UW–Madison’s Skibba, Widmer receive Robert J. Menges Research Award

The Division of Continuing Studies’ Karen Skibba and the School of Education’s Maria Widmer have been honored with the Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development from the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network.

The Menges Award honors sessions by POD Network members who focus on original, transformative research characterized by rigorous, systematic investigation and evidence-based conclusions.

Skibba and Widmer received the Menges Award for the research conducted in their upcoming chapter in “Blended Learning Research Perspectives, Vol. 3” presented during a November 2020 POD conference session that was titled, “Faculty Community of Inquiry Transforms Online Teaching Perceptions and Practices.” This research study analyzes the impact of the TeachOnline@UW blended learning community on participants’ perceptions of and practices for online education.

Learn more about the POD Network’s awards and fellowships, here.

Following is the book chapter abstract and recording of the Skibba and Widmer Menges Award winning session presented at the Professional & Organizational Development Conference that took place November 11-13, 2020.

The book chapter draws on the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework to analyze the impacts of a blended learning community on participants’ perceptions of and practices for online education. Using surveys, thematic content analysis, and instructor interviews, this case study finds that the multi-modal blended program design and holistic student learning experience were impactful. Direct experience as students in a program that models social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence most influenced instructor participants’ course design and teaching beliefs and practices. Practical techniques and applications of the CoI framework in professional development provide evidence-based strategies to guide instructors through teaching transformation.

Video Summary: This POD conference session presented faculty development strategies to transform instructors’ perceptions and practices of online course design and teaching.