Learning design

Flipping your classroom

What is 'flipped learning'?

The University of Western Australia encourages a student-centred approach to excellence in education, and positively supports the design and implementation of the flipped classroom model, underpinned by the delivery of evidence-based pedagogies.

The flipped classroom model has a range of benefits for both students and teachers. The model is couched in a student-centric approach to learning which shifts away from didactic teaching. This setting places the onus of learning on the student, empowering them with greater control over their learning experience. By highlighting flexibility in delivery it develops the ability to explore in-depth discussions and collaborations in-class with an emphasis on engagement in collaborative complex problem-solving activities.

From a pedagogical standpoint, the flipped classroom can be defined as:

  • The movement of information-transmission teaching out of the classroom.
  • Use of class time for learning activities which are active and social.
  • A requirement for students to complete pre- and/or post-class activities to fully benefit from in-class work.

Steps to flipping

The following accordions will help you understand how to get started and walk you through designing your pathway towards flipping your class.

Additional resources

UWA guidelines for group work and assessment

Increasingly, group work constitutes an important part of assessment at UWA.

Along with the growth in this mode of assessment, questions have been posed here and at other universities about the challenge of dealing with academic misconduct in this context.

Given the relative newness in some areas of this form of assessment, at times expectations and guidelines may not be as fully elaborated as is the case for other assessment forms. In turn, the amorphous nature of some group work poses the challenge of accurately attributing academic misconduct if it occurs in this context.

Some common solutions – such as penalising all students in a group when academic misconduct is detected, regardless of which individual/s commit an infraction – appear as an unacceptably simplistic and inequitable response to a complex issue.

The nature of group work is considered below and identifies:

  • some more common structures that form within work groups
  • the problems that may occur within groups, especially as they relate to academic misconduct
  • methods of identifying responsibilities within the different group types, and identifying more fairly and accurately the source(s) of academic misconduct

It concludes with a number of suggestions about group work, including structuring group assessments at the outset in a manner that takes account of the types of group that may form, and ways in which responsibility for parts of the final output may be identified.

Originality and academic integrity

As part of UWA's commitment to supporting teaching and learning that promotes academic literacy and ethical scholarship for all staff and students, the University has a policy relating to academic misconduct, including plagiarism.

These notes outline UWA's approach to, and definition of, plagiarism.

  • Plagiarism is usually defined as the unattributed use of someone else's words, creations, ideas and arguments as one's own. Within university policies it is usually further extended to include the use of 'too close' or extensive paraphrase.
  • Further, within particular areas of study, different forms of plagiarism may require emphasis and explanation for the guidance of students. As well as direct plagiarism and close paraphrase, it is important to specify further, for example, that the recycling of work is unacceptable and constitutes a form of self-plagiarism; or that copying and disguising computer codes is a serious breach of academic integrity.
  • It is important for faculties to maintain or devise area-specific guidelines about the constitution of plagiarism for the information of its students, the task of defining plagiarism in the context of such guidelines is inevitably complex.
  • One area of particular complexity is the issue of measurement: how much and what kind of plagiarism constitutes 'minor', 'moderate' and 'major' misconduct? How may balance be achieved to ensure reasonable parity of approaches between faculties, while remaining responsive to the specific academic and assessment context within faculties? A common policy approach is one that sets in place a measure of quantity as the defining factor in levels of seriousness of plagiarism. This is an approach employed within some existing faculty policies at UWA. 'Break points' in levels of seriousness of plagiarism are commonly set at around less than 10 per cent of a work to qualify as 'minor'; from 10-25 per cent to qualify as 'moderate'; and 'more than 25 per cent' to be classified as 'major'. In a purely quantitative framework, however, further issues arise. For example, it may be necessary to further define what constitutes 'the work' within which the proportion of plagiarism is to be established: does it include text only, or text, quotes, footnotes and illustrative material? In relation to visual or tabulated material within an essay, what 'percentage per illustration/table' should be brought to bear, when calculating extent? What measures may be included to encompass musical composition and performance, computer codes, or oral presentations that are based on plagiarised material? Such questions may seem contrived, but do illustrate the limitations of any purely quantitative approach within a diverse institution.
  • Fair assessment of a case requires reference as well to the nature of the plagiarism. For example, one may argue that an assessment submitted by a first-year student that consists of 200 words (or 20 per cent) of material in a 1000-word essay based on inappropriate close paraphrase or absence of referencing is academically less serious than plagiarism of 3000 words (or 20 per cent) of material that has been downloaded and pasted direct from an internet essay mill within a 15,000-word honours dissertation.
  • A combination of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to assessments of plagiarism is preferred. While quantitative measure alone is an imperfect measure of 'seriousness', it nonetheless provides a useful initial guide for students and staff in understanding the varying levels of misconduct in the area, and the general seriousness with which it is taken within the University. The subsequent application of qualitative judgment is also needed, and is in keeping with the overall thrust of the University Policy.

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