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This session reviews our thinking, decisions, and constraints around changing a complex, content-heavy, one day Systemic Thinking workshop (“the ability to see and work with systems”) to a blended model using the flipped classroom approach. This workshop was originally a one-day workshop, open to any UBC employee, with use of their professional development funds. In 2012, based on a review of the content, design, participant feedback, and resources related to the workshop, we decided to implement a flipped classroom approach (online learning modules followed by a face to face workshop) to allow participants more time to reflect on concepts in their own time, and to practice the ideas with facilitators, during the face to face session.
During this session, we will provide a 15 minute overview that will include a quick walk through of some background to the workshop, the reasons for, and constraints within, the re-design process, a brief look at the redesigned, blended workshop, and participant evaluations before and after the re-design.
The next 20 minutes will involve participant in small group work. During this time participants will have the opportunity to both, work with systemic thinking concepts in an educational technology context (for e.g. MOOCs or flipped classrooms), and to recommend improved learning design to us based on this brief experience. Given our increasing complex worlds, having the ability to understand and influence systems is a key competency for designers of educational technology.
During our session we plan to touch on and highlight certain aspects of this workshop re-design that we needed to consider carefully. We plan to touch on these both, during our overview, and during participants small group work. These aspects are:
(i) Workshop participants needed some knowledge and understanding of systems thinking frameworks before they could explore the concepts meaningfully in the workshop;
(ii) Due to the complexity of the content and frameworks, workshop participants needed sufficient soak time to reflect on, and absorb, the content before being able to apply it;
(iii) To do full justice to participant learning, we believed that workshop should support participants to practice, and work with, systems thinking using examples from their personal and professional contexts. We felt that this was an essential step towards being able to practice systems thinking after the workshop, in their workplaces.
We are particularly interested in the idea of flipped classrooms, and making use of non-classroom time to support deep, situated learning for our participants. In addition, we think that a flipped classroom approach might help us work around some resource constraints that staff development faces at universities.
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