Today didn’t start off that well. I started by asking how they were finding the methodology and the project they were working on (they are designing assessment tools, guides and activities a la the “Design and Develop OB assessment tools unit standard). They reported being frustrated with their knowledge level in comparison to the tasks at hand.
We debated whether they would be in a better position if I had taught the theory (from experience of having done just that I know that many learners still only ‘get it’ once they start developing practically – so I felt that they were still at an advantage as they had time in class to practice and question). One perception from the group was, however, that they didn’t have the conceptual picture (they had read the notes and understood them but had not engaged with the theory sufficiently to create their own picture).
So I spent about half an hour sketching the conceptual map of the assessment process (from design, through development, review and then the actual assessment process). This helped most of the more visual learners (I am assuming this was their dominant type – I did not assess learning styles formally).
One learner (highly analytical) had created his own conceptual map but in doing so had moved beyond the task at hand and had started designing the actual preparation checklists for the preparation of the assessment learners. This was stressing him as he felt there was not enough time to complete the (what he perceived to be) task. This was making him feel inadequately prepared, which he was attributing to the ‘flipped classroom’ methodology. He was really relieved when he realised that he had gone ahead and was actually on track.
Good lessons for me though – I still like the flipped classroom methodology, but I realise I have to provide an overview of the concepts. Not as theory, but as a map or logic model. Just because they have read the theory and been assessed on it does not necessarily mean they are ready to apply it. I will also tighten up on the formative assessments next time – so that they don’t only assess theory (they must also cover some application)
I’ll give you an update again tomorrow.