I have been getting back in the practice of checking Twitter on a regular basis. I took a break from it between semesters, but whenever I do that, I wonder why because inevitably when I get back on again, I find the most amazing articles and resources. Begs the question — what did I miss while I was gone? I’m trying to get more comfortable with knowing that I probably missed some good stuff.
One of the articles I found this past week was What’s Hot, What’s Not 2013. Two topics it addresses – flipped classrooms and blended learning – are pertinent to the two projects we’re working on in class this week.
Flipped Classrooms – MKTG 442 Service Marketing
This week we are writing up our design strategies for an undergraduate service marketing class. One of the suggestions we are leaning toward is flipping the classroom so that some learning previously delivered by lecture during class could be done by the students outside of class, and in-class time could be used for active learning where the students can interact and engage with the information they reviewed prior to class.
Lev Gonick states in the What’s Hot article, “flipping involves redesigning of time and strategy for engagement.” In some ways, redesigning time is the easier part. The professor already knows she wants to increase the time students are working outside of class by introducing more online assignments. Part of redesigning the strategy for engagement will be revising the course objectives to include stronger action verbs to describe the learning goals. With a better idea of what the goals will look like, we can determine if the current assignments are providing the right activity for the students to achieve those goals and/or what new strategies for both in and outside the classroom we can suggest to support the goals. Clearer goals will also help drive the creation of the right assessment tools.
Blended Learning – Theory & Practice of Adult Learning for Medical Educators
This week also introduced us to a new class being offered through a new certificate program on the medical campus. In this case, we have the ability to offer suggestions on how to use blended learning to accommodate 30 contact hours in a short 8 week summer semester.
In What’s Hot, Colleen Carmean says, “Blended learning is the norm. A status quo can be neither trending nor trendy. … What needs to catch up is reduced seat time for all technology-infused courses. Now that’s hot.” While we cannot reduce the seat time for this particular course, we have been given leeway to come up with creative ideas for the 10 hours the professor has allocated as not in-class seat time.
One of the things I have discovered while I’ve been enrolled in this masters program is that it’s hard not to be thinking about, experiencing, or discovering instances of adult learning in everyday life. I make connections with what we’re learning about using social media as a learning tool as I hear the Tech Report on the news at night. I cringe when I see an email at work that is paragraphs long with no screen shots and few links that is billed as “training tips” for the newly upgraded client database. And my favorite examples come when I realize what I’m learning in my formal graduate studies has a direct correlation to what I’m learning about in my spiritual and meditation practice. By keeping our minds alert to what’s happening around us, we adults are learning all the time! Shouldn’t that count toward seat time?
Maybe I’m just a school-nerd, but learning something new every day? That’s hot!