22 SES 07 B, Teaching and Learning: Reflections & Skills
The aim of this paper is to investigate university teachers’ insights into how flipped classroom environments in higher education can support the development of students’ expertise and learning of worklife skills. This question is approached through the practices higher education teachers use in their teaching in which they have designed their teaching and learning environment based on flipped classroom model. It is also investigated, which factors in the flipped classroom environment seem to be critical in this respect among the higher education students.
According to Tynjälä, Virtanen, Klemola, Kostiainen & Rasku-Puttonen (2016) key elements in the learning environment in order to support the development of expertise are theoretical, practical and self-regulative knowledge, and it is important that these elements integrate in the learning environment. These elements are presented in the model of Integrative pedagogy, which has been developed by Tynjälä (2014).
Learning worklife skills is approached from the viewpoint of 21st century skills, in which key skills are usually determined as social skills, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, but also capability to work in multi-professional work environments. If we consider problem-solving skills, according to Virtanen & Tynjälä (2018) they develop favorably in an environment, which facilitates interaction between theory and practice. Virtanen & Tynjälä (2018) argue further, that working together and collaboration as well as peer assessing other students work support the development of students’ problem-solving skills.
It is not enough to rely on traditional teaching methods, if we want to develop students’ generic skills that are needed in the working life (Virtanen & Tynjälä, 2018). However, as Virtanen & Tynjälä (2018) argue these generic skills can be learned as by products of learning the specific contents, if certain teaching methods and pedagogic practices are employed in teaching.
In general, the flipped classroom design includes the ideas, that instead of teacher led lecturing, the students are provided with online material, mainly videos, before the class time. This way the actual face-to-face meeting can be used for discussion and collaborative activities dealing with the topics presented in the videos (e.g. Stonebraker, 2015). The flipped classroom framework fits quite well with the idea of student-centered teaching, learning and studying, and individualized learning opportunities. Thus, in theory it seems that the elements of an environment that supports students’ in developing their expertise and elements of flipped classroom –environment seem to support each other very well.
The perspectives to be presented in this presentation are very relevant on the European level, as the globalization has intensified the global competition in the work market and many work tasks can be performed through internet, and online collaboration. This means that we have to reflect and find efficient ways to help our higher education students to grow up to be as good experts as they can be, who can communicate their expertise and work together to solve problems in a creative way.
The context of this study is provided by an educational development project through which the learning environments were developed by the flipped classroom (FC) and flipped learning (FL) models. The participating teachers were to transform their courses to flipped learning design and they were provided three seminars on pedagogical issues of flipped learning, group-based mentoring and peer group mentoring during the development project, and hand-on support for specific issues in designing their own courses in alignment with flipped classroom or flipped learning model of teaching. Participants for this study were selected among 100 university teachers, who had participated in the educational development project, during which they had designed at least one of their courses through flipped classroom design. Interview questions include perspectives of how university teachers perceive worklife skills in various fields, and how flipped classroom environment can support students in developing their expertise and worklife skills in these respects. Semi-structured interview strategy is used, and data is analysed by qualitative content analysis.
The perspectives included in this paper, are preliminary as not all the interviews have been conducted. Final interviews will be conducted shortly, so the results will be further formulated for the ECER conference. According to our expectations and preliminary perspectives on the first interviews, university teachers seem to perceive that Flipped classroom method has the potential to support the development of students’ expertise and worklife skills quite well. Teachers talked about knowledge sharing, reciprocal and interactive working and learning processes, and networking, which can all be supported by a Flipped classroom-model. Teachers also talked about the design elements, which were important in designing flipped classroom –schemas, in order to support students’ learning of worklife skills better. These perspectives included the demand of open ended questions as starting points for students’ learning, which requires students to cope with uncertainty, to discuss with peers and engage in collaborative sense-making. Teachers also described that it is important to design the group work well and help students’ to find meaning in it as well as support students self-reflection and reflection in the groups.
Stonebraker, I. (2015). Flipping the Business Information Literacy Classroom: Redesign, Implementation, and Assessment of a Case Study. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship 20(4), 283-301. Tynjälä, P., Virtanen, A., Klemola, U., Kostiainen, E., & Rasku-Puttonen, H. (2016). Developing social competence and other generic skills in teacher education: applying the model of inte-grative pedagogy. European Journal of Teacher Education, 39(3), 368-387. Doi: 10.1080/02619768.2016.1171314. Virtanen, A., & Tynjälä, P. (2018). Factors explaining the learning of generic skills: a study of university students’ experiences. Teaching in Higher Education. 1-15. Doi: 10.1080/13562517.2018.1515195.
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