Camille Rutherford is an Associate Professor of Education who explores the use of technology to transform leadership and enhance teaching and learning.
Rutherford’s Chancellor’s Chair for Teaching Excellence project is a timely study that focuses on determining, through student feedback, the effectiveness of using a flipped teaching and learning strategy for course instruction. The flipped model is a type of blended learning in which students complete required course hours each week by spending one hour online and two hours in face-to-face sessions. The online session involves learning through video, quizzes and forum activities that, in theory, should relate to the upcoming class session subject matter.
Brock’s Teacher Education program recently moved to a broader use of flipped instruction in order to meet the increase in course hours that were required when the Teacher Education degree went from a one-year to a two-year program. About 70 to 80 per cent of Teacher Education courses at Brock are now a flipped model delivery, Rutherford says.
Rutherford says that data from student surveys in year one and year two indicate that there’s room for improvement in making sure that “your flip doesn’t flop.”
On a positive side, students recognized the online sessions worked in helping them to reflect on the course content and to prepare for the class sessions and participate more effectively. However, overall students said they did not have a good experience and did not see it as enhancing their learning. Survey responses pointed to technical issues and a lack of relevance of what they did online to what was covered in class.
Rutherford is sharing the results with colleagues so that they can make improvements that will enhance student experience. The ultimate goal is to come up with the kind of experience that students will want to emulate in their teaching.
“I believe the model is salvageable. It’s the implementation that needs improvement,” Rutherford says. “We need to go back and fix things and come up with a proficient role model for learning that our students want to use as teachers.”
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