In a flipped classroom, knowledge is outsourced on the internet or on educational platforms outside the classroom offering more time in class for team-based activities fostering deeper understanding. According to Belgian educator Marcel Lebrun, the current worldly educational tsunami is creating new ways teaching and learning rethinking in-class activities. Lebrun calls this new paradigm in higher education the double hybridization, one between time and space and one between teaching and learning. In this changing educational context, I’ve identified three traps teachers should be aware of described below:
1st trap: teaching isn’t learning!
Teaching doesn’t necessarily mean that students are learning, we cannot make our students learn without their personal commitment. Faculty are expected to teach and should teach in a way fostering deeper learning. In any case, faculty have to be aware of who really owns the learning. In other words, only students own their proper learning experience and it’s faculty’s responsibility to find pedagogical strategies centred on students’ learning experience. We educators should always keep in in mind we don’t own the learning, we own the teaching!
2nd trap: to believe that students learn thanks to teaching.
There’s one crucial question faculty should ask themselves which is: ‘I do teach, but do my students learn?’ No later than yesterday, I was doing a class observation during which the professor repeated several times the explanation of the same theoretical concept. When later I asked him why he taught in a repetitive mode, he answered that he believed in the impact of repeating the same theories several times. In his view, repeating over and over the same things was the best way to make sure students would finally understand the material. Isn’t the right question about what conditions create the best learning environment rather than what strategies faculty think work best?
3rd trap: to believe that students know what kind of learners they are!
Independent learners may know what their learning style is, nevertheless most students don’t and apply inefficient strategies for deep learning. In my opinion, it’s faculty’s responsibility to lead their students towards a better understanding of their personal learning style. Learning depends on several factors among which the material, we don’t learn in the same way a foreign language and physics. Who else than faculty can provide students with opportunities to discover their learning style in order to develop impactful learning strategies?
Who owns the learning? Who owns the teaching? The answer is obvious, students own their learning and faculty their teaching.
Pedagogy in higher education provides us with resources to plan students-centred teaching strategies fostering on deep learning. According to me, the increase of digital literacy in education, such as the flipped classroom or MOOCs, make students’ learning experience more important than ever. Faculty should focus on effective students-centred teaching strategies and restore learning to students. I warmly recommend Alan November’s inspiring book ‘Who owns the learning?’(November, 2012)
November, A. C. (2012). Who owns the learning? : preparing students for success in the digital age. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.