Blended Learning in an Introductory Physical Geography Lab Course

I’ll be presenting the following paper at the 2012 National Council for Geographic Education conference in San Marcos, TX  on October 6, 2012, currently scheduled for 11:00 am in Veramendi C. The full presentation will be posted after the conference has concluded.

Blended Learning in an Introductory Physical Geography Lab Course
Dr. Michael Ritter
Department of Geography & Geology
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI. 54481

Online courses bestow many advantages to learners when getting their education at a distance. Laboratory courses have the potential to enhance social relationships, cognitive growth and student success but conducting them online is challenging. The lack of face-to-face interaction among students and with the instructor, access to laboratory equipment, and fieldwork is often cited as impediments to online laboratory courses. Blended or hybrid learning combines the best qualities of face-to-face and online learning in a single course.

This paper describes the process of creating and deploying a blended introductory physical geography lab course. Course content previously delivered as a face-to-face lecture is now accomplished with online media. Students continue to meet face-to-face for laboratory instruction. A comparative analysis of student achievement in the blended and totally online versions of the course is also presented.

About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

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