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.