27 SES 11 C, Innovations for Learning
From the Bologna process onwards, through the establishment and the development of the European Higher Education Area, universities are encouraged to formulate and evaluate training programs’ outcomes in terms of skills. Several European policy papers and guidelines (European Commission, 2011, 2012) stress the need for students to acquire not only professionals but also transversal skills in their courses of study to let them acquire spendable learning in the perspective of individual training and social development. Where conventionally hierarchical management structures are replaced by more complex job profiles, the delegation of responsibilities, internationalisation, and interdisciplinary project work, key competences are seen as essential to cope with such changes (Chur, 2011). Social and civic competences are considered crucial for the professionals working in the training and educational field, as they play a key role in inclusive education not only to support students with different learning styles and different educational needs, but also to strengthen their interdisciplinary collaborative skills, empowering thus their transversal competences (Čepić, Vorkapić, Lončarić, Andić, & Mihić, 2015). The flipped learning approach (Flipped Learning Network, 2014) can contribute to responding to these needs as it emphasises learning processes that take place “in a dynamic, interactive learning environment” (Bergmann & Smith, 2017) – i.e. the group space. Cooperative and collaborative teaching methods, as well as active learning (Nealy, 2005), lead not only to increased learning but also encourage the development and the improvement of students’ social and civic competences (Mills, 2012). Researches on flipped learning highlight an increased interaction between peers and between students and teachers (Hamdan, McKnight, & McKnight, 2013; Parker, Maor, & Herrington, 2013; Zuber, Hew, Lu, Wageman, & Burke, 2016), as students are involved in the process of social collaborative knowledge construction (Wen, Zaid, & Harun, 2015), and teachers change their role from presenter of content to learning coach (Bergmann & Sams, 2012). In higher education cooperative learning reveals its utility in supporting lecturers in managing large classes as it contributes at remodelling large lecture classes into active-learning classes (Danker, 2015; Mills, 2012).
The questions that led the researcher to undertake this research are: do students acquire or empower their social and civic vompetences through the flipped classroom in higher education? How can flipped learning facilitate the acquisition of such competences? What kind of strengths and difficulties do students experience in the group space? Therefore, this research was aimed at identifying the elements that contribute to the reconstruction of an interpretative framework concerning the flipped classroom and how this approach can facilitate the gain or the empowerment of the students’ social and civic competences in large classes.
The research has been implemented within the bachelor’s degree in Organizational Training of the University of Verona (Italy), the course named “Methodology of the pedagogical research” In the 2017-2018 academic year it was aimed first at providing students with the knowledge necessary to understand the epistemological frameworks of the pedagogical research and the transformative role of education, when introducing opportunities for research and reflection; secondly at facilitating the acquisition of skills concerning methods and instruments of the pedagogical research. A third transversal objective has been identified, that is the empowerment of three specific lifelong learning key competences, i.e. learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship. Within this learning environment, key competences have been developed on a second level of learning objectives throughout an integrated acquisition process (Chur, 2011). For this purpose, the learning strategies adopted by the lectures – ie. flipped learning pedagogical-didactic approach – played a crucial role, as they allow to activate resource-related strategies and instruments to encourage students to implement their transversal competences
Three reflective tools have been proposed by the lecturer to support students in bringing tacit knowledge that lies behind experiences to light. First, the elaboration of a mental map for each of the three key competences was proposed during the first class. It was aimed at identifying students’ pre-comprehension as this instrument enables ideas and thought to be generated and represented through associations. Secondly, during the development of the whole course, students were required to adopt a reflective diary to take notes concerning what they learn – i.e. the topics proposed by the lecturer and the side-effects on their conception the professional figure of the trainer – as well as how they learn, i.e. all the events they experienced and that affect the acquisition or the empowerment of their key competences. Thirdly, during the last class, students were asked to analyse their reflective diaries and create a roadmap representing the development of their key competences during the course. This reflective task was proposed to support students’ reflection on their action (Schön, 1983), that means experiencing a retrospective reflection with the purpose of gaining an understanding of their learning style. To respond to the research objectives, a qual-qual research design has been adopted: qualitative research methods have been preferred as this research has been contextualized within the ecological paradigm (Mortari, 2007). A document analysis has been firstly implemented on the three compositions realised by each of the 105 attending students, which have been considered as primary sources. This method supports the researcher in examining and interpreting data in order to elicit meaning, gain understanding, and develop empirical knowledge (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). A focus group will be then conduct to deepen critical or interesting elements the emerged within the document analysis phase. By triangulating data, the researcher attempts to provide “a confluence of evidence that breeds credibility” (Eisner, 1991, p. 110). Texts will be analysed identifiing meaningful units and translated them into labels, using an invivo coding. Labels will be then grouped into categories to elaborate an emerging theory. A phenomenological posture will adopted by the researcher because the primary objective of the analysis was to construct inductively a theory from the specific context of learning, paying particular attention to the qualities in which things have been described (Mortari, 2013).
The course “Methodology of the pedagogical research” was implemented between October 2017 and January 2018, therefore the data gathering and the analysis processes are still ongoing. As they focus on the specific social and civic competences, within the expected outcomes researcher include students’ subjective representations of these competences, the actions considered as significant to increase the levels of competence, the meanings students have attributed to those actions, sensations and perceptions experienced during actions, students’ earnings in terms of skills.
Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom : reach every student in every class every day. International Society for Technology in Education. Bergmann, J., & Smith, E. (2017). Flipped learning 3.0 : the operating system for the future of talent development. Čepić, R., Vorkapić, S. T., Lončarić, D., Andić, D., & Mihić, S. S. (2015). Considering transversal competences, personality and reputation in the context of the teachers’ professional development. International Education Studies, 8(2), 8–20. Corbin, J. & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Chur, D. (2011). Developing key competences in higher education. In Teaching for Key Competences in Literary and Cultural Studies (pp. 53–74). Danker, B. (2015). Using Flipped Classroom Approach to Explore Deep Learning in Large Classrooms. The IAFOR Journal of Education, III(I), 171–186. Eisner, E. W. (1991). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. Toronto: Collier Macmillan Canada. European Commission. (2011). Supporting growth and jobs. An agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems. European Commission. (2012). Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes. Flipped Learning Network (FLN). (2014). The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P. Retrieved from http://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf. Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., & McKnight, K. (2013). A review of flipped learning. London: Pearson. Mills, B. (2012). Cooperative Learning in Higher Education: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy. LLC: Stylus Publishing. Mortari L. (2007), Cultura della ricerca e pedagogia. Roma: Carocci. Mortari, L. (2013). Aver cura della vita della mente. Carocci. Nealy, C. (2005). Integrating Soft Skills Through Active Learning In The Management Classroom. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 2(4), 2–7. Parker, J., Maor, D., & Herrington, J. (2013). Authentic online learning: Aligning learner needs, pedagogy and technology. Issues in Educational Research, 23(2). Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner : how professionals think in action, Aldershot: Ashgate. Wen, A. S., Zaid, N. M., & Harun, J. (2015). A Meta-analysis on Students’ Social Collaborative Knowledge Construction using Flipped Classroom Model. In 2015 IEEE Conference on e-Learning, e-Management and e-Service (pp. 58–63). Zuber, W. J., Hew, K. F., Lu, Y., Wageman, J., & Burke, P. (2016). The flipped classroom, a review of the literature. Industrial and Commercial Training, 48(2), 97–103.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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