Implementing Flipped Classroom and Team-based Learning in a Large Enrollment Course: Successes, Challenges and Next Step

Concurrent Session 9

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We will present how the creative implementation of flipped classroom and team-based learning transformed a didactic undergraduate orientation course into an active learning environment.


My name is Yi Jin. I am a graduate student currently working on obtaining my Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instructional Technology in School of Education at Iowa State University. My research interests are: TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) framework; using TPACK framework to prepare pre-service teachers for technology integration; infusion of technology as a learning and teaching tool in teacher education; instructional design of online courses and flipped classrooms; technology integration in Literacy Education; use of curriculum instructional technology in classrooms to differentiate learning and maximize individualized learning.

Extended Abstract

This presentation aims to describe and discuss the redesign of a freshman orientation course that combined flipped classroom and team-based learning. We aim to propose our pedagogical framework and encourage discussions about the efficacy, best practices and challenges of these approaches for courses with large enrollment numbers in higher education contexts.
Higher education institutions face challenges that call for more effective teaching and learning approaches. Among the challenges are need for evidence of students' learning (Berrett, 2012), large enrollment (Berret, 2012; Roach, 2014), complexity of content topics (Prashar, 2015), variety of learners' expertise (Abeysekera & Dawson, 2015), demands for improving students' engagement, learning, and educational environment (Bishop & Verleger, 2013; Flipped Classroom Trends, 2015; Mazur, 2015), and efficacy of instructional approach (Sams, 2011). In order to handle these challenges, instructors are required to find ways to create more student-centered learning environments, which requires more active learning pedagogical approaches where students become more engaged and responsible for their own learning. Flipped classroom offers potential benefits to maximize learning experiences through providing more active learners' engagement. Existing literature on this approach has revealed some of the benefits of flipped classroom: increase of student engagement and learning (Flipped Classroom Trends, 2015), students' engagement in more meaningful collaboration and group activities (Lage, Platt, & Teglia, 2000; McCallum, Schultz, Sellke, & Spartz, 2015), students' increased responsibility and ownership of their own learning (Balan, Clark, & Restall, 2015; Fautch, 2015), flexible access to content materials and self-paced learning (Gilboy, Heinerichs, & Pazzaglia, 2014; Roach, 2014), students' in-depth understanding and inquiry about subject matter (Mazur, Brown, & Jacobson, 2015; Vaughan, 2014), a more personalized learner-centered environment (Bergmann & Sams, 2012; Driscoll, 2012; Hamdan, McKnight, & Arfstrom, 2013). Our course also faced some aforementioned challenges that included: coverage of content constrained to time limitation, lack of adequate learning activities to prepare students for college life, and large enrollment number. Moreover, it involved multiple instructors and guest speakers, which posed additional challenges in terms of work and time coordination (e.g. amount, quality, content delivery, availability, course management). These limitations prevented the course instructors to adequately assist students in achieving the learning outcomes. In order to find a plausible solution to overcome these challenges, the instructors opted to redesign and develop the course utilizing the flipped classroom and team-based learning pedagogies. In our presentation, we will discuss these pedagogies and present the course context, evolution of the solutions and next step for further development through leading interactive discussions and activities during our presentation.
In order to help the audience become familiarized with the course context, we design a case study activity for our audience to orient them into the course context. We will present the case scenario with details on the course background information and its problems, and then brainstorm on possible solutions along with the audience. We plan to use Poll Everywhere to gather audience's responses so we can simultaneously showcase the instant responses and facilitate an interactive discussion on the possible solutions. We believe this problem-based learning activity will not only help our audience learn more from our presentation, but also provide us opportunities to learn from the different perspectives of our audience.
In the next section, we will talk about the evolution of our solutions and highlight the innovative ways of utilizing the benefits of pedagogies such as flipped classroom and team-based learning. First, we will present these pedagogy innovations we adopted in designing the course and further discuss the responses gathered in the first section. We will elaborate on the rationale for creative implementing pedagogies such as flipped classroom and team-based learning to create a new pedagogical framework for the course and purposefully disregarding other possible solutions. Second, we plan to invite the audience to do an interactive puzzle activity. The course we present uses a pedagogical framework that utilizes the affordances of flipped classroom and team-based learning pedagogies. Therefore, we will give the audience the components of the course on small pieces of paper and ask them to categorize and order the pieces to make their own models. Audience will conduct this activity in teams so they can experience a similar application exercise we used in team-based learning. The purpose of these activities is for the audience to develop a better understanding of the pedagogical framework we used in the course and become more familiar with our course design and structure, as well as provide us with their feedback. We will also showcase the assessments we designed in the course and how they aligned with the course learning objectives. Added to this, we will demonstrate some classroom examples, useful tools and instructional materials we developed in order to provide more instructions and scaffoldings to students. Through these examples, we will highlight the best practices and challenges as well as inviting our audience to participate in the discussion about topics such as, the design of the flipped classroom, the affordances and limitations of the learning management system, coordination among the instructors and guest speakers, tensions among the stakeholders, students' interaction and engagement and so forth. Lastly, we will design a role play activity for the audience to represent different student populations and talk about their assumed students' perceptions of the course. After this brief activity, we will present the empirical data gathered through the research process on students' perceptions and further discuss how we can provide better learning experiences to students.
At the end, we plan to use Poll Everywhere again to brainstorm with our audience on our next steps and what are some of the useful information they get from the presentation. The presenters will design the discussions and activities to be as interactive and engaging as possible in the hope that we, along with our audience, can produce more collective knowledge on pedagogy innovations.