Shaken and stirred- from online to blended. One lecturer's experience of flipping the classroom.

Short, Angela (2014) Shaken and stirred- from online to blended. One lecturer's experience of flipping the classroom. In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


This is one lecturer's experience of moving from what was previously a fully online to blended delivery of an undergraduate Operations Management module. Students from second and third year in the Schools of Business and Engineering take the module simultaneously. An essential textbook is adopted and all course content is made available through Moodle; all continuous assessment (50% of final mark) is completed online using a range of bi-weekly quizzes on which students are encouraged to collaborate. Over the years, feedback from students and data on student performance on the paper based examination, have informed incremental changes to the module design with the aim of engaging students in self-regulated persistent effort. Prompted by the changing profile of the learners and programmatic changes that now include First Years amongst the cohort, coupled with concerns that students were adopting a surface approach to their learning, the mode of delivery was reviewed. It was hoped that the inclusion of face to face sessions employing active learning strategies would help students adopt deeper learning approaches. Whilst the core content is still fully delivered online, in what essentially has become a flipped classroom, the lecturer uses the face to face sessions to discuss real life applications of core concepts and engage students in the active problem solving activities. Whilst attendance at the face to face classes is not mandatory, the timetable allows students from all programmes to attend one or two classes per week. Up to 75% of students attend weekly and these interactive classes are both highly demanding on the lecturer but also highly rewarding, as the use of peer learning, supported with teacher input ( Vygotsky's zone of proximal development), is deemed effective in addressing the needs of learners of varying levels of ability and/or prior knowledge. Student survey feedback reveals interesting and encouraging data on student attitudes and engagement. Students were generally pleased that there were face to face classes available and those who attended, found the sessions helpful. 85% feel that they now have a very good understanding of what Operations Management entails and 50% feel their Maths has improved since completing the module. The survey reveals that students talk to their classmates about the course content and quizzes and help each other make sense of difficult concepts. Whilst students found the module challenging but interesting, 60% said they were spending more time on Operations Management than on their other modules and 80% stating that the amount of reading required in order to perform well on quizzes was time consuming. Availability of ongoing feedback on quiz performance and grades is widely welcomed. Offering multiple tries on quizzes, supported by preview notes from the lecturer, encouraged self- regulated effort between quiz attempts with evidence of students checking their work and reviewing answers during and after quiz attempts-this was further evidenced through online email interaction between the lecturer and students. The final exam which reverts from open to closed book this year includes questions which require students to apply the techniques to real life scenarios similar to those that students worked on in the face to face classes. This will provide data which could reveal the extent to which students have developed a deep understanding of Operations Management.

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