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Overview    |    Team-Based Learning    |    MAPs    |    Consultations    |    Lilly Teaching Fellowships    |    Gen Ed Fellowships    |    Blended Learning    |    TA Support    |    CIRTL

Blended Learning

The Center for Teaching & Faculty Development (CTFD) supports the latest advances in teaching by combining emerging classroom technologies with established pedagogy. For the most recent resources on blended learning, or to set up an individual consultation, please contact .

In recent years, two CTFD programs — the College of Natural Sciences Blended Learning Fellowships and the Microsoft IMPACT Fellowships — gathered innovative UMass Amherst faculty into blended learning communities in which they pioneered new course design models and shared successes with the campus community through regular workshops and presentations.

Microsoft IMPACT Fellowships

In 2011-2012, the CTFD awarded five faculty teams the Microsoft IMPACT Grant for Blended Learning. The grant supported the design of blended courses that enhanced learning through new and innovative uses of technologies. All awardees participated in a monthly, year-long community of practice seminar, received individual and team consultations on pedagogy and technology, and shared “best practices” at an end-of-the-year campus-wide workshop. The $10,000 IMPACT Grants were generously funded by Microsoft's Academic Strategy Program.

Please click on the academic years below for a list of Fellows:

2011 - 2012
  • Bachelor Degree with Individual Concentration, Commonwealth College
    Dan Gordon, Professor of History, will lead a four-member faculty team in the remodeling and combination of two existing courses into a new, large-enrollment course, BDIC 397E. Using a range of technologies, students will develop business plans with peers and receive advice from a 1200 person network of alumni, entrepreneurs and business mentors. Team members: Kwong Chan, Department of Marketing; Robert Hyers, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering; Robert Lowry, BDIC and Entrepreneur.

  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, CNS
    David Gross, Associate Professor, will lead a two-member faculty team to enhance the quality of a large general education science course, BIOCHEM 100: MyDNA. One aim of the project is to double course capacity while enhancing the course’s content with online exercises, group projects, online lecture materials and an interactive textbook built in the OWL system. Team members: Molly Fitzgerald-Hayes, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  • Department of Kinesiology, SPHHS
    Jane Kent-Braun, Professor, will lead a three-member faculty team in the conversion of a large-enrollment course, KIN 470: Exercise Physiology to a blended format. The goal is to make full use of innovative and effective teaching technologies, increase students’ in-person lab time, and enhance learning with online and small group activities. Team members: Brian Umberger, Kinesiology; Richard van Emmerik, Kinesiology.

  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics, CNS
    Siman Wong, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, will lead a two-member faculty team in the creation of an interactive open source learning program for Abstract Algebra, MATH 411 (WeBwork). The goal is to reduce student frustration and failure rate by providing students with innovative tools designed to advance their learning and increase their confidence and success. Team members: Farshid Hajir, Mathematics & Statistics.

  • Department of Political Science, SBS
    Ray La Raja, Associate Professor, will lead a two-member faculty team in the redesign of POLSCI 101: American Politics. This is a 4-credit course with an expected enrollment of 300 students and no discussion sections. By incorporating rich online content, videos, tutorials, and simulations into the course, the instructors hope to more fully engage students in intense analyses of politics. Team members: Jesse Rhodes, Political Science.

2010 - 2011
  • Department of Communications, CSBS
    Jarice Hanson, Professor, is leading a four-member team in the conversion of a large-enrollment course, COMM 334: Media History and Communication Policy, to a blended format. The team is creating online, student collaborative activities such as virtual field trips, wikis, podcasts and blogs.

  • Department of Communication Disorders, SPHHS
    Patricia A. Mercaitis, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Language, Speech and Hearing, is leading a three-member faculty team in the development of interactive, digital video-based learning modules to enhance a professional course and clinic in Speech and Language Pathology (COMDIS 698).

  • Department of Geosciences, CNS
    Richard Yuretich, Professor, is leading a four-member faculty team to enhance the quality of the student experience in a large-enrollment science course, GEO-SCI 103: Introductory Oceanography, by using the online environment for student-centered learning, authentic science experiments, and in-depth investigations.

  • Department of Music & Dance, CHFA
    Brent Auerbach, Assistant Professor, is leading a four-member faculty team to develop music theory and aural skills blended learning in Music: 112-13, 114-15, and 212-13. The team is using technologies such as interactive whiteboards, and is creating online communities for student exchange and group collaboration.

IMPACT Fellows



College of Natural Sciences Blended Learning Fellowships

Funded by the College of Natural Sciences, the 2009-2010 CNS Blended Learning Fellowship program enabled faculty to cultivate teaching excellence while uncovering the benefits of technology for teaching and learning science. Four fellows were selected to work closely with the CTFD on redesigning their courses for blended delivery. In addition to the intensive summer seminar that focused on course re-design and preparation, throughout the year the fellows assessed teaching and students' learning, participated in individual consultations, and attended monthly seminars on blended teaching.

The CNS Blended Learning Fellowship recipients included (click on the link for project descriptions):



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