Purpose of our Research
We wished to test the efficacy of Flipped Learning for vocational learners who develop psychomotor skills during their FE programmes of study. This is particularly important following the recommendations of the FELTAG report that 10% of learners’ programmes should be delivered online by 2015. We feel this recommendation requires rigorous enquiry particularly for our learners, many of whom are vulnerable and have had a poor start in life. Many of our students also have poorer literacy and this project will enable us to understand any barriers they may experience in respect of confidence with online learning. We acknowledge many young learners have new technology skills but we are not convinced that they are able to apply these to their own learning. We wish to give them additional study skills in the use of technology for learning to add to their work-ready skills. Work-readiness is an organisational priority: we believe all of our students will need confidence and adaptability as they go into the workplace. Confidence in using technology for work and study will be key to a successful career for our students. This project supports our e-Learning Strategy which has a focus on the use of co-coaching to spread the best practice. Our Beauty lecturers have a stronger record of engagement with technology than other staff and this would enable not only sharing of practice with their colleagues in Hair and Catering but would also give us opportunities for comparisons between different vocational students and staff. We have been running a number of experiments in flipping learning but this project gave us an opportunity to evaluate our work more thoroughly and have more robust evidence to work with. We strive for excellence and believe flipped learning is one way to achieve deeper learning.
Our action research project tested the efficacy of on-line study as part of Flipped Learning to cover the following objectives: • Evaluate the level of student engagement during the study days, comparing the 3 vocational areas to test differences. • Evaluate the enjoyment of student and staff participation in their study including their self-assessment of ILT skills and confidence gained in the use of mobile and other technologies. • Analyse the quality and success of student learning by use of the online assessment tools, comparing vocational areas.
Our research question was: How will introducing Flipped Learning (where students are asked to independently complete online tutorials containing tasks and activities):
1. Impact on staff satisfaction and ICT skills?
2. Improve student achievement in Health, Beauty & Catering modules?
3. Improve student satisfaction with Health, Beauty & Catering modules?