Educational Mixology: A Pedagogical Approach to Promoting Adoption of Technology to Support New Learning Models in Health Science Disciplines

Paige McDonald, Laurie Lyons, Howard Straker, Jacqueline Barnett, Karen Schlumpf, Linda Cotton, Mary Corcoran


For disciplines heavily reliant upon traditional classroom teaching, such as medicine and health sciences, incorporating new learning models may pose challenges for students and faculty. In an effort to innovate curricula, better align courses to required student learning outcomes, and address the call to redesign health professions education, Health Sciences Programs at The George Washington University (GW) embarked on two faculty development initiatives to encourage adoption of online, blended, and technology-enhanced courses. This article describes the Review, Refresh, Revise (R3) program, which relies on the evidenced-based Quality Matters Higher Education rubric, and resources from the Supported Media for Administration and Teaching (SMART) Lab to develop and promote a pedagogical approach to course redesign. It also presents preliminary data evaluating the programs in terms of faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction, learning outcomes, and learner engagement. Data analysis indicates faculty satisfaction with the R3 program and SMART Lab resources, despite faculty concerns regarding the time commitment of R3. It also indicated that both initiatives improved course quality, learning outcomes, and learner engagement. Analysis indicates student satisfaction with course revisions in online and technology-enhanced courses, although student satisfaction in the first fully blended course varied, particularly with regard to whether students found the use of technology engaging or essential to learning. Further research is required to understand student responses to blended learning in health sciences.


Blended learning, online learning, technology-enhanced learning, faculty development, health professions education

Full Text:



Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA). (2012). Pathways to success: Integrating learning with life and work to increase national college completion. Report to the U. S. Congress and Secretary of Education. Retrieved from

Allen, I. E., & Seaman J. (2014). Grade change: Tracking online education in the United States, 2013. Babson Survey Research Group, Pearson and the Sloan Consortium.

Artino Jr., A. R., Dong, T., Dezee, K. J., Gilliland, W. R., Waechter, D. M., Cruess, D., & Durning, S. J. (2012). Achievement goal structures and self-regulated learning: Relationships and changes in medical school. Academic Medicine, 87(10), 1375-1381.

Anderson, J. Q., Boyles, J. L., & Rainie, L. (2012). The future impact of the internet on higher education. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from:

Association of American Medical Colleges (2012, March). AAMC statement on the physician workforce 2006.

Beckem, J. M., & Watkins, M. (2012). Bringing life to learning: Immersive experiential learning simulations for online and blended courses. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(5), 61-70.

Bensona, V., Andersona, D., & Ooms, A. (2011). Educators' perceptions, attitudes and practices: Blended learning in business and management education. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 19(2), 143-154.

Berrett, D. (2011, September 25). Which core matters more? Differences in definitions of quality lead to new debates over the importance of teaching practical skills versus specific knowledge. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Bonk, C., & Graham, C. (2006). Handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives and local designs. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer Publishing.

Brennan, A. M., & Sullivan-Marx, E. (2012). The paradigm shift. Nursing Clinics of North America, 47(4), 455-462.

Cook, D., Garside, S., Levinson, A., Dupras, D., & Montori, V. (2010). What do we mean by web-based learning for health professions education: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Academic Medicine, 85(5), 909-922.

Cook, D., Levinson, A., Garside, S., Dupras., Ewin., & Mortori, V. (2008). Internet-based learning in health professions: A meta-analysis. Journal of American Medical Association, 30 (10), 1181-1196.

Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experience : An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Garrison, D., & Vaughan, N. (2013). Institutional change and leadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two case studies. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 24-28.

Graham, C.R., Woodfield, W., & Harrison, J. B. (2012). A framework for institutional adoption and implementation of blended learning adoption in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 4-14.

Illeris, K. (2003). Toward a contemporary and comprehensive theory of learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 22 (4), 396-406.

Kowalczyk, N. K. (2014). Perceived barriers to online education by radiologic science educators. Radiologic Technology, 85(5), 486-493.

Lahti, M., Hätönen, H., & Välimäki, M. (2104). Impact of e-learning on nurses’ and student nurses knowledge, skills, and satisfaction: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51, 136-149.

Mahony, D., & Jones, E. J. (2013). Social determinants of health in nursing education, research, and health policy. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(3), 280-284.

Matzat, U. (2013). Do blended virtual learning communities enhance teachers' professional development more than purely virtual ones? A large scale empirical comparison. Computers & Education, 60 (1), 40–51.

McDonald, P. L. (2012). Adult learners and blended learning: A phenomenographic study of variation in adult learners’ experiences of blended learning in higher education. George Washington University, Washington, DC, in partial fulfillment of Doctor of Education degree, Department of Human and Organizational Learning, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of evidence based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies.

Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved December 2, 2012 from

Moskal, P., Dzuiban, C., & Hartman, J. (2013). Blended learning: A dangerous idea? The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 15-23.

Napier, N. P., Dekhane, S., & Smith, S. (2011). Transitioning to blended learning: Understanding student and faculty perceptions. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 15(1), 20-32.

Ocak, M. A. (2011). Why are faculty members not teaching blended courses? Insights from faculty members. Computers and Education, 56(3), 689-699.

Oreopoulos, P. & Petronijevic, U. (2013, Spring). Making college worth it: A review of the returns to higher education. The Future of Children, 23(1).

Picciano, A. G. (2009). Blending with a purpose: The multi-modal model. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(1), 1-9.

Prober, C. G., & Heath, C. (2012). Lecture halls without lectures – a proposal for medical education. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(18), 1657-1659. DOI:10.1056/NEJMp1202451

Porter, W. W., Graham, C. R., Spring, K. A., & Welch, K. R. (2014). Blended learning in higher education: Institutional adoption and implementation. Computers & Education, 7, 185–195.doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.02.011

Ruggeri, K., Farrington, C., & Brayne, C. (2013). A global model for effective use and evaluation of e-learning in health. Telemedicine and e-Health, 19(4), 312-321.doi:10.1089/tmj.2012.0175.

Shedd, J. (2003, Summer). The history of the student credit hour. New Directions for Higher Education. 122. doi:10.1002/he.106

Staley, D. J., & Trinkle, D. A. (January/February 2011). The changing landscape of higher education. EDUCAUSE Review, 46(1), 16-33.

Tabor, S. (2007). Narrowing the distance: Implementing a hybrid learning model for information security education.(1), 47-57.

Taylor, J. A., & Newton, D. (2102). Beyond blended learning: a case study of institutional change at an Australian regional university. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 54–60.

Taylor, P., Parker, K., Fry, R., Cohn, D., Wang, W., Velasco, G., . . . Dockterman, D. (2011). Is college worth it? college presidents, public assess value, quality and mission of higher education. Washington, D.C.: Pew Social and Demographic trends. Retrieved from

Thibault, G. (2104). Reforming health professions education will require culture change and closer ties between classroom and practice. Health Affairs, 33(8), 1928-1932.

Zarate, M. E., & Burciaga, R. (2010, Fall). Latinos and college access: Trends and future directions. Journal of College Admission.


Copyright (c)