness.”

Graham notes that some institutions, like the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), have over a decade of experience with strategically promoting blended learning, while many others are just beginning to explore institutional adoption and implementation.

“While many studies have investigated [blended learning] effectiveness at the individual course level, very few studies provide guidance for institutions,” explains Graham.

(Next page: Steps to blended learning implementation)

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