Distance Education Seminar Series: Flipped Instructional Design: Enabling Students “Learn2Teach”

The Department of Distance Education at the School of Continuing and Distance Education (SCDE, University of Ghana) has held the third edition of the monthly seminar series on the subject “Flipped Instructional Design (FID) – An Online Pedagogy Enabling Students to ‘learn2teach’ in an Open Distance E-Learning Course”.

Speaking at the seminar, Professor Michael Van Wyk, from the University of South Africa, explained that Flipped Learning is an inverted pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from a group learning space into the individual learning space to be transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment for participants.

According to him, in a Flipped Instructional Design (FID), the teacher becomes a facilitator who guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter under discussion.

Aspects of the presentation focused on the historical overview of FID, research trends of flipped learning, impact of COVID-19 on FID as well as the context of flipped learning in University of South Africa.

Talking about the historical antecedent of FID, Prof. Van Wyk noted that the Flipped Learning concept was originated by two High School Chemistry teachers – Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in 2012, who planned and used pre-recorded lectures and in-class practice activities of relevant subject content.

The speaker also highlighted the advantages of FID over traditional lecturing using a scoping review, stating that research studies have confirmed that flipped pedagogy has emerged as a web-based or virtual classroom innovative pedagogical approach by teachers to change the teaching paradigm.

He stressed that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not safe to have students crowded in classrooms for face-to-face studies, thus flipped learning was opted for. “Students were satisfied and shared positive perceptions of the flipped learning approach as a meaningful experience under the COVID-19 pandemic despite a few challenges regarding poor internet connectivity and expensive data charges”, he added.

Professor Van Wyk further presented the results of his research findings and encouraged participants including faculty members to consider adopting the FID approach.

In all, 40 attendees from University of South Africa, University of Ghana, University of Education Winneba, and the University for Professional Studies, Accra, participated in the seminar.

The meeting was chaired by the Acting Head of Department of Distance Education, Dr. Samuel Amponsah.