Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences, Nutrition, observed that on-campus students engaged well with each other through activities that were not available to recreate in the on-line environment. She was interested in flipped classroom approach to learning and felt that she could use to deliver a better experience.
We previously ran an on-line research methods course in 1HS, and on-campus version in 2HS. Due to staff changes I took over coordination of the 1HS course. For the first year this meant teaching equivalent material twice, with all the resources this required. During this year I observed that the on-campus students engaged well with each other through the activities in a way that I hadn't been able to recreate in the on-line environment. I had been interested in flipped classroom approach to learning and felt that I could use to deliver a better experience.
I moved the on campus course into 1HS, which addressed an educational need for the programs it was delivering to and allowed me to run both courses together. I then conducted storyboards to fully redesign the courses into a single course which could be delivered online but with a on- campus components. From speaking with students we were aware that on-campus student can be resistant to online course and through taking the time to understand on campus student concerns around engagement with online we were able to build a truly blended course.
All the traditional lecture material was moved to online delivery and the traditional class session were replaced with synchronous quiz based tutorial using ombea which enabled students to join in whether on campus or online. In addition the blackboard collaborate room and discussion boards were utilised to support inter-disciplinary discussions with students learning about how to apply the research methods in new fields. Evaluation was through monitoring attendance at the synchronous sessions and engagement with the various resources, in addition SCEF and SSLC feedback was requested specifically looking at how effective this new blended model worked for students.
This project has enabled us to combine the strengths of on-campus and online delivery to create a course which is not constrained by the delivery mode. The model of preparing lecture material for on-campus student for delivery online to free up the time in class with tutors to be used in a more student led workshops has been adopted by other courses. This has been driven by tutors recognising a need for more time on discussion rather than delivery of information, which can be taught outside of the lecture room, at the appropriate pace for students.
Aspects of this large project have been presented at the online education forum, university teaching and learning symposium and School teaching events as well as at QAA conference in Glasgow last year. We have recently been awarded some additional funds form LTEP to evaluate a second component of this project and upon completion of this we will be submitting a paper to appropriate pedagogical journal