Category Archives: Flipped classrooms

Research about Flipping the Classroom from around the world.

Blending and flipping – not just for cooking

In recent years “blended delivery” has become a catch phrase with many in the VET sector saying that they are doing this, but really have no actual understanding fo what blended delivery is.

Blended delivery requires that the instructor takes time to carefully creates an instruction plan that will leverage the affordances of various technology to support and augment face-to-face training. The beauty of blended delivery is that it can incorporate “Flipped Learning” and moves the focus from teachers to student to student learning, which can form some of the most powerful learning experiences.

Though student to student interaction can form powerful learning experiences it is still critical that a teacher, who can take the form of a facilitator, is still involved to guide the learning.

In recent years I have been teaching a block of professional development that is aligned to the Certificate IV TAE unit Facilitating Online. The cohort is often distanced by location so I take great pains to ensure a face to face component (synchronous sessions) fortnightly. During this the students present on the topic of the week to their fellow students, and manage the discussion forums. This is critical as it enable peer-to-peer learning and then I cover what-ever has been left out of the students presentations. Each student suffers nerves, though each of them are seasoned professionals from the VET sector who present training daily to students.

The reason behind this methodology is to give all students the ability to use various technologies. Of course the students are heavily mentored through the whole presentation process to ensure as little stress as possible.

At the commencement of each week I post a video that provides content, in a short humorous style along with readings and activities. This is the content that all students are expected to have reviewed prior to the virtual class. I set these expectations at the start of the course and have the students complete a class code of conduct to ensure that they understand what both their peer and I want.

Due to the remoteness and connectivity issues for some of my students I have had to ensure that all the course is designed in such a way that it will display on minimum bandwidth. Also for accessibility concerns all videos are also close captioned.

I take seriously the need for students all to have a voice, even the quietest has amazing insights to offer, and this teaching approach has worked well in having our wall-flowers step up and takes charge in a non-threatening environment.

This Facilitate elearning is based around problem centered instruction and uses the first principles outlined by Merril (2002).

Designing and working with students online can often be seen (incorrectly) as an easy option that does not require much effort on behalf of the trainer. Senior management often has this skewed view of online learning. It is often hard, especially if you are using a blended option.

Recently our team in the Government agency I work for have taken the challenge that all our conferences and professional learning events will be delivered in a blended option. This means that we live stream key sessions at all events. I am not going to say it was easy at the beinginning it was horrid, however, in our third year of doing this means it is now second nature and we are able to provide valuable learning opportunities to people all over Australia who may not have been able to attend otherwise.

This is taking blended to a whole different lever as we do not just stream the sessions, but if there is small group work being done in the session then this will be replicated in the virtual classroom so that our online attendees have a full and rich learning experience.

It has meant that we now also have a fleet of laptops, professional cameras, microphones and hand held devices that are needed to run events. However that being said my sessions that I stream are run with a laptop and my webcam, simple and effective. We do stress anyone can do what we do, and you do not need a Hollywood budget either.

This approach has been flawed with some of the senior management from RTOs not fully understanding the concept. But with dedication and perseverance the joy of blended will be adopted on a wider scale by many other organisations as we now run sessions on how to run a blended event.

21st Century skills such as problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, communication and collaboration as all key and need careful scaffolding and mapping to ensure that both the digital work blends with the face-to-face work for all formal and informal activities and assessments within a course. By being flexible with the more traditional teaching course material and giving students the reason to up-skill themselves quickly to ensure they can pass on information accurately to a learning cohort means that going for the flip and using a blended approach provides  a more personalised approach to instuction, gets students buy-in and more inportantly utilises technology to augment the training (Roblyer, 2013).

References

Jonson, J. (2014). Blended learning and technology integration. YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2014 fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD8AUfGsCKg

Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instructionEducational Technology Research and Development, 50 (3), 43-59.

Michalowski, A. (2014). Planning for blended learning environments and measuring progress. Youtube. Retrieved April 29, 2014 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuak_YiZs5s

Morrison, D. (2013). Why online courses [really] need an instructional design strategy. Online learning insights. Retrieved April 29, 2014 from http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/why-online-courses-really-need-an-instructional-design-strategy/

Roblyer, M. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Harlow: Pearson.

Interactivity analysis framework

Interaction on mobile devices
Interaction on mobile devices

In Beauchamp and Kennewell (2010) ‘Interactivity in the classroom and its impact on learning discussed the interactivity analysis framework which outlined interactivity areas that included; group interaction; authoritative interactivity; dialectic interactivity; dialogic interactivity and synergistic interactivity.

In my current context my students would be working in a Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) environment with a Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom (VC) integration. When the interactivity framework is applied to this learning environment there is the possibility that within a teaching term all areas of interaction could be achieved due to the nature of the software involved and the constructionist and collaborative pedagogical style (Bower et al., 2010; Laurillard, 2008 and Roblyer, p 40-50, 2013) that I favour for my teaching.

Group interaction: As Beauchamp and Kennewell (2010) stated group interaction can be hard to track as often the teacher is not present. By using the collaborative tools within the LMS such as collaborative group wikis, discussion forums, group database, and automatic recording of group work in the Collaborate virtual classroom allows the teacher the ability to track and monitor the groups work and the level of interaction between individuals. Something that can be problematic in a physical classroom. In my current context the class was split into 4 groups which had members from around Australia. The groups had to work together weekly on tasks. They had a group wiki to add their thoughts to for a written record and had access to the VC as moderators where they could record their session and take screen grabs of their work from the system.

Authoritative interactivity:  This is the ‘Sage on the Stage’ style of teaching where it is teacher directed, or content directed. In the LMS the content such as interactive multimedia (Roblyer, 2013) can be created that interacts with the grade book to record the students work through the interaction ideas can be clarified through a virtual classroom or text chat to expand on ideas that the student has worked through. In my current context I present ‘keynote’ style online sessions via the VC to my students that are linked to content in the LMS. In these sessions I expand on ideas and clarify points for my students.

Dialectic interactivity: Once the student has worked through the content outlined in the authoritative interactivity the teacher could then have the students work in groups around the key ideas. In my current context during a VC class the students are invited to use the Collaborates ‘whiteboard’ facility and chat area’s to respond to probing questions. It is very useful to use the whiteboard as it enables better group work in the class.

Dialogic interactivity: In dialogic interactivity the student has more of a voice in the lesson, with the teacher becoming more of the ‘Meddler in the Middle’ supporting the students in-class engagement. In my current context my students have had to present on topics such as effectively facilitating online where they have presented content and posed questions to the class group to facilitate the discussion around their topic. They then reflected on this through their wiki spaces and in the discussion forums

Synergistic interactivity: In adult education synergistic interactivity is often seen as the ‘norm’ rather than the exception. This is especially true with some users of LMS who ‘set and forget’ the course letting the students get on with their learning. Synergistic interactivity independent reflective activities that students do in a whole class setting (Beauchamp and Kennewell, 2010). In my current context the teacher becomes the ‘Guide on the side’ with students running sessions in the VC and facilitating discussions with-in the LMS to further develop their knowledge and ideas of  the topics being taught.

In my assignment there is a blend of all five points. However, I have focussed more on the group interaction, dialectic interactivity; dialogic interactivity and synergistic interactivity rather than the Authoritative interactivity.

References

Beauchamp, G., & Kennewell, S. (2010). Interactivity in the classroom and its impact on learning. Computers & Education, 54(3), 759-766. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.033

Bower, M., Hedberg, J.G., Kuswara, A., (2010), A framework for Web 2.0 learning design, Educational Media International, 47 (3), 177-190, DOI: 10.1080/09523987.2010.518811

Laurillard, D. (2009). The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. International Journal Of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(1), 5-20. doi:10.1007/s11412-008-9056-2

Roblyer, M. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Harlow: Pearson.

 

Short look at Yvette and my education background

Yvette emailing from mobile
Yvette hard at work – emailing clients

Welcome and thanks for taking the time to look at my first blog post for ESC515 – Classroom Technologies

As you will be able to see this blog has formed part of my learning journey through the Master of Information and Communication Technologies (Education) and holds a wide variety of information on topics relating to education and elearning.

I started out as a high school teacher, with English, Drama and Music as my major study areas. I moved into the international film and theater industry where I worked on many famous faces and enjoyed the exciting years that this work area provided. I was offered the opportunity to lecture at Edith Cowan University in WA at WAAPA which was fantastic and renewed my interest and enthusiasm in teaching once more.

While working in the theater and film industry I maintained an interest in education and ran a small training organisation as part of my film company to up skill my employees and to teach as a special guest artist in high schools around Western Australia.

I was offered a position in a large WA TAFE in 1999 and worked as a casual lecturer/facilitator for them for over 10 years. This was around the time that the organisation was moving baby steps into the world of elearning. As I was working casual while running my own company I negotiated to become one of the first facilitators to offer online classes to my students. My first student groups were made up of mature aged ladies wanting to return to the workforce as teacher assistants, many of these people had very low computer skills and minimal experience in learning. Together we forged the new frontier together and had an amazing group learning experience.

From this first group a huge amount of students followed all having a unique and interesting experience ineffectively using an online classroom. From this wealth of experience I became a Learning Technology Mentor in the TAFE and helped other facilitators move into the elearning space using Learning Management Systems, podcasting, vodcasting etc way before it became mainstream. I was seen as cutting edge and ‘out there’ by my fellow facilitators.

I was offered a role presenting professional learning sessions for elearning and project managing the build of elearning resources for the WA VET sector for the Department of Education and Training, which has since become the Department of Training and Workforce Development. I was fortunate enough to become a project leader for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework and the National VET elearning Strategy (NVELS) which saw me working across Australia with the implementation of elearning in Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in the VET sector.

With the demise of the National funding the NVELS the WA team (all three of us) still present training and consultations across WA, but also online sessions that anyone can access.

It is a fun and very challenging environment and with the ever changing landscape of technology it is amazing that I have a job that allows me the ‘play’ and the teach other how to use cutting edge technology such as Augmented Reality in their training spaces and to help people how technology can fit within a classroom using a blended or flipped approach no matter the circumstance.

This is an exciting time to be an educator and I am really looking forward to working with you all over the summer.