Stage P (Professional Development)
This stage should stretch across all of the other stages, with the focus of the professional development (PD) shifting with the transition from one stage to another. For example, during Stage C the PD would cover the operation of the OLE, as well as course design considerations. In Stage B (and preferably before), the PD would cover specific models of blended learning.
Stage P is not displayed on the graph.
It is only at Stage B where the impact on teaching staff and pedagogy becomes disruptive. This is indicated by the red circle on the graph. Even though massive change has been occurring up to this point, it has been happening “around” the teaching staff and pedagogy, and it could be almost ignored. In fact, while some teachers may be looking forward to this stage, and may have been early adopters, some could also remain in denial, hoping that this is simply another trend that will come and go.
It is at this stage when the angst of some will surface in a number of ways, and tensions may be heightened. Leaders need to be aware of this before Stage B is reached, and should have strategies in place to cope with the tensions.
Belief and commitment – It should be obvious to all that the leadership of the organization is committed to the change to blended learning – that it is more than “something we will try and see what happens.” This commitment needs to be visible in practical terms as well, in the form of resources, professional development and time allocated to staff to manage the change.
Professional Development – Teachers need to be aware of a wide range of blended learning models so that those that are most appropriate to their discipline can be implemented.
Support with course design – Courses that use a blended learning model have a different structure to courses delivered in a traditional fashion. eLearning support staff need to be readily available to assist with this design and implementation.