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N. Holtzhausen, M. Nkwana

University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
Students who adopt an approach that is focused on deep learning wish to develop a meaningful understanding of the learning material presented to them that creates a better understanding, comprehension, and a more spontaneous sharing of ideas, as well as constructing better-defined knowledge structures, and the resolving of discrepancies in knowledge. Through deep learning, students will also be able to explain cause-effect relationships or personal experiences. The questioning of explanations and causes will enable students to theorise better. These are characteristics that should form part of graduateness. Although Biggs (2003) is of the opinion that lecturers are in a powerful position to create deep learning opportunities for students in, for example, the design of the curriculum, assessment opportunities, and teaching methods, one can never underestimate the value of peer learning. Students need to engage cognitively in certain behaviours to guarantee the quality of set learning outcomes, and therefore learning environments must be constructed in a manner that will warrant adaptive responses to a curriculum that is consistent with pre-identified aims that will address public sector skills such as identified in the Standards of Excellence for Public Administration Education and Training (2008:11).

These are:
• Flexibility;
• Life time learning;
• Applying practical, life experiences to both training and academic activities;
• Critical and analytical thinking;
• Involving society to achieve policy goals;
• The ability to operate within a political environment;
• Building of high performance organisations; and
• Dealing with complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity.

In 2014 the University of Pretoria’s Public Administration Research Methodology module was altered significantly in the following way:
• Alignment with the new Economic and Management Sciences Teaching and Learning “Flipped Classroom Model: which includes Mazur’s Just-in-Time-Methodology (before lecture); use of Eisenkraft’s 7e Model during lectures; and consolidation exercises after the lecture;
• How lectures and tutorials can complement each other in a meaningful way.

This paper will report on the findings of this empirical project with a specific focus on the various distribution and instructional methods. Questions to be addressed would include the following:
• What are the new role(s) of the lecturer, student and tutor within the flipped classroom model?
• Will the attendance of tutors of the lecturers’ lecture and the concomitant re-teaching of salient points contribute towards greater attendance during tutorials an in-depth understanding on the issues taught?
• Will the tutorials assist in the constant challenge of bringing theory and practice together?
• How can lectures and tutorials complement each other in a meaningful way?

Data will be collected and/or collated from various sources:
i) Questionnaires taken at the start of the second semester;
ii) Questionnaire at the end of the second semester (collected);
iii) Frequent ten minute questionnaires on ClickUP.
iv) Additional data will be collected through focus groups.

For any Public Administration degree to be considered of an excellent quality, a collaborative effort must be made between the curricula, the learning efforts of the students, and the teaching methods applied. This paper will attempt to evaluate the implementation of a so-called “flipped classroom model” as a method to create deep learning.