Designing a Flipped Classroom in a Higher/Teacher Education Context in the Caribbean

Designing a Flipped Classroom in a Higher/Teacher Education Context in the Caribbean

Jacqueline A. Morris (University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago) and Ayles-Anne Wilson (University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1803-7.ch016
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Abstract

Set in a tertiary level environment for adult learners, the process involved in flipping a classroom is elucidated. This chapter is not a research paper, but rather a primer that can assist the reader to implement the flipped model in their own practice. The chapter sets out to discuss our experiences with Flipped learning in the Caribbean and what we learnt from it. Is it useful in our Caribbean Higher Education context? Will it assist Caribbean students to mastery of their subjects? Benefits can include an increased ability to use active learning strategies, to focus on higher level thinking activities, and to maximise use of faculty-student time. The chapter covers the rationale and theory of the Flipped method, and its positioning in the context of learning strategies. It then covers the instructional design facets of developing a flipped course, including the instructional materials, so that the entire process focuses on structuring the learning experience. It discusses the experiences of the authors in implementing the flipped model in their own practice, and the lessons learned from that experience. The environment necessary to implement the method is discussed, as well as best practices in the use of tools, assessment, evaluation, all drawn from the experiences of the authors.
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Introduction

This chapter discusses the process involved in flipping a classroom for the use of adult learners. While much of the work on step-by-step guides has focused on the K-12 experience, especially in the United States, this chapter discusses flipping in a tertiary level environment in Trinidad and Tobago. The chapter is not a research paper, but rather a primer that can assist the reader to implement the flipped model in their own practice. It covers the rationale and theory of the Flipped method, the steps in the instructional design necessary to develop proper Flipped Method instructional materials, the environment necessary to implement the method, as well as tools, assessment, evaluation, and other tips drawn from the experiences of the authors.

The Tertiary Level Environment, and Adult Education

The differences in the environments between tertiary education systems and the primary or secondary systems are predicated on the fact that in the tertiary education system the learners are adults. Kerka, (2002) reviewed the literature on andragogy, and reported that some writers have proposed that there are certain characteristics specific to adult learners, while others consider the “generic adult learner” to be a limiting definition. There are, however certain similarities among adult learners that make them different from non-adults. These, according to Draper, (1998) are the intents adults have towards learning, as well as the kind of experiences that they bring to and have in the teaching and learning context. The tertiary level classroom is different from that of the primary or secondary level, as students in this environment are expected to be more self-motivated and “in charge” of their own learning.

As in all pedagogical models, the flipped model requires that teachers align their strategies and activities to their learning objectives. This chapter places the flipped classroom model of instruction within the traditional Instructional Design process, so that the entire process focuses on structuring the learning experience. It leads the higher education teacher through the instructional design process, from analysis, through design, development, implementation, and evaluation, towards the goal of development of a course that uses the flipped strategies appropriately.

The chapter discusses implementing flipped learning, whether the course is a new or redesigned one, in order to take advantage of the benefits of this model.

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Background Of The Flipped Learning Model

The Flipped model was pioneered by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, two Science teachers at Woodland Park High School, a rural school in Colorado, USA, in the spring of 2007. Their main rationale for starting the process was to better serve students who often had to miss class for travel to other venues for school activities, as well as to support students who were not being well served by traditional teaching methods (Bergmann & Sams, 2012). They recorded their Chemistry classes and posted the videos on YouTube. This allowed students, who missed class, an opportunity to catch up on their own, and gave students who did not grasp the material in class a way to have a second bite of the apple, without requiring re-teaching in class time. This gave them more time to work directly and personally with individual students. They realized that the method allowed for greater personalization of teaching as well. They originally called the process Educational Vodcasting. The term Flip was coined by Daniel Pink (2010) in an article about another teacher using a process based on the Bergman and Sams model.

The flipped model has since been defined and re-defined by many researchers. At its most basic, it involves the concept of transferring some classroom work to out-of-class time, hence allowing more face-to-face in-class time for practice, individual interaction, and group work. Generally, this involves moving the lecture activities to out-of-class time. Students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, and then class time is used to do the harder work of assimilating that knowledge through strategies such as problem-solving, discussion or debates. The Flipped model of learning is often linked to the use of computer technology, and the use of the Internet, but neither of these is absolutely necessary for a class to implement the flipped method, and gain the benefits of such.

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