I returned home safe and sound yesterday and must say CALICO was very enlightening. Here are a few final thoughts, some of which seems particularly relevant to our current unit on distance learning:
- The economic downturn is hitting university language programs hard. The German department at Cornell is closing down its Swedish and Dutch programs. State schools in Michigan and California are dropping programs in less commonly taught languages.
- Hybrid or blended courses appear to be becoming a default solution for cuts in language department budgets. Unfortunately, appropriate pedagogy and training for instructors is not going to be able to keep up.
- Some have suggested that classes taught via distance learning require a 500% greater time commitment from instructors than do face-to-face classes.
- Next year's CALICO will be in Amherst, Massachusetts in June.