Wednesday 3 July: 5:30pm – 7:00pm, poster session
Dr Jennifer Scott
Massey University, New Zealand
Underpinned by inquiry-based pedagogical theory, this research focused on improving student engagement for a face-to-face undergraduate university class. The research question guiding the study was: How can we attend to different learner interests and ways of discovery to accelerate engaged learning? Extending the notion of a flipped classroom, each class was designed to begin with ideas generated by students, which included topics and contexts that interested them or had significant personal meaning, followed by small group research, and full class discussion within the context of the curriculum. Students used whichever technologies they had in class to access information in a manner in which they would normally retrieve it, without technological complexities, and in real-time, to deepen learning during class time. Students worked in self-selected groups, of which they could change the composition at any time, and the instructor moved among the groups while they researched. This supported a collective partnership among peers and with the instructor for the discovery and discussion. Although the class structure mirrored a flipped classroom, the idea generation during each class meant that the focus of each discussion was on student-identified topics, relevant to their interest at that point in time, rather than ideas the instructor pre-provided for consideration. Students also drove the suggestion to have field trips, along with the choice of field trips, as well as sub-topics for their group projects. Qualitative and quantitative data, collected via questionnaires and course evaluations, demonstrated high student satisfaction, particularly in comparison with other classes students were enrolled in at the time, and student recognition of, and appreciation for, a different class design for increased engagement.