Extending a Blended Education Program to Native American High School Students in Alaska

J Vis Commun Med. 2009 Jan;32(1):8-13. doi: 10.1080/17453050902821181.


This article describes the expansion of a blended learning program sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that combines synchronous distance learning with face to face instruction. Background information about the program is briefly discussed and challenges to expanding the program are presented. The expansion was not merely a matter of adding a school. It involved close coordination between the NLM, existing participants and those at the candidate school. The challenges included identifying a candidate school, establishing contact and determining interest, assessing and testing connectivity, developing a calendar and schedule, and identifying faculty. Since NLM is on the east coast, the current school was on the west coast, and the candidate school was in Alaska, all of challenges were compounded by enormous distances and differences in time, but all were resolved successfully.