Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting


Online recording available: View Recording.


September 12, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others from the NITLE Network who are interested in integrated blended learning methods at liberal arts colleges are invited to attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Hosted online via NITLE’s videoconferencing platform


Blended learning has been widely adopted at large universities and community colleges, and learning sciences research has shown that this approach can increase student engagement, performance, and persistence in those settings. Liberal arts colleges, however, have been much slower to explore blended learning, in part due to uncertainty about its value and appropriateness in a smaller, more intimate setting.

In 2011–2012 Bryn Mawr College, with funding from a Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant, began studying the impact of blended learning approaches—defined loosely as courses in which students both participate in face-to-face classes and work through computer-based, interactive tutorials and quizzes that provide customized learning and instant feedback—within a liberal arts environment, with a focus on introductory science and mathematics (STEM) courses. In this seminar, Dr. Jennifer Spohrer, Educational Technologist at Bryn Mawr College, will share findings of this study, as well as ongoing and future research of this initiative and lead a discussion of how best to integrate blended learning approaches in a liberal arts context.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Jennifer Spohrer is an instructional technologist in the Provost’s Office at Bryn Mawr College and project coordinator for the Next Generation Learning Challenge grant, “Using Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Environment to Improve Developmental and Gatekeeper STEM Course Completion, Persistence, and College Completion.” She draws on her previous experience as a faculty member and in technical support to assist faculty in identifying their pedagogical challenges and goals, researching and evaluating technologies that can help address or meet them, and integrating those technologies into their teaching in effective ways.

Digital Field Scholarship Video Conference

Online recording available: Recording of Digital Field Scholarship.  

Presentation slides: The mindomo presentation used by the seminar leader is available here:

Finally, the CFP to join the Digital Field Scholarship Sandbox is here: call for proposals


NITLE, the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Arts, will host a video conference about Digital Field Scholarship at Lewis and Clark College on August 29th, 1-2pm (PST).

Faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others from the NITLE Network who are interested in digital field scholarship, inquiry-guided learning, and undergraduate research in all disciplines are encouraged to attend this seminar in institutional teams. Individuals are also welcome to participate.  Hosted online via NITLE’s videoconferencing platform.


If you want to attend and cannot join us in Smullin 6, you can register online by Monday, August 27. Participation in NITLE Seminars is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


From service in the local community to a wide array of overseas programs, liberal arts students and faculty pursue learning opportunities in a variety of geographical settings, with areas of focus spanning the physical and life sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Many projects enhance field scholarship via geolocated digital means, such as capture and communication of field data, web discovery and sharing of field-applicable resources, creative projects built on particular locations and shared as digital narratives, and place-based student-faculty research projects documented online from start to finish. In this seminar, Dr. James Proctor, Professor, Environmental Studies Program, Lewis and Clark College, will share

  1. An introduction to Digital Field Scholarship and the objectives of a new Sandbox initiative, designed and administered by Lewis & Clark College.
  2. An extended example of one approach to Digital Field Scholarship involving geolocation and WordPress-based collaboration, and how it supports liberal education via Lewis & Clark’s Situating the Global Environment ( initiative.
  3. An invitation for other institutions to collaborate in a 2012-13 Digital Field Scholarship Sandbox, with clarification of objectives, expectations, and process.

Speaker Biography

Dr. James Proctor is a professor in the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis and Clark College. Dr. Proctor comes from a varied academic background including geography, religious studies, and environmental science/engineering, with research interests and publications spanning environmental theory, interdisciplinarity, and new learning technologies. Since arriving at Lewis & Clark College in 2005, Dr. Proctor has received strong support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop innovative approaches in interdisciplinary undergraduate environmental scholarship. Most recently, Dr. Proctor directs Lewis and Clark’s Situating the Global Environment initiative, which he presented at the NITLE Symposium in April 2012. Dr. Proctor led the team whose proposal on digital field scholarship won the Innovation Marketplace at the Symposium.