Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work & Social Policy
The artefact is a range of materials to support and enhance my Masters level social research statistical methods course.
Much of the content was developed using Panopto and hosted in the virtual learning environment, Blackboard Learn.
This artefact initially came about as a response to changes in the Master’s course. As a result of the introduction of a part-time option to the course it became necessary for my two one-hour weekly lectures to be delivered as one two-hour session. Because this is a professional course and students are expected to go on work placement it was difficult to cut any content – if anything more was needed. This created a dilemma as even with enthusiastic students two-hour statistical lectures are less than ideal (best practice in my understanding is about 40 minutes) while no content could be removed. The artefact began as a response to this situation but developed beyond this. The key was not simply using online lecture materials to provide ‘more time’ but to organise all of the material into clearly defined sections than students could digest at a more appropriate pace than if all was delivered at once. Basically students are asked to read/ listen to some online short bite-size (usually 5 to 10 minutes) materials as a way to introduce the weekly lecture. The main lecture is divided into at least two well-defined sections or ideas for that week. These lectures are usually uncrowded in terms of material and typically takes one a half hours. After the lecture the student is asked to read the lecture notes and complete an exercise relevant to the lecture (answers provided every Friday). Then they listen to two or more short ‘After’ lecture online materials than expand upon or clarify advanced or difficult concepts related to main lecture material. Students are encouraged to not read / listen to these materials until they have consolidated the main lecture material.
Attending a flipped classroom workshop and the follow up support from Trinity College Dublin Centre for Academic Practice and eLearning (CAPSL). I also used the resource TELU (http://telu.me).
The use of technology enabled me to organise and control the pace at which students absorbed the course material thus making it a more rewarding and structured experience for them (for me). The use of online recorded segments seems to have worked better for students than simply providing recordings.
Improved student learning experience and better student performance. The course covers the same range of material than it did but now is better organised, easier to understand and digest.
To learn more on the flipped classroom – see http://www.allaboardhe.ie/flipped/ For me the key lesson was that providing online material is not just about providing ‘more lecture time’ or spacing out material. The move forced me to organise the materials better and I think the students have really benefited from this as well as the flexibility in controlling the pace of their own learning.
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