FLIPPED Teaching and Learning Model in Higher Education
Nowadays in higher education there is much talk of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses), e-learning, blended learning and the ‘FLIPPED’ (Flexible Environments, Learning Culture, Intentional Content, Professional Educators, Progressive Activities, Engaging Experiences, and Diversified Platforms) classroom; what does it mean, what are the issues and solutions?
Brief Literature Review
One of the first issues to be apparent is that ‘FLIPPED learning’ is under utilised and even when utilised, there maybe sub-optimal delivery for good teaching and learning outcomes (Chen et al., 2014). Conversely, whether a fee-paying program, compulsory K12 or a MOOC, FLIPPED learning can dramatically increase access (Hazlett, 2014).
Flipped classroom is also a benefit to both teaching and learning, with students being exposed to subject content online and participate in active lessons; moving away from teacher directed pedagogy to student centred learning or andragogy (especially important for transition of youth to adulthood). The benefits are exemplified by less homework issues, question and answer, deeper exploration and those away with illness can keep up. For teachers it means supporting students in application, reusable, easier individual student attention and more transparency for parents (Mihai, 2016).
Another view includes the following benefits: more student control, student centred, content more accessible for students or parents, and more efficient. However, this is tempered by disadvantages of digital divide or illiteracy, requires significant preparation and front-end input, not good for test preparation and increased screen time (Acedo, 2013).
Other related concerns including potential side lining of teachers and their related skills, online content and instructional design can be boring versus active and interesting lessons, excusing bad pedagogy, internet access issues (e.g. Australia has internet speed and bandwidth issues comparing with less developed nations), assuring online content e.g. videos are watched, online content and instructional design can be very time consuming (November & Mull, 2012).
What are the issues for FLIPPED model in adult vocation or higher education teaching and learning?
The obvious issue is that when developed for K12 it is based upon pedagogic learning theories for children and youth, supported by teachers with strong background in theory and application of teaching, learning, assessment and technology. However, this may not translate well to adult education, vocational or higher education requiring skills of applying andragogy i.e. matching adult learning styles with instructors, trainers, teachers or lecturers lacking the same education background.
What are the differences between pedagogy and andragogy in teaching and learning?
Firstly, what do adults bring to learning and how do they learn optimally as identified by Malcolm Knowles? Knowles identified six principles including internal motivation and self-direction, life experience and knowledge, goal oriented, relevancy, practical and need for respect. Contrasted with pedagogy in the following table:
(Education Technology & Mobile Learning, 2018)
Reflection on issues and solutions for FLIPPED Model in Higher Education
One has experienced online blinded learning in higher education i.e. online MBA with webinars, CPD (Continuing Professional Development) via e-learning platform and vocational training certificate via distance learning and recorded webinars as ‘add-ons’, not well integrated.
Issues encountered included lack of teaching, learning, assessment and technology skills in instructional design, lesson planning, delivery of interesting lessons, developing and testing activity resources, creating opportunities for interactivity, involving all students (not just strong or dominant), using existing or old lecture slides for content, technology breakdowns with no disaster plan, not using or updating discussion forums and relying too much on ‘presenting’ versus teaching.
Solutions could include CPD like ‘train the trainer’ or in Australia the TAE40116 Certificate IV Trainer & Assessor, however many are not suitable for adult learners whether young or old. In more diverse international cohorts where English is not the first language, adapt using the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate to Teach English Language to Adults) framework (applied qualification studied full time intensively four weeks including practice and observations).
The latter is especially well designed to include all learning theories including pedagogy and importantly andragogy, for student centred communication interaction. It is based on the PPP model (Presentation, Practice and Production), when applied well is active, interesting, with clear learning outcomes and multi levelled hidden curriculum, in addition to communication skills, when pitched at advanced or proficiency level students (UCLES, 2018).
Nowadays with empowered and fee paying adult learners, top down directed teaching and learning of subject matter may neither be accepted nor acceptable?
Acedo, M. (2013) 10 Pros and Cons of a Flipped Classroom. Available at: https://www.teachthought.com/learning/10-pros-cons-flipped-classroom/ (Accessed on: 27 January 2018).
Chen, Y; Wang, Y; Kinshuk & Chen, N. (2014) Is FLIP enough? Or should we use the FLIPPED model instead? Computers & Education. 79 pp. 16-27. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131514001559
Education Technology & Mobile Learning (2018) Awesome Chart on “Pedagogy versus Andragogy”. Available at: https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/05/awesome-chart-on-pedagogy-vs-andragogy.html (Accessed on: 28 January 2018).
Hazlett, C. (2014) Parallel Sessions: MOOC meets Flipped Classroom. Available at: https://blog.edx.org/parallel-sessions-mooc-meets-flipped (Accessed on: 27 January 2018).
Mihai, L. (2016) Blended Learning: 8 Flipped Classroom Benefits for Students and Teachers. Available at: https://elearningindustry.com/8-flipped-classroom-benefits-students-teachers (Accessed on: 27 January 2018).
November, A. & Mull, B. (2012) Flipped Learning: A Response to Five Common Criticisms. Available at: http://web.uvic.ca/~gtreloar/Articles/Technology/flipped-learning-a-response-to-five-common-criticisms.pdf (Accessed on: 27 January 2018).
UCLES (2018) Cambridge English Teaching Framework. Available at: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/cambridge-english-teaching-framework/ (Accessed on: 27 January 2018).