C. Cho

Nipissing University (CANADA)
As technologies develop and become more accessible, so too should the capabilities of educators to use technology in innovative ways to mobilize knowledge. This session explores an under-investigated application of the flipped classroom: its use in the teaching of visual arts. Currently, there is little to no research exploring the flipped classroom model within a visual arts context. This project explores the use of the flipped classroom in a Canadian university mandatory visual arts course for initial teacher education students who are not artists. The participants are in their fifth and final year of a five year concurrent education program. The principal investigator has taught the visual arts course since 2013 using a flipped classroom approach. The data, for which tri-council ethics approval has been obtained, will be shared during the session.

Unlike a blended learning environment that also utilizes on-line and face-to-face learning, the flipped classroom approach, as Strayer (2012) argues, “developed out of the desire move the lecture outside the classroom (if not replace it with technology) to make room for in-class investigations” (p. 172). This research expands the role of the teacher as "guide on the side" with student-centred learning at the forefront.

Of primary importance in this study was ascertaining student efficacy and engagement as well as an exploration of the effectiveness and challenges of a flipped classroom for concurrent education students. Toward this end, the research asks the following:
1. Does flipping a post-secondary visual arts course present the same, research-supported advantages and limitations as STEM courses from both a student and teacher perspective?
2. How can pre-service teachers implement a pedagogy that has been predominantly used at secondary or post-secondary levels at the elementary level? That is, by virtue of participating in a flipped classroom themselves, what implications for use of the flipped classroom are recognized by pre-service teachers?

This session will engage attendees in a discussion regarding the logistics of creating a flipped visual arts classroom and exploring the feedback from the student participants. For example, the students’ lack of comfort with the on-line technology was a surprising finding. The instructor has taught visual arts courses both completely on-line and completely face-to-face. One of the key observations was that the students’ level of engagement and application of theory to practice was greater in the flipped classroom approach.

Data gleaned from pre-and post Likert-type surveys over a 2 year span drawn from the advantages and limitations noted in the existing research as well as anonymous student comments on course evaluations will be explored. For the purposes of this paper, 2 key findings will be discussed, first: challenges with a student-centered versus a teacher-centered approach to learning and, second, locating, creating and/or obtaining quality resources for the flipped classroom including changes to the format and structure of the course based on student feedback.

This research has the potential to create opportunities for teacher candidates to develop new instructional methods and to consider the possibilities for technology in the future, particularly in the area of the humanities and the arts.