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Learning and Teaching Practice

These resources cover different aspects of learning and teaching practice, from flipped classrooms to small group teaching.  More resources will be added.

Small group teaching

Small group teaching

Small group teaching enables students to develop communication and persuasion skills as well as to articulate ideas through use of appropriate methods to the discipline, all while building relationships with academic staff and peers (Jaques 2000). At UWS small group teaching is an important aspect of student learning.

Some resources that may be useful in thinking about small group teaching in relation to your practice are:

  • The Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) (2013) toolkit on small group teaching which provides details of resources and practical strategies for working with small groups. Particularly helpful is the ‘top 10 lists’ section towards the end of the document that sets-out ideas to try in small group teaching and perspectives from early-career academics, amongst other topics.
  • Cardiff University’s Learning Hub has published a short blog post identifying some key ideas underpinning small group teaching and suggesting some ideas to facilitate active learning in higher education (Roberts 2016).
  • Published by Oxford Brookes University (Jacques 2000), this handbook for improving group work provides information and advice about how to make the most of small group teaching to enhance student learning.
  • A document of ideas about activities that can be done in small group settings was produced by Health Education England (online), but many of the suggestions could be deployed across disciplines.

References

Health Education England (online) Teachers’ toolbox. Small group activities. [Online] Available: https://faculty.londondeanery.ac.uk/e-learning/small-group-teaching/Toolkit_small_group_activities.pdf [Accessed 17th of May 2019].

Higher Education Academy (2013) Small group teaching: a toolkit for learning. [Online] Available: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/small-group-teaching-toolkit-learning [Accessed 16th of May 2019].

Jaques, D. (2000) Learning in groups: a handbook for improving group work. 3rd edition. London. Routledge. Available: https://shop.brookes.ac.uk/product-catalogue/oxford-centre-for-staff-learning-development/books-publications/ebooks/small-group-teaching-by-david-jaques-ebook [Accessed 16th of May 2019].

Roberts, N. (2016) Small group teaching: methods and techniques. Cardiff University Learning Hub. Available: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learning-hub/view/small-group-teaching-methods-and-techniques [Accessed 16th of May 2019]

 

Flipped classrooms

Resources for flipped classrooms

The “flipped classroom” is a type of contemporary pedagogy where new learning takes place before the student comes to the campus, normally using online artefacts or activities which can be open educational resources (OERs), links to external websites or learning objects which you create.  The face-to-face class sessions are then used to deepen and extend learners’ understanding by using student-centred, active learning approaches such as enquiry-based learning, case studies, scenarios or discussions.

This 59-second video from the University of Texas explains the concept of the flipped classroom: https://vimeo.com/70893101  It may be useful to include this link on Moodle so students can understand what is involved and how this change will affect their expectations for learning at university.

The Flipped Learning Network has a useful handout explaining the four pillars of flipped learning.  Although it refers to schools, the points it makes are equally applicable to higher education: https://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf

UWS is putting extra effort into creating learning spaces which encourage teachers to use active learning techniques like flipped classrooms.  SCALE-UP – Student-Centred Active Learning Environment, Upside-down Pedagogy – enhances the opportunities for collaboration, discussion, debate and peer support.  SCALE-UP areas with their distinctive round tables are now available at Lanarkshire, Paisley and Ayr campuses, but the approach can be adopted in many different locations where the space is set up to enhance collaboration and group work.

Nottingham Trent University has a helpful guide to using SCALE-UP pedagogy as part of a flipped learning approach: https://www4.ntu.ac.uk/adq/document_uploads/teaching/181133.pdf

A key part of the flipped classroom involves the resources you provide to support students in their learning before they come to the campus.  Many suitable resources can be found online; remember to link to them, rather than download them, in order to maintain compliance with copyright law.  If resources are classed as Open Educational Resources (OERs) or available under certain types of Creative Commons copyright, they can be used more freely.  The UWS Library can help with information about copyright; if you’re not sure what you can do, ask one of the liaison librarians.

Sometimes it’s not possible to find exactly what you need online.  In this case, you may want to consider making your own resources.  Although this can seem challenging, both in terms of time and effort, there are a number of websites to help you quickly create resources which look professional and meet every aspect of your needs, rather than using something from another institution which only covers part of what you’re looking to achieve. 

Remember that both UWS Academy and Education Futures are also here to support you – email UWSAcademy@uws.ac.uk or educationfutures@uws.ac.uk with any questions you may have.

 

Last updated: 08/07/2019