Education of the Future and the Hybrid Learning Spaces

Katia Ramos [katia@singularidades.com.br], Instituto Superior de Educação de São Paulo - Instituo Singularidades, Brazil

Abstract

The pedagogical model of the blended learning is becoming increasingly adopted in higher education, by the fact that promotes significant changes in learning. By reversing the classroom, with the methodology of Flipped Classroom, the process of teaching and learning is reframed, education becomes active, personalized, thus creating effective educational opportunities to make students, who are the subject of their own learning process, build knowledge and develop important skills for life. The goal of this article is to present the contributions of the Flipped Classroom method in the teaching-learning process of the Singularidades Institute and to suit as inspiration for educators who want to work with this method and venture into active learning processes with their students.

Abstract in Portuguese

O modelo pedagógico ensino híbrido ganha cada vez mais adeptos no ensino superior, por promover mudanças significativas na educação. Ao inverter a sala de aula, com a metodologia do Flipped Classroom, o processo de ensino-aprendizagem é ressignificado, a educação passa a ser ativa, personalizada, criando desta maneira oportunidades educativas efetivas para que o estudante, sujeito do seu processo de aprendizagem, construa conhecimentos e desenvolva importantes habilidades para a sua vida. Este artigo tem por objetivo apresentar as contribuições do método sala de aula invertida no processo ensino-aprendizagem do Instituto Singularidades e servir de inspiração para educadores que queiram trabalhar com este método e se aventurar no processo de aprendizagem ativa com seus estudantes.

Key Words: Education of the future, flipped classroom, learning spaces, blended learning

Introduction

The twenty-first century learning spaces need to consider educational opportunities for students to develop a set of learning skills such as: learn to learn, to do, get to live together and learn to be, in order to, jointly and autonomously, live and produce in a world increasingly complex (Delors, 1998).

Cognitive skills are widely known and valued by institutions worldwide as the ability to read and write, analyze data, perform operations and store information. Focusing education only in the development of the latter skills is limiting the potential of students and contributing to their social and professional exclusion.

The education of the future must enrich the potential of students and have them as protagonists in the teaching-learning process. The facilitator should guide them to an integral formation, involving the development of cognitive and socio-emotional abilities and the use of new technologies as a research tool for learning, communication and dissemination, in order to make learning, in fact, more significant.

Learning hybrid models are emerging as a hybrid innovation, as a possibility of student engagement, sustainable innovation compared to traditional classroom. “This hybrid form is an attempt to deliver” the best of both worlds, “that is, the advantages of combined online learning with all the benefits of traditional classroom” (Christensen, Horn, & Staker, 2013).

For Michael Horn (2014), “We should worry about analyzing, evaluating, have learning self-control, teamwork, and connect knowledge to real-life problems for the student to understand why it is relevant”.

Active methodology provides dynamics learning spaces

According to Michael Horn and Heather Staker (2014) is considered a hybrid education program when the student learns: “(1) at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; (2) at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; (3) and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience”.

The Flipped Classroom methodology combines classroom tasks and activities held by the use of digital information and communication technologies. It proposes that the students, before class, should study a specific theme, in order to prepare themselves and come to the class with questions and concerns that will be the starting point for discussions in the classroom with peers and teacher.

Michael Horn and Heather Staker (2014) say that the flipped classroom methodology can be adopted in a course or subject in which students participate in online learning, instead of the traditional homework, and then go to school for discussion face to face. The delivery of the first content and instruction is online.

This proposal of learning optimizes the learning spaces. Learning is no longer restricted to enclosed spaces and only by appointment. The student interacts with the content displayed digitally, which allows the student to study, research, formulate hypotheses, analyze, reflect and raise doubts before going to the classroom, which now becomes an active and collaborative space for debates.

This methodology, considered to be a hybrid-teaching model, provides dynamics and dialogic learning spaces that reframe the roles of the student, the teacher and the learning process.

Michael Horn (2014; p.1) says that this methodology is an “... open space for critical thinking. People come to contemplate the issues from virtual classes and deepen this knowledge with their teachers with important questions”.

In this format of teaching and learning, teachers are surely holders of knowledge, but not simply that, the teachers are involved in a task of becoming learning facilitators. Everyone learns from everyone and learning, besides being shared with peers, takes on a greater significance for the student.

The class becomes dialogical and interactive, reversing the transmission of knowledge used in traditional education, where the student has a totally passive role as an information receiver.

The teacher is present in the classroom to answer questions, instigate and promote discussions and the classroom becomes a space to connect knowledge and to discuss issues related to real life and teaching practice. Classes become dynamic, students work together, experience experiences, do different activities in a collaborative and integrated way among peers and teachers increasing the interaction between teacher and student (Bergmann, & Sams, 2012).

The teacher foments students in a continuous learning process that takes place in different spaces, and enables them to broaden their studies, knowledge, and to develop communication skills, critical thinking and autonomy.

New learning spaces give new meaning to the education of the Singularidades Institute

Focused on the students’ integrate development, to aim the future professionals of the 21st century, the Institute of Education of São Paulo, college specialized in training future teachers and professors, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, more commonly known as the Singularidades Institute, has adopted in its graduation course the blended learning, or Flipped Classroom method.

The blended learning integrates the online mode and face to face to create an integrated learning experience, providing students greater flexibility, support and new channels of communication between teachers and students, which contributes to the development of active, investigative and collaborative learning.

The implementation of this methodology required changes in the practice of teacher and student, in management and in physical spaces, which have been sized in order to promote teamwork and dynamics in the classroom.

The first point to be modified to implement the hybrid-teaching model is the understanding of the roles that teachers and students can take in this new scenario (Silva & Camargo, 2015; p.183). At Institute Singularidades this has not been different. Teachers and coordinators participate in study groups with experts in the field and have permanent training for learning and sharing better practices.

The introduction of this method at Singularidades Institute enabled the coordinators and teachers from many different courses to open effective spaces in the courses program, across disciplines, to develop training activities that focus on the development skills and provide a collaborative learning that is meaningful to the student.

For the Languages Course coordinator, Marcelo Ganzela, “It is very important train teachers approaching new paradigms. More than talking about changes, we must work to change the training of new teachers. When a major student of Languages has confidence and feels comfortable to a point that he/she will bring suggestions for material and topics within the teacher's planning, we realize that empowering is possible”.

The activities in the classroom encourage sharing, social exchanges between students and allow: to train creative students, capable of facing challenges and finding innovative solutions for them; communicative students who know how to express and support their point of view, without disrespecting others and with arguments that lead them to make up their minds; student entrepreneurs; autonomous, supportive and competent.

For Mayara Valentin a student of the fifth semester of the college of Education “the hybrid school gave students the freedom to find a new way to explore knowledge. Today, the students at Singularidades Institute find the urge to work with the students in active methods of learning”.

When working with the methodology of the inverted classroom, the teachers’ role is changed. They are no longer solely responsible for conducting the learning process. In this interaction / learning model, students step into the scene with an active posture, taking on the leading role in the process of teaching and learning, and giving meaningful learning and experiencing hybrid methodologies with their future students.

Innovation requires breaking paradigms and willingness to dare and do differently. The teacher of the Singularidades Institute, Maria Estela Ferreira, believes that “in order to teach future teachers, they need to live today as students, learning different experiences from those learned in the initials years of their own schooling. They must also learn how they can be active and responsible for the learning process, and how they can materialize the ability to learn to learn”.

However, it is noteworthy that in this process of working with active methods, the teacher's role remains crucial since the success in the interactive process relies heavily on his intervention with the groups and individuals participating in the interactive community “Cooperative learning changes the nature of the educational process and the relationship between learners and teachers / tutors / moderators, leaving the latter to represent an authority to become mentors and sources of information for learning activities in-group” (Gonçalves, 2006; p.54).

The technology is an ally in this process of change to facilitate that learning happens in different times and spaces, for motivating and engaging students in this process of teaching and learning and providing different tools and resources that enable learning, communication and dissemination.

Students are increasingly connected with digital technologies, configured as the generation that establishes a relationship with knowledge. In this methodology technologies are used as a means articulator, motivator and developer of this learning process.

To work with the Flipped Classroom methodology teachers and students have the Learning Management System (LMS) MOODLE for publication of materials, audio-visuals, discussion forums, research, publishing WIKI. The LMS also facilitates delivery activities and resources for collaboration, communication and interaction, having a friendly interface, intuitive and easy to navigate.

The student, Mayara Valentin, also says “Working with an easy to navigate online platform, where students can have a preliminary knowledge of the subject, certainly keeps them more active in the classroom, where they can raise issues and share new ideas with the class”.

The use of this methodology gives real meaning to the classroom: a building space of dialogue, collaboration and socializing. The students now have more autonomy and responsibility and the activities can be led by them, initiating the discussion even before class starts.

Another important point is that, with this methodology, the teacher started to valorize the learning pace of each student, who receives more individual attention from the teacher.

The inverted classroom is gaining more space at Singularidades Institute, in graduate and bachelor degree courses to strengthen a dialogic and challenging learning. This involves individual activities and in pairs, where students evaluate what they know, collaborating on challenges found by them, by acquiring multiple skills, among which the management, research, data interpretation, coexistence, cooperation, exchange of ideas, negotiation and problem solving. Social interaction denotes the importance of the relationship between people and the environment in the construction of learning processes.

The change to adopt this methodology required involvement of pedagogical management and the coordinators from various courses, in order to guide and monitor teachers and students in the implementation of this approach.

By studies it is noticeable that students’ access to resources and activities available in the Moodle platform grew gradually, as well as the teacher's culture to organize materials and arrange them in advance to their students.

Today, the Flipped Classroom methodology gives a new meaning to education at Singularidades Institute and provides new learning spaces. Moreover, this reframing involves understanding today’s student and the importance of working diversity, hence opening effective opportunities for dialogue and collaborative construction, promoting digital culture with the use of digital technologies, by working in partnership with managers, students and teachers who dare to act differently in the classroom.

References

  1. Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. ISTE and ASCD.
  2. Christensen, C. M., Horn, M. B., & Staker, H. (2013). Is K-12 blended learning disruptive? An introduction of the theory of hybrids. Retrieved from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Is-K-12-blended-learning-disruptive.pdf
  3. Delors, J. (1998). The four pillars of education. Paris: Unesco. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/networks/global-networks/aspnet/about-us/strategy/the-four-pillars-of-learning
  4. Gonçalves, M. I. R. (2006). Community network learning cooperative. Federal University of Minas Gerais. Retrieved from https://www.nescon.medicina.ufmg.br/biblioteca/imagem/2517.pdf
  5. Horn, M. (2014) Hybrid education is the only way to transform education. [Blog post] PORVIR, interview with Gomes, P. Retrieved from http://porvir.org/ensino-hibrido-e-unico-jeito-de-transformar-educacao/20140220/
  6. Horn, M., & Staker, H. (2014). Blended Learning Definitions. Retrieved from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning-definitions-and-models/
  7. Silva, A. R., & Camargo, L. A. (2015). The School Culture in the Digital Age: The impact of technological acceleration in the teacher-student relationship, in curriculum and school organization. In L. Bacich, A. Neto, & F. Trevisan (Eds.), Hybrid Education: Personalization and technology in education. Porto Alegre: Penso.>

     

Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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