STEMS^2, Social Presence and Sense of Place in a Hybrid Distance Education Program

Session Description
Hybrid learning environments and place-based education (PBE) are both growing trends in education. By implementing hybrid models and combining face-to-face and online instruction, universities expand the accessibility of their programs to students unable to routinely commute to campus. What happens when a program rooted in PBE is delivered via a hybrid model? Online instruction presents challenges in connecting students to their education and establishing sense of place, which is an integral part of PBE. This presentation shares findings of a qualitative case study involving the first cohort of students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa pursuing a Master of Education in Curriculum Studies with a concentration in STEMS^2 (O’Neill, Ah Sam, Jumalon, Stuart, Enriquez, in press). The a STEMS^2 framework integrates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the social sciences and sense of place (S squared). The Community of Inquiry Framework (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2000) is used to describe the students’ meaningful teaching and learning experiences. The presentation focuses on Social Presence, concentrating on sense of place, as it relates to hybrid instruction and demonstrates the successes and challenges faced by students and instructors in their efforts to connect to the curriculum.
  • Waynele Yu, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, USA
Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, All Audiences

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