Flipping wonderful, or too good to be true?

Flipping – a way to develop student deeper learning and engagement as well as higher quality work or too good to be true?

Speakers and the Art of Flipping workshop showed flipping can be a useful tool to support the development of deep rather than surface learning. This brief look at the workshop organised under a Teaching Innovation Award by Dr. Mark Jepson (Materials), Dr. Simon Hogg (Materials) and Dr. Nicola Jennings (Chemistry) looks at what flipping is, and how it could work for you and more importantly for your students.

What is flipping?

Flipping is part of a process which moves from didactic knowledge transmission in large lectures to use contact time for the lecturer to bring his/her knowledge to bear on those concepts or specifics that students have identified as problematic. Students pre-engage with the transmission of knowledge before the lecture, either by reading, and/or listening to a podcast or video of material. They take ownership of the content by identifying what they find clear and what they do not.

Some academics may already be taking just this approach. However, for those who want to explore the idea the workshop was a great introduction.

Dr. David Dye, Reader in Metallurgy at Imperial College, records 15-minute single-concept videos in his office with a white board (and all-important board rubber). He posts them online and then asks students to complete a short online quiz/test after viewing. The last question asks what they want further explained. He then addresses those areas in the lecture, getting students to peer instruct each other, explaining their own understanding. As they discuss Dye moves round the room, identifying areas of confusion and explanations given before delivering his summation. In this way each student is directly, actively involved in their learning. Continue reading

Truly taking the MOOC (Part 3)

uofs-logoDelivered by the University of Saskatchewan (UofS), the Introduction to Learning Technologies course referred to in previous related posts this spring – i.e. Truly taking the MOOC and Truly taking the MOOC (Part 2) – has now concluded.

Indeed, those of us participating in this, as well as a number of comparable courses over the past year, tabled a paper at Quality Enhancement and Assurance Sub-Committee (QEASC) earlier this week – see QEASC14-P17 Taking a MOOC: reflections upon the University of Saskatchewan’s ‘Introduction to Learning Technologies’, Oxford Brookes University’s ‘Teaching Online Open Course’, and the Open University’s ‘Open Learning Design Studio’ for more details. Our hope in doing so is that the learning is not lost, particularly as Loughborough University builds upon its FutureLearn offering, i.e. Innovation and enterprise and Getting a grip on mathematical symbolism.

Truly taking the MOOC (Part 2)

uofs-logoIt’s Week 6 and we’re just under half-way through our Introduction to Learning Technologies course with the University of Saskatchewan (UofS). Further to the call in the previous Truly taking the MOOC post asking for other colleagues to get involved, there are three of us based here at Loughborough University who now meet regularly in order to support each other’s learning and to work collaboratively.

As part of our MOOC undertaking, we have to complete four assignments. The first of these – which is called a ‘Blog Assignment’ – has seen us posting weekly to our individual blogs from Week 3 onwards, while the second – which is called a ‘Collaborative Paper’ – has seen us working together on a joint paper which is due to be submitted later this week. Specifically created for the purposes of this MOOC, our blogs are available as follows:

Our imaginatively named Collaborative Paper (UofS MOOC) is also available online, that is even if it might benefit from a little more tweaking before this Friday’s deadline!

Building upon the Blog Assignment and Collaborative Paper, the third and fourth assignments for this UofS MOOC are a Media Project and Final Project respectively, so there should be at least two other outputs from this endeavour. In the weeks ahead, we’ll keep colleagues posted with our undoubted progress into this world of learning technologies, whilst also taking the opportunity to reflect upon our experiences!

Truly taking the MOOC

uofs-logoMoments after registering for the University of Saskatchewan’s new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) – or, as they term it, a TOOC (Truly Open Online Course) – I have that sense of forboding that only a New Year’s resolution can bring. But, by now blogging about it, I may not be able to get out of it that easily, hence this post!

Entitled Introduction to Learning Technologies, and with a start date in the week beginning 20 January 2014, as well as a completion date of 15 April 2014, I already have serious trepidations about signing up to do this. Thus, is there anyone out there, particularly in the Loughborough Unviersity Learning and Teaching Community, who might want to join me on this journey? If so, drop me an email at m.fitzgerald@lboro.ac.uk and I won’t feel that I’m very much on my own! Further information on this MOOC – sorry, TOOC – is available at http://words.usask.ca/learning-tech/

Tablets in Learning and Teaching

iPad In Lecture

A Very Modern Lecture, reused courtesy of pjohnkeane Flickr photostream under a CC licence

If you read the sister blog to this one, the E-learning Blog, you’ll know that the Teaching Centre is running a project next year called Tablets in Learning and Teaching (TiLT).

It’s clear there is a lot of interest in this area among academic colleagues because within a matter of hours after sending out an announcement about the project, I’d had expressions of interest from over 40 colleagues.

There are many ways in which tablets can / could be used, not least by students themselves as a means of engaging with the lecture (eg responding to questions), and I suspect that this will over the next couple of years displace the use of dedicated electronic voting systems. Why would you bother to book 200 handheld ‘clickers’ for a large class if you can do the same thing, without disruption, using technology that many students have with them anyway, ie smartphones and tablets?

One of the modes of use that interests me (and which we’ve been testing over the last few weeks) is the tablet used a a presentation device in the teaching room with the tablet’s display ‘mirrored’ on the projector. I’m aware that some colleagues have already been doing it but, as part of the project, I’d like to investigate then disseminate the most effective methods.

We have 6 iPads available for long-term loan to academic colleagues next year. Please get in touch to request the application form if you’re interested.


Twitter – not just for telling the world what you had for breakfast!

Twitter Screenshot Sarah Mills

I’ve noticed a perception among some colleagues that Twitter serves little purpose beyond revealing the tedious minutiae of celebrities’ daily lives. But in fact we’re starting to see some interesting examples of Twitter being exploited for teaching and learning here at Loughborough; take at look at the e-learning blog for more on this.