Towards flipped learning – yes!
We had the pleasure of hosting a Flipped Classroom seminar on October 22nd in our department and have two flipped classroom experts from Finland to share their knowledge and experiences. There was a good number of interested faculty staff members present in the seminar.
Assistant professor Erkko Sointu from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) gave first his talk about "Flipped at UEF 2016-2019". Erkko told us briefly the history of how flipped classroom approach has been taken systematically as part of the teaching (in different fields) at UEF. Components for successful start of using flipped classroom seem to be at least connected to providing enough support for lecturers by means of training as well as resources (e.g., time for planning in the beginning). Erkko and colleagues have also investigated the effects of flipped classroom approach in their courses, and he presented some interesting positive results of using flipped classroom in comparison to the traditional approach (see more: publications from Ameba group)
Senior lecturer (Spec. ed.) Aino Äikäs presented "My story of flipping" How to use more learner focused methods in university teaching? She gave concrete examples of how she builds up a course in which she uses flipped classroom approach. The main parts throughout the course are i) preparing yourself for contact session (e.g., watching videos, reading an article etc. provided on the learning platform), ii) contact session with the active learning activities, and iii) work to be done after the contact session. She also presented how she has applied a group exam as an evaluation method for the course, and which most of the students have also found as a good learning opportunity.
Our team presented the approach we have used this autumn in one of our courses: "Experiences from Towards Flipped Learning - project". We basically adopted the core model from the UEF, having weekly contact sessions. Before each contact session the students are provided with online video clips related to the theme of the week, and after the contact session they do a weekly assignment. We have just done a mid-way evaluation for the students, and the results are really encouraging and positive. Regarding the decision to be made if we will continue teaching the flipped way also in spring semester, 80% of the students would like to continue this way (20% did not know). Also 80% of the students would like to have flipped classroom approach in some other courses as well. Our sample was only 20 students (87% of the students in our course), however, we think that these results strongly guide us to continue teaching in flipped way also next spring.
In addition to the seminar, we had many fruitful discussions with our guests around the flipped classroom approach. I really hope that Flipped Classroom will become something bigger soon also at UiO. Let’s see!