Flipped learning: comparing the student experience from 1st year to postgraduate

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Conference Proceeding
SEFI Annual Conference 2014, 2014, pp. ? - ? (8)
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While flipped instruction may be the standard practice in many social science programs it is often promoted as a recent innovation in learning design within science and technology classrooms. Flipped instruction is a form of blended learning that replaces transmission-based lectures with more participative, interactive and collaborative learning opportunities. Activities are typically undertaken before, during and after class, freeing in class time to participate in activities that often engage concepts at a higher level. Flipped activities typically require students to undertake out of class preparatory work, engage in in-class dialogue and collaborative learning and we suggest be more independent in their approach to learning. Typically instructors focus on their students’ cognitive development in relation to the subject material. However, students’ expectations of how a subject can be delivered and their level of metacognitive skill development will also affect how they engage with the content of a subject and hence impact on their learning. Our investigation is concerned with how these factors impact students’ response to flipped instruction. This paper reports the exploratory phase of an ongoing study investigating the impact of flipped instruction on first year, third year and postgraduate students. We found that most students irrespective of their stage of study preferred flipped instruction compared to the more traditional lecture style approach agreeing that it had a positive impact on their learning experience. There was also evidence that the different learning expectations and focus of the undergraduate students in particular those in first-year meant that many may not be ready for the responsibility and independence demanded to engage with flipped instruction without scaffolding and support.
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