Sarah Baker, IUPUI University College and IU School of Medicine; Jan DeWester, IU School of Liberal Arts and IUPUI University College; Kate Thedwall, IU School of Liberal Arts and IUPUI University College; Michele Hansen, IUPUI University College; Francia Kissel, IU School of Liberal Arts; Nathan Byrer, IUPUI University College; and Rhonda Huisman, University Library

Principal Investigator: Sarah S. Baker, associate dean academic affairs, University College Associate Professor, Radiologic Sciences, IU School of Medicine

Co-principal Investigators: Jan DeWester, senior lecturer, Department of Communication Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts and University College; Kate Thedwall, senior lecturer, Department of Communication Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts and Director, Gateway to Graduation Program, IUPUI University College; Michele J. Hansen, executive director of research, planning, and evaluation, IUPUI University College, and adjunct associate professor, Department of Psychology, Purdue School of Science; Francia Kissel, senior lecturer, English Department, IU School of Liberal Arts first-year experience coordinator; Nathan S. Byrer, director of technology, IUPUI University College; and Rhonda Huisman, assistant librarian, University Library.

Project Title: Transformation of Traditional First-Year Seminars to Blended Learning

Funding Level: $15,000

Abstract: University College, along with many IUPUI undergraduate schools, has offered first-year seminars (FYS) in a traditional format since the inception of first-year seminars in the mid 1990s. While the purpose of the seminars is to facilitate student adjustment to college, over time, additional content has been added to the FYS curriculum, effectively reducing the amount of time for deep connections between the student and the instructional team. Also, as the number of seminars has increased, faculty have been recruited from disparate disciplines; already experts in their own fields, they often feel stretched to quickly learn and deliver the multiple components of the FYS curriculum, with little training or faculty development available. The vision for this grant is to enhance the first-year seminar curriculum by transforming FYS to a modularized, blended learning model, benefitting students and faculty. In this model, new learning modules will deliver technology-mediated instruction in a learner-centered environment. These modules can be used in both University College FYS and in school-sponsored FYS, and they can be integrated with face-to-face instruction using high-impact practices such as classroom discussion, collaborative activities, and community engagement. This combination of learning modes will allow for some of the instruction to occur outside of classroom time, actively engaging students in their own learning. This approach will provide a learner-centered pedagogy, using best practices identified in “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” (Chickering and Gamson, 1987).