Posting Date: November 18, 2010

April Munson travels to Spain to study hybrid courses
Faculty at the University of Valladolid offer helpful advice

By Andrea C. Kirwan


April Munson (right) with assistant director (left) and director Luis Ángel Rojo (center) of a nearby village school, Cigales, that partners with with faculty at UVA to incorporate technology in the classroom
Rojo using technology to teach students at Cigales

Photos courtesy of April Munson

Assistant Professor of Art Education April Munson has a mission to reconceptualize online/hybrid courses at Kennesaw State University, and this past October she traveled all the way to the University of Valladolid in Spain to do it. Munson received a 2011 Incentive Funding Awards for Scholarship & Creative Activity from the KSU Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, which she used to fund her travels and research in Spain.

According to Munson, the faculty at the University of Valladolid have been internationally recognized for their work in computer-supported collaborative learning. While in Spain, Munson conducted a case study which focused on the university's successful use of hybrid courses. She will then use the results of her research to offer a campus workshop for faculty who teach undergraduate and graduate courses.

Munson feels it is important to understand the best methods of teaching hybrid courses in order for students to receive the best possible education, whether they’re inside or outside of the classroom. “I think it matches our university’s mission, both for global initiatives and the movement of heading towards more technology for teaching and learning,” she says. “I learned even more so the necessity to prepare our students to use technology in their careers and the value of modeling that in our teaching strategies.”

Munson’s campus workshop will focus on the best practices used when incorporating technology in the classroom. Additionally, a website will be created to designate the sharing of these practices in hybrid teaching for KSU and UVA faculty. Munson explains, “The goal of this research is to promote faculty understanding of quality teaching and learning in the virtual environment. It is essential to initiate conversation and exploration of how we can maintain quality while responding to the changes and growth in the practices of teaching and learning."

Munson continues, “The conversation and workshop I want to do will stimulate and promote the thinking that online teaching is not as the same as teaching in the class. Rather, it needs to be reconceptualized in order to meet the needs of our students and how we can best serve them."


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