THE CURIOUS PARADOX OF THE FLIPPED LECTURE: E- LEARNING AS A STRATEGY TO INCREASE AND IMPROVE THE ON-CAMPUS STUDENT EXPERIENCE
In 2013 we ‘flipped the classroom’, initially one subject and then another. The flipping process has been a powerful learning experience for us as academics even though we are getting mixed responses from our students. Changing a pedagogical culture challenges both teacher and student and requires comprehensive change management strategies at many levels within a teaching and learning culture.
What is not yet clearly described in the literature is how the flipped classroom can throw up unexpected repercussions across the subject content and delivery, with implications for student and staff (dis)orientation within a foreign learning modality, for learning spaces generally and for technology specifically. On paper the shift to flip teaching made sense however our first innovation was not as successful as hoped. Student’ feedback indicates a strong preference for the more traditional lecture and tutorial format they were experiencing in other subjects. This paper attempts to unpick some of the complexities experienced in transforming pedagogy. At the finish of the first iteration, and as we are now midway through two more attempts, it is timely to reflect on what worked and what needs fixing. The two subjects explored focus on different aspects of the built environment within an undergraduate degree. Students in both subjects bring diverse learning styles. While most are aiming to become architects other students are aiming towards careers in property, construction, engineering, urban design and landscape architecture.
Flipping allows a curious paradox to occur. By providing more content online, it has been possible to enrich the campus experience beyond sitting in a theatre with two or three hundred other students. The transformation has not been an exercise in distance learning as might be experienced in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) such as a Coursera delivery but has, in contrast, been a way to engage students more in small-group learning, enriching the face-to-face learning and on-campus experience.