written by Diana Thompson (TCC 2017 guest blogger, Undergraduate Academic Advisor for the Department of Biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Yesterday, I got to write about a high school Chemistry instructor and her use of videos to engage her young technology-aged learners. Today’s post will be in an entirely different ballpark. Erika Molyneux, an instructor at a local community college, finds success with similar methodologies while teaching graphic arts classes to a diverse population of students.
Despite the audience and subject matter differing, the flipped classroom model of instruction proved to benefit this diverse population of community college learners. Community college students are known to typically face unique barriers to education, which a flipped classroom approach can assist with. Molyneaux discusses limited access to required software, such as Photoshop, out-of-classroom commitments, and even age and disability.
Molyneux introduced a flipped group project to create an advertisement for a local company that addresses key artistic principles and demonstrates technical skills in Adobe Photoshop. This project challenged them to research the competition and produce a quality end-product, while also building teamwork skills, and learning how to provide and receive constructive critique on the work of their peers.
Interesting social dynamics came into play with the group project setting, including age playing a factor (e.g. a younger student not wanting to offend an elder student), and the classic group project problem of accountability for contributing to the team’s work. Possible alternative structures are explored during the presentation, allowing listeners to apply ideas to their own classrooms or work projects.
The ideas brought forth in this presentation were especially appealing to me as someone who attempts to utilize a flipped classroom model with academic advising for a similar population of students. A particular concept brought forward was to create the same content in a variety of deliverable formats to increase accessibility for students of all learning backgrounds. As expressed yesterday, let us, the educators, do all that we can to meet our students where they are at, and mentor them with kindness and support to foster growth and success.