University of the Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 3878-3883
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
The Undergraduate Core Curriculum, UFS101, presented at the University of the Free State, is one of the first undergraduate core curriculum modules in South Africa that involves all first-year students across all faculties in a common intellectual experience. The purpose of this module is to equip students to understand and engage with complex human problems from multiple perspectives by providing students with the opportunity to develop as 21st century critical thinkers. Critical thinking, for the purposes of this module, is defined as the process of actively and skillfully conceptualising, applying, analysing, and evaluating information (Shriven & Paul, 1987).

UFS101 uses a blended learning approach as its educational perspective. Presenting this module is exceptionally challenging within the context of large class teaching. UFS101 was piloted in 2011 with 200 students, and in 2012 the amount of first-years registered for the module was 2000. This year, 2013, the amount of registered first-year students has doubled. In 2014 a number of 6000 students are predicted to register for UFS101. To manage the increase in student numbers the implementation of the core curriculum has to be restructured in order to ensure student engagement. The flipped classroom approach has been making headlines in the education community and has had success at several institutions around the world. The question then is how to “flip” a core curriculum module like UFS101 and ensure student engagement for a cohort of 6000 students?

The aim of this article is to share the lessons learned in presenting lectures to a cohort of 4000 students and how, through action research, the core curriculum will be “flipped” to serve 6000 students in 2014.
Core curriculum, large class, student engagement, flipping, action research.