Ben R. Atkinson

Writer, Musician & Presenter

EDU720 Week 6: Evaluating Blended Learning Approaches

EDU720 Week 6: Evaluating Blended Learning Approaches

Week 6 of this EDU720 module, opened up with a discussion about our thoughts on how best to evaluate our flipped classroom activities. For me, there were three key points that should be considered in any evaluation – if the approach solved the original problem it was introduced for, if the students found the approach useful and, in my specific case, how well the project-based element fitted into the overall activity.

There has been a lot of discussion on the forums more generally throughout the last few weeks, about whether flipped learning activities actually improve the work that students and the amount that they are learning. As we’ve experienced, these kinds of activities are usually introduced to solve a problem or re-image a specific part of a course, so it’s very important to consider whether the activity actually resolved the problem for which it was introduced. Jill’s response on this week’s forum sums this up nicely, as although she enjoyed running the activity and found it useful, she suggests that ‘would probably not introduce a flipped classroom approach, as the most fundamental reason to do so is to free up seminar time, which is not an objective of my type of course’ (Dunn, 2019). Another idea I raised in my suggested evaluation points, was that of how to establish if the flipped learning activity directly impacted upon the assessment (given I wanted to introduce a project-based approach) – evaluating this would be a much longer process and beyond the bounds of evaluating the flipped activity alone. This was something Paul picked up on suggesting that ‘this is part of evaluating the alignment of this approach into the overall module’ (Roger, 2019) and that a positive response to the flipped learning activity should, in theory, ‘feed thru to an improvement in the summative assessment’ (Roger, 2019).

I found the three-step process of approaching evaluation of the flipped activity to be a really useful guide as to how the evaluation should develop. First identifying the criteria before then using them to make judgements about specific areas of the flipped activity, seems like an appropriate approach to take and allows time to really think about what the key evaluative criteria might be (Falmouth University, 2019). Refining and generating new ideas from this evaluation is also an important element to consider and I feel that at this stage, one could start to consider how the flipped activity impacts upon the module as a whole in the way that Roger and other peers have suggested. When feeding this evaluation into the work for assessment one, I think it’s important to consider some of the points raised by Andy Peisley in the podcast for Week 6 – ‘really focus and prioritise your development and action planning for the future’ but at the same time ‘show more of the range aspects, by what you put in your appendices section’ (Peisley, 2019). I feel that for Assessment 1, the appendices will be particularly useful in helping to get across the extent to which the flipped learning activity was or wasn’t successful from both the student and my own perspective.

Overall this week, I have been challenged to consider in more depth the various elements of evaluation and how I might relate these to my flipped learning activity. The feedback from my peers on the weekly forums have been integral to this process and have helped me to draw up a plan for the evaluation based on a combination of student feedback and my own reflective practice. I look forward to including elements of this evaluation in my work for Assessment 1.

Reference List

Dunn, J. (2019) Topic: Week 6: Forum – What do you need to consider when evaluating flipped classroom approaches? Posted 7th March 2019. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/discussion_topics/8478?module_item_id=19551 (Accessed: 7 March 2019).

Falmouth University (2019) Week 6: Introduction to Evaluating Flipped Classroom Approaches: Developing Flexible Learning Environments EDU720 18/19 Part-Time Study Block S2. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/pages/week-6-introduction-to-evaluating-flipped-classroom-approaches?module_item_id=19552 (Accessed: 7 March 2019).

Peisley, A. (2019) Week 6: Evaluation for Your Assessment 1 Work: Developing Flexible Learning Environments EDU720 18/19 Part-Time Study Block S2. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/pages/week-6-evaluation-for-your-assessment-1-work?module_item_id=19556 (Accessed: 7 March 2019).

Roger (2019) Topic: Week 6: Forum – What do you need to consider when evaluating flipped classroom approaches? Posted 2nd April 2019. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/discussion_topics/8478?module_item_id=19551 (Accessed: 2 April 2019).

About The Author

Ben R. Atkinson is a writer, musician, and presenter who can be heard broadcasting on radio stations around the world, is known for his novels, radio dramas, and who writes and performs his own music in the country/folk genre. Ben is currently studying for his PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Lincoln in the UK.
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