Inquiry through Blended Learning

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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Monday, May 12, 2008

CNIE Annual Conference in Banff, Alberta - April 2008

I was very pleased that I had the opportunity to attend the first annual Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) conference in Banff, Alberta at the end of April 2008. Wonderful to be able to spend some time in Banff - as it truly is one of our country's natural gems!!

This was a VERY busy conference for me - as I'm also the Research Director for the CNIE - so I was involved in a series of pre- and post-conference meetings. I also made a couple of presentations. One, with Zehra Akyol and Randy Garrison entitled Community of Inquiry in Online and Blended Learning Environments and one with Mike Power from Laval University entitled Taking Blended Learning a Step Further. There was tremendous amount interest in Randy's Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework and I enjoyed chatting with some of his colleagues about their work (i.e. Peter Shea with teaching presence, Karen Swan with social presence and Phil Ice with synchronous audio).

I'm already looking forward to next year's conference in Ottawa in May 2009!!

UCEA Conference in New Orleans - March 2008

As usual, I'm way behind in my blog postings. I just can't seem to get the hang of contributing to this personal forum on a regular basis :(

I was very fortunate to be able to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana in late March to attend the United States Continuing Education Association's (UCEA) annual conference to receive the Phillip E. Frandson Award For Literature for our Blended Learning in Higher Education book. The conference was a great reminder to me about how important Continuing Education programs are for increasing opportunities for adults to higher education and for generating much needed income for post-secondary institutions. There was very little evidence of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in the downtown core but it was easy to still see the damage in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Visiting the French Quarter of New Orleans was definitely a highlight for me and I was impressed with the night life on Bourbon Street, which is transformed into a street party, each evening. I ended up creating a photo tour of my visit :)