Thomas W. Durso
Central Georgia Technical College, Macon, Georgia
Central Georgia Technical College

During her time teaching classes at Central Georgia Technical College, Carol Lee noticed that her students often found themselves caught between course-delivery modes.

“I had online students who needed to be in the classroom, and I had classroom students who actually needed to go online because they had personal problems and couldn’t stay in the classroom,” says Lee, now the school’s educational technology director.

BlendFlex learning, a new course delivery model, allows students to shift delivery modes—from in-class to online and vice versa—at any given time during the semester.

Inside the program

  • BlendFlex relies heavily on technology, including high-definition video-conferencing, lecture/capture technology and the Blackboard LMS.
  • BlendFlex debuted in the college’s health courses. Good results and positive feedback drove expansion to multiple general education classes. Now all programs can use the model.

As an entirely commuter school serving 11 counties (some of them rural), the college educates a student body dealing with an array of personal and professional issues that can easily impact learning. BlendFlex was developed to keep as many of these students enrolled as possible.

“The flexibility is there anytime during the semester [for students] to float between the face-to-face or the online or whatever delivery method meets their needs at that time in their life,” says Bonnie Quinn, director for institutional effectiveness.

BendFlex students have achieved slightly higher success rates and slightly lower attrition rates than their peers in classes with only a single delivery option.

In addition, BlendFlex has allowed the college to enroll almost 500 students who otherwise would have been out of luck—the online delivery mode built into BlendFlex allows for classes to be taught even if minimum in-person levels aren’t met at the college’s remote sites.

From a single class, BlendFlex has now expanded to include 19 courses and is available to all programs. Faculty members who wish to participate must undergo professional development to learn how to manage instruction in multiple delivery modes.

“The teachers are very student-oriented,” says Lee. “They really have a heart for their students, and they want them to succeed.”