Flipping Learning!: Challenges in Deploying Online Resources to Flipped Learning in Higher Education

Flipping Learning!: Challenges in Deploying Online Resources to Flipped Learning in Higher Education

Muriel Wells, Charlotte Holland
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9680-8.ch001
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Recently, there has been considerable interest in deploying the concept of the Flipped Classroom within higher education - a blended mode of learning which typically deploys online resources to provide more focused learning opportunities for learners at home, with lecture-time re-oriented to facilitate discussion and collaborative learning approaches. Much has been written about the success of particular online social media technologies such as wikis, podcasts and blogging sites in supporting open, distributed and situated learning, within active eco-learning systems such as Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and online communities of learning in higher education. This chapter presents a meta level review of emerging and emergent challenges of integrating online resources to flip the learning in higher education. The recommendations call for the reorientation of prevailing learner, educator and institutional cultures and contexts so that learner centred, autonomous, flexible learning experiences can be facilitated when flipping learning within higher education.
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The Flipped Classroom is a blended model of learning that essentially reverses what would traditionally be considered classwork and homework. Therefore, lectures that used to occur in face-to-face settings can instead be accessed through online technologies at home, and face-to-face class-time can be used for discussion, problem-solving and collaborative work. This flipped form of learning can support a myriad of pedagogic approaches within web-enabled learning eco-systems, particularly where participatory, social technologies are harnessed to support and transform the learning experiences. In this regard, online resources (such as: social networking sites, wikis, blogging sites or micro-blogging facilities) are being used to support open, distributed and situated ecologies of learning such as Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) or online communities of learning in higher education (Schroeder, Minocha & Schneider, 2010; Carroll, Diaz, Meiklejohn, Newcomb & Adkins, 2013; Su & Beaumont, 2010; Greener, 2009; Glassmann & Kang, 2011).

PLEs can be perceived as a suite of social media tools that allows the individual learner to source, organise, create and/ or share resources, viewpoints or learning experiences or as an emancipatory pedagogic framework that enables learners to exercise greater control of, and take greater responsibility for, their own learning (Häkkinen & Hämäläinen, 2012; Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012). Online communities of learning offer opportunities for learners and educators to communicate, interact and share perspectives, resources, experiences and/or expertise; and thus to engage in the co-construction of knowledge and become more informed critics of published works of their peers and others. As such, online learning communities have the potential to liberate learning from the constraints of singularity of context, convergence of perspectives and over-reliance on educator created resources and educator expertise. Online resources, including Web 2.0 and social media sites, can be used within PLEs and online learning communities to enable learners and educators co-create and publish content, connect and cultivate relationships with people (Greenhow, Robelia & Hughes 2009), communicate ideas, and collaborate with others within or beyond the existing community of learners (as highlighted by Redecker, Ala-Mutka & Punie, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Learning: A term describing learning that takes place on the web and thus requires connection to the Internet.

eLearning: The use of electronic technology to support, enhance and/ or deliver learning.

Pedagogy: The discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education.

Higher Education: Tertiary education that is offered at universities, academies, colleges, and similar institutions.

Social media: Online applications that allow users to interact, create, share, collaborate and/or exchange information, ideas, and content in virtual communities and networks.

Blended Learning: This is a mode of learning offering a mix of online (via digital/ online media) and face-to-face delivery and instruction.

Online Learning Resources: Digital learning content, materials and/ or tools available online to learners.

Flipped Classroom: This is a blended learning approach in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed, so that lecture time can be devoted to support more interactive, collaborative learning experiences. The Flipped Classroom is a concept made popular in higher education by the work of Daphne Koller, 2011, of Stanford University, although according to Strayer (2012) , there have been earlier references to similar models (classroom flip/ inverted classroom) by Baker, 2000, and Lage, Platt & Treglia, 2000.

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