Distance Learning Strategies in the Brick-and-Mortar Classroom (SBL 2009)

Posted on by Brooke

My paper proposal has been accepted for the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies section of the annual conference of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). The working title is, “The Contribution of Distance Learning Strategies to Brick-and-Mortar Learning.”

This fall, I am again thoroughly revising my courses “Introduction to Old Testament” and “Elementary Hebrew I.” In this revision, I plan to focus on building the classes as online collaborating communities that happen also to meet for four hours each week in a physical classroom. This presentation at SBL will report on the use in the brick-and-mortar classroom of strategies still typically associated with distance learning: podcast lectures, course wikis, blogging, the use of Web resources for research and as grist for critical thinking, online groups, and so on. I am also interested in the use of existing social community platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and social bookmarking sites Delicious and Diigo, as alternatives to the more restrictive possibilities folded into Course Management Systems like BlackBoard.

As my plans come together, I will blog on the separate aspects of this plan, with a focus on how they might contribute to desired learning outcomes like critical thinking, taking ownership of learning, forming essential questions, collegiality, and the like.

In what ways do you think that the tools of distance learning offer unique possibilities for learning, beyond what has been possible in the physical classroom? How do you imagine putting such strategies to work in your brick-and-mortar or online classrooms?