SEBA’s “Excellence in Teaching” faculty development program featured Professor Steve Balassi on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, leading a discussion on “Teaching Hybrid Courses: Challenges and Opportunities.” Nearly 30 faculty and staff members from across campus participated in a lively conversation, with Balassi leading the discussion, on:
- Defining face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses
- Benefits of a hybrid course
- Challenges of a hybrid course
- How other colleges anduniversities deliver hybrid courses
- How Saint Mary’s offers hybrid courses and suggestions for their model
- A "flipped classroom" and how he uses it
- New hybrid teaching ideas
"The hybrid classroom is a great format because it incorporates the best of face-to-face and online learning. It allows you to educate students with just about every learning style. It's also a fun model to teach in because you can be creative," Balassi explains. "There are many new technologies and techniques coming out every day, which makes teaching exciting. The flipped classroom enhances any classroom experience by allowing personal interaction with students. You can identify students’ needs in a way you couldn't in the traditional lecture model. This allows a professor to ensure that all of his students can master the material; no more guessing if the students get it or not."
Professor Barry Eckhouse, SEBA’s director of technology and online programs, was impressed with the presentation.
“The attendance at this session was unusually strong, and it drew from all schools on our campus, as well as from IT. The conversation was especially spirited, and it continued well after the formal session had ended," he said, adding: "The time is clearly right for serious discussions of what online learning might look like at a college with a teaching mission, and Saint Mary’s is well positioned, in my view, to make a unique contribution, one that is both high tech and high touch.”
SEBA's Excellence in Teaching is a series of workshops that gives faculty a chance to enhance their teaching practice in order to provide excellent learning opportunities for business students. In support of the Lasallian core principle of providing “quality education,” this initiative supports Saint Mary’s belief that teaching is a transformative practice, a belief rooted in our Lasallian tradition and the longtime stewardship of the Christian Brothers.
Through this program, which was initiated by Michele Zak and Linda Herkenhoff and is now co-chaired by Zak and Professor Judith White, SEBA’s own faculty (and sometimes faculty from other institutions) are invited to lead discussions on pedagogy. White, who organized this event, said the next program will be held on Wednesday, March 13, featuring Steve Tollefson from UC Berkeley’s Faculty Development program, who will share how Cal has been successful in increasing faculty members' teaching competencies.
Other sessions coming up include “How to integrate sustainability across the business school curriculum,” led by Economics Professor Asbjorn Moseidjord; “Facilitating experiential activities in business classes,” led by Executive MBA program director and Professor Dave Bowen; and “Team-based learning,” led by Trans-Global Executive MBA academic program director and Professor Linda Herkenhoff. For more information, contact Judith White.
About Saint Mary’s School of Economics and Business Administration
Founded in 1863, Saint Mary’s College of California is a cornerstone institution of the San Francisco bay area. After nearly 150 years, with a network of more than 40,000 alumni worldwide, Saint Mary’s tradition of educational excellence is stronger than ever. The School of Economics and Business Administration’s vision is to be an internationally recognized business and economics school for developing individuals who think globally and lead responsibly. Small class sizes facilitate collaboration, accessibility and engaging discussions with our distinguished faculty, and an interactive learning environment, focused on practical business knowledge, provides our students with the maximum return on their investment.