Reflections on a Year of Flipped Learning

Sheridan, Frances (2014) Reflections on a Year of Flipped Learning. In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


Flipped learning is still a relatively new teaching approach and to date has lacked formal definition. Recently though, the Flipped Learning Network has issued their definition of flipped learning and four pillars of FLIP in an attempt to bring clarity to the approach. For the most part, it is a teaching approach where class-work and home-work exchange places. In the typical flipped classroom, students experience lectures as pre-recorded video or audio files in advance of class and then class-time is used for deeper immersion in, and understanding of the content of the video lecture. This may take the form of group work, discussion or practical exercises for example, depending on the subject matter. However, regardless of these common attributes, flipped learning by its very nature is different in almost every classroom. The flipped classroom approach was first implemented in the School of Computing at National College of Ireland (NCI) in February of 2013 as part of a first year semester 2 programming module and then introduced to a number of semester 1 modules from September 2013. The motivation for this approach was to improve student understanding of the concepts and thus improve pass rates and student retention and the approaches used differed significantly between semesters one and two. The approach is now in its second year of implementation in the school and is beginning to gather momentum as increasing numbers of faculty explore its use. This paper will outline two of the ways in which flipped learning has been implemented at NCI. It will draw from student surveys, module results and faculty reflections, highlighting the differences in the approaches used and their impact on student learning.

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