Closing the Loop: Discussion and Reflection Activities in Flipped Classroom
The provision of discussion and reflective activities are a key component to the flipped classroom model. After completing the pre-work (content) and learning activities (application), the final stage of reflection and discussion helps students make connections between content, get feedback from peers and teachers, and facilitates deep learning: “Students in inverted classrooms need to have more space to reflect on their learning activities so that they can make necessary connections to course content.” (Strayer, 2012).
What is a reflective learner?
Let’s begin by looking at what a reflective learner is. The following short video provides a humorous view to this.
Why is discussion and reflective learning important?
In the light of the Bloom’ taxonomy model reflection allows time for analysing, evaluation of the content or concept introduced which can then allow for the learner to apply that in a creative way through such activities such as journal writing.
The concept of reflection being a part of the learning process has seen the development of a number of models illustrating this process. The model below combines two models developed by key thinkers in reflective learning practice, David Kolb (1984) and Graham Gibbs (1988) ‘reflective cycle’. (Kolb’s model is the blue one, Gibbs the outer diagram). Gibbs has expanded on Kolb’s model. The reflective learning process converts content and knowledge gained to a personal process or application and results in a change of behaviour or shift in position about that knowledge.
Image source: http://www.eapfoundation.com/studyskills/learningcycle/
How can discussion and reflection be facilitated in flipped classrooms?
As with the previous post on active learning there are many ways to provide opportunities for discussion and reflection. Facilitation of this can be achieved through group or collaborative activities and in an individual context. The University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) Centre for Teaching and Learning has developed a list with many suggestions for reflective activities that you could incorporate into your teaching http://www.umsl.edu/services/ctl/faculty/instructionalsupport/reflection-strat.html
You may also find this reflective learning template based on Gibbs (1998) model useful as a way of guiding students in reflecting and discussing what they have learnt: https://www.cpdme.com/Resources/Documents/CPDme%20Reflective%20Practice%20Template%202013.pdf
Wattle tools for reflective learning
Here a just a few ways, not an extensive list, in which you can use the tools available within Wattle (Moodle) to facilitate some of the activities from the UMSL list within an online environment. These activities could be applied to both individual and group learning environments. Using the group function within Wattle allows you to divide students into groups to manage large classes.
- Forum : Could be used for journal activities, these could be made private or public depending on the task. Students could get feedback from other students and then modify their reflection.
- Feedback tool : could set up a template (see example below) attached to an activity that students could fill out.
- Wiki: could be used as an individual or group space into which student collect information relating to the topic, could be in the form of video, images, Url links etc. Wikis are also great as a brainstorming space into which initial ideas can be kept.
- Wattle (Moodle)/ Turnitin assignment: Use for reflective essays, experimental research paper, students could make a short video reflection and upload it
- Database: You could provide a database of links to a number of readings that students could work through and comment on or then discuss in the forum. Get students to collect quotes or images, videos and contribute them to the database and then comment on the contributions.
- Lesson: Ethical case study or a simulation in which they have to make choices and decisions and develop a conclusion or discuss why they made the choice they did.
- Adobe Connect sessions: Would allow for structured online discussions, students can come together and discuss
- Griffith University (2011). Reflective writing. Retrieved from https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/403611/reflective-writing.pdf
- Henderson, K., Napan K. & Monteiro, S. (2004). Encouraging reflective learning: An online challenge. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 357-364). Perth, 5-8 December. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/henderson.html
- Le, T.,Le,Q., (2007). Reflective Learning in Online Communication. In Sigafoos, J. & Green, V. (2007). Technology and teaching. New York: Nova Science Publishers. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.520.254&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Reflective learning in practice. (2003). Training Strategies for Tomorrow, 17(4), 43. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218791677?accountid=8330 (ANU Library, if not an ANU staff member you may need to search for this in your own library)
Share your ideas
- What activities listed above could you apply to your courses?
- Is reflection something you have incorporated into your teaching before? If so how?
- How could you see reflection as being a benefit to your students?
- Write a short reflection on how you have found the coffee course so far.
- Do you think encouraging reflective learning is a new idea?
Strayer, J. F. (2012). How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation and task orientation. Learning Environments Research, 15(2), 171-193.
Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by doing : a guide to teaching and learning methods. [London]: FEU.
Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential learning : experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs ; London: Prentice-Hall.