We Flipped Learning On Its Ear
Recorded: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 @ 8:30 am - 8:50 am HST
Duration: 20 minutes
Developmental educators face the challenge of preparing adult learners for the rigor of college courses. At a major online college, instructors have ten short weeks to ensure learners reach post-secondary standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Fostering motivation in developmental adult learners can be difficult as prior educational experiences may not have been positive. In an attempt to increase student motivation and skills, the presenters propose utilizing a flipped classroom model in post-secondary, online education. Implementing a flipped classroom methodology could enable the department to better utilize their existing online environment in combination with a self-paced course thereby enhancing the motivation of self-directed adult learners.
The flipped classroom is an innovative model of teaching, which utilizes educational technology and activity learning to positively impact the learning environment. In a flipped classroom the instructor serves as a facilitator and students are empowered to become active participants in their learning experience. Initially designed for use in traditional high school settings, the flipped classroom involves students viewing a video lecture outside of class and then participating in a learning activity during on-ground class time. This means instruction occurs outside of the classroom as opposed to traditional models of teaching and learning. Instruction, therefore, replaces traditional homework.
Collaborative work and mastery of concepts become the key goal of in class time. During classroom time, be it ground classes, synchronous sessions, or ongoing asynchronous discussion, students create work with the guidance and assistance of the instructor (Davies, 2012). Students come to class ready to apply knowledge with the help of the teacher, who is ultimately the expert in the flipped classroom. Classroom time is then spent on higher order thinking skills from Bloom’s Taxonomy. Furthermore, with the resident expert to assist with understanding and questions in the classroom, students have the assistance they need to succeed. In a traditional model, many students may lack this assistance at home. Students are then able to engage in active learning and engage with material rather than passively listening to a lecture (Knewton, 2012).
Sources for videos to utilize in the flipped classroom are plentiful. Instructors are able to create their own videos as well as use existing ones from the internet. The Khan Academy, TedEd and MERLOT all offer free video resources. Lessons are interactive and also require students to complete additional items such as a graphic organizer or diagram to help focus their individual learning. The use of multimedia sources to support learning is not a new concept. Many instructors have been using elements of a flipped classroom model for years but may not have been using the terminology.
Middle and high school studies have shown significant positive findings in relation to flipped classroom. In a high school setting, the flipped classroom model led to significant gains in the number of students who passed English and Mathematics as well as drastically reduced discipline problems (Knewton, 2012).
The flipped classroom model, as applied to post-secondary education is a field in need of research and development. Faculty from the Department of Student Success propose the flipped classroom model as a viable option to utilize with developmental adult learners in post-secondary online education. In addition to finding a pedagogical approach, which will fit developmental learners, faculty from the Department of Student Success also seek to address the unique needs of adult learners. The Department supports a view of students as self-directed learners. Self-directed learning proposes that the most common and most important reason for adult learning is the desire to use or apply the knowledge or skill (Tough, 1968). The learner is viewed as having an innate desire to learn. The environment and instructors, when in formal education settings, must foster this need. The learner must guide the objectives and experience with the instructor responding to the learner’s needs as a guide (Ozuah, 2005). Faculty members within the Department of Student Success seek to unite the central tenants of self-directed learning with technology and learning activities to create a flipped classroom suited for the needs of online adult developmental learners.
The move from a traditional online classroom to that of a flipped classroom creates a number of challenges for faculty members to overcome. It is critical to the success of the course that the instructor act as a facilitator and that students take control of mastering the learning topics within the course. Faculty members must be deeply involved in the creation of the course and lessons as well as serve as mentors for adjunct faculty as the department makes the transition to the flipped classroom. Faculty members be able to anticipate questions, problems and concerns and be proactive in addressing potential issues as the method of teaching changes. Additionally, outreach and individualized progress reports for students must be considered and developed. All members of the department should provide feedback and suggestions on all aspects of the course. The inclusion of all faculty members in the development and refinement of the course may lead to a stronger sense of community among full-time and adjunct faculty. Furthermore, the group development process creates the faculty buy-in necessary for success.
Davies, P. (2012). 21st century education. Retrieved on June 13, 2012 fromhttp://www.scoop.it/t/21-century-education3
Kahn Academy (2012). Why Kahn Academy is so popular. Retrieved on June 13, 2012 from khan-academy-is-so-popular%E2%80%94and-why-teachers-shouldnt-feel-threatened/
Knewton (2012). The flipped classroom infographic: A new method of teaching is turning the traditional classroom on its head. Retrieved March 8, 2012 fromhttp://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/
Ozuah, P.O. (2005). First, there was pedagogy and then came andragogy. The Einstein Journal of Biology and Chemistry, (21), 83-87.
Tough, A. (1968). Why adults learn: A study of the major reasons for beginning and continuing a learning project. Ontario: Department of Adult Education, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Teresa is a Professor of Composition and the Chief Virtual Difference Maker at Kaplan University.
Katie O’Neil is a composition professor at Kaplan University. She has a PhD in Educational Policy and Leadership from Ohio…more
Composition Instructor, Kaplan University