Ben R. Atkinson

Writer, Musician & Presenter

EDU720 Week 7: Reading Week

EDU720 Week 7: Reading Week

During this Week 7 Reading Week of the EDU720 module, I was able to put my free time to good use in working towards the first assessment task to deliver my flipped learning activity with students and write up the required evaluation for submission. I was pleased that my delivery of the flipped learning activity fell during the reading week, as it meant I could devote much more time to the activity and the associated evaluation.

When devising and running my flipped learning activity, I took a lot from the approach of Aaron Sams and the idea of project-based learning, which I’ve called Flipped Learning 2.0. Aaron suggests the assessment ‘is not the dessert, it is the main course’ (Aaron Sams – Flipped Classroom: The Next Step, 2015) which I think is a great quote and one that both conveniently summarises many of the issues with assessment and feedback in teaching and learning (namely that they are not embedded into the module at an early stage) and provides solutions. It’s something that MacDonald touches on also when she suggests the most important point for students to understand when engaging in flipped learning, is ‘what it is they are expected to learn, how they are expected to get there and in what timescale’ (Macdonald, 2006).

In terms of the design of my podcast resources, integral to the flipped learning activity, I made a decision to keep this very simple overall. It was something touched upon a lot during the learning activities leading up the assessment, not least from Andy Peisley who recounted several different approaches to flipped learning and talked about his approaches to design of the resources. As a creative practitioner, it is sometimes hard for me to pull back from creating detailed, creative resources using video and, sometimes, animation. However, in this case I was keen to try a different approach and take Andy’s advice that as a resource ‘it just needs to be fit for purpose’ (Peisley, 2014). In terms of content, the IMPLA model developed at the University of Leicester, was very useful when considering the medium, style, and length of the podcasts themselves (Salmon & Edirisingha, 2008). In the end, I opted to produce four short podcasts, three covering my learning materials and one introducing the project-based approach.

During this week, I successfully ran my flipped learning activity. However, as outlined in my final submission, I faced some stumbling blocks when delivering my activity. As I don’t currently teach at undergraduate level (although I have in the past), I relied on a group of my colleagues to support me in this endeavour by acting as a pilot group as they had done for my micro-teach activity in the first semester. I felt this would be a good opportunity to tie together all of my work on this PCGHE course so far, and I went to great lengths to devise a flipped learning activity that re-worked an element of my micro-teach session and in doing so used the same group to pilot it. However, the major issue I faced through the week was that my pilot group did not have enough time to complete all of the required tasks. In my evaluation I go into further detail as to the reasons for this, perhaps due to my flipped activity being overcomplicated or my pilot group being made of up busy, working professional.

Whatever the issues I faced during the process of devising, running and evaluating this flipped learning activity, I still feel it was a valuable process in terms of my own learning. I will take much of what this process has taught, forward into the future weeks of this EDU720 module and hope that I can feed my experiences into the second summative assessment.

References List

Aaron Sams – Flipped Classroom: The Next Step. (2015). USA.

Macdonald, J. (2006). Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: A Good Practice Guide. Aldershot, UK: Gower. Retrieved from https://www.gowerpub.com/TitleDetails.asp?sQueryISBN=056608659X&sPassString=Y&sKeyword1=Blended&sKeyword2=&sBooleanSearch=AND&sSearchFrom=Title&sSubjectCode=999&sNewTitle=999&lStartPos=1

Peisley, A. (2014). Lessons learnt from implementing and evaluating flipped classroom approaches. UK. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnjMBzEco1g&feature=youtu.be

Salmon, G., & Edirisingha, P. (2008). Podcasting For Learning In Universities. McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jdvsAAAAQBAJ

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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