Preparing for disruption: setting the scene for a contextualised blended learning project
Yeigh, T & Lynch, D 2018, 'Preparing for disruption: setting the scene for a contextualised blended learning project', Clute International Conferences San Fransisco Proceedings, San Fransisco, United States, 5-9 August, Clute Institute, Colorado, United States.
Introduction: This article reports on an initial pilot study used to contextualise a flipped learning pedagogical approach to blended learning in one school in Japan. The purpose of this pilot study was to set the stage for a subsequent blended learning (BL) project by establishing two teacher skill sets considered important for positioning and contextualising this subsequent project: The school’s pre-project relationship with technology as an instructional tool, and the teachers’ pre-project understanding of the connections between research evidence and their own teaching. A Teacher as Researcher (TaR) inquiry approach was used to determine the degree to which these skill sets were present within the pilot school, focussing on the teachers’ use of and attitudes toward technology, their understanding of evidence-driven decision making as a basis for professional learning and pedagogical change, and defining what a contextualised, high-quality model of blended learning might look like for their particular school.
Inquiry Methods: The TaR inquiry participants were 48 teachers in a K – 12 school in Tokyo, Japan. In this inquiry it was important to focus on developing the foundations for a fully blended learning (BL) instructional approach at the pilot school, requiring teacher understanding of how to use technology to drive student-centred learning and how to develop evidence to inform their teaching practices. To accomplish this, a survey, classroom observations and followup interviews were used to determine the teachers’ attitudes toward and use of technology, as well as their understanding of research and the relationship between research data and their personal teaching.
Overall Findings: The overall findings from this pilot inquiry were that although the teachers in this inquiry had generally positive ideas about blended learning and the use of technology to enhance student learning, they were not always clear on just how the use of technology should proceed, nor were they certain about their ability to collect and analyse data in an evidential manner, in order to improve their teaching systematically as an aspect of the blended learning project. The implications these findings have for how to contextualise and position the blended learning project are discussed and clear suggestions for contextualising the subsequent blended learning project are provided.