Using Blended Learning as an Innovative Delivery Model for an In-House Language Program
This paper reports on the development and implementation in 2012 of McGill University’s French at Work program for McGill employees, using a blended learning model. The program is an example of how a reduction in face-to-face teaching presents one solution to employees’ scheduling constraints and how this model might offer suggestions for the development of similar programs in a higher education setting.
McGill University’s French at Work program welcomes a diverse participant body from different faculties and service groups. Created in response to decreasing enrolment and higher levels of absenteeism, the authors report that interdepartmental collaboration and a complete course redesign, along pre- established professional themes, were required in its development. Using the University’s Learning Management System (Desire2Learn) the course incorporates in-class sessions, self-directed, web-based activities as well as synchronous and asynchronous online discus- sions employing Microsoft Lync.
A subsequent increase in registration and retention rates strongly suggests the program answers a real need for professional development in French as a second language within McGill University through innovative use of certain technologies.