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The flipped workshop : inverting the teaching and learning environment for problem solving using educational robotics
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by N Lye, Andrew Chiou, K Wong
Educational robotics has been adopted by educators at every level of education, from primary to tertiary sectors in support of teaching and learning of technology based courses. Its popularity stems from the inherent nature of the field of robotics to provide learners the opportunity to exercise creativity and innovative approaches in problem-based learning. However, the very persistent demand for this type of education technology has caused an unrealistic level of expectation from both teachers and learners that may be a challenge to fulfill. These challenges may include differences in: age groups, learning styles, prerequisite skills, exposure and opportunities. As can be seen from the above premise, the activities in teaching or carrying out these workshops or classes requires many access points to cater to the existing differences. How can a teacher minimise the differences to accommodate all the different type of learners? A framework has been proposed that can adapt and diffuse the prevailing differences. The framework introduces the flipped classroom, specifically adapted to carry out workshops and classes using educational robotics as a medium to teach technology related lessons. As its name suggest, a flipped classroom delivers the teaching and learning session sequences in reverse. That is, in its simplest form: instead of a teacher teaching a class which subsequently lead to students attempting to solve problems as found in conventional classes, a flipped classroom is where students first attempt to solve and learn at their own pace, to be subsequently followed up by a teacher’s supervision. The notion of an inverted classroom allows for independent learning and exploration. This framework leads to both effective teaching and learning. The flipped classroom approach was applied to workshops with participants from across high schools, undergraduates, Honours and postgraduate levels. Robot-based challenges such as search and rescue and robosoccer were some of the problems given to these students to solve. Results shown were encouraging. Even though originating from different backgrounds, students who were entering the programme from different access points were able to quickly adapt and benefit from the flipped classroom approach.