DePauw and Five Other Colleges Share in Teagle Foundation Grant

DePauw and Five Other Colleges Share in Teagle Foundation Grant

March 20, 2015

IMG 6313DePauw University is one of six colleges to be awarded $335,000 from the Teagle Foundation to design and teach hybrid courses, an approach to online learning designed to combine the best of classroom teaching and digital technology.

DePauw -- along with partners Albion College, Grinnell College, Hope College, Lawrence University and Wabash College -- will work together as the Midwest Hybrid Learning Consortium on a project called "Hybrid Liberal Arts Network: High Touch Learning for the 21st Century." Through the effort, the schools will share the courses they develop and expand the range of liberal arts courses available to their students while providing faculty development in the use of digital technology.

One form of hybrid learning at DePauw has been the "flipped" classroom, through which faculty members have utilized technology, such as creating screen capture lectures, to help students understand content in preparation for grappling with complex problems during class time with the faculty member on hand to guide them and answer questions.

Having flipped entire courses, Henning Schneider, professor of biology (pictured at left), has "flipped" entire courses and notes, "Students benefit by becoming better problem solvers." He adds, "The flipped classroom model has helped me to improve my teaching methods and to design better study tools for students. Because of a student centered classroom environment, I can provide feedback more frequently and effectively."

Humberto Barreto (photo at right), Elizabeth P. Allen Distinguished University Professor and professor of economics and management at DePauw, explains that through flipping the classroom, "The ability to vary delivery and do something different in class improves my teaching and when students work on a problem in class (having viewed content as homework), I can instantly see who's struggling and where confusion lies."

The Teagle support, which includes a 30-month, $310,000 grant awarded this spring and a $25,000 planning grant awarded in 2014, will enable faculty to design and create courses collaboratively across institutions by working in faculty pairs. The specific topics will be developed across the remainder of 2015—in part, through a workshop that will be held this summer. The first course materials in the program will debut in the spring of 2016, with more to follow in the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017. Barry Bandstra, the director of academic computing and a professor of religion at Hope who is leading the project, explains that the vision is for the consortium to eventually expand beyond the original six institutional members.

DePauw is represented on the team by Donnie Sendelbach, director of instructional and learning services and director of the Information Technology Associates Program.

The Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal arts education, which we see as fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life. Learn more here.