Project Leader: Tim Lawrenson, Sports Development and Performance
Unit: Introduction to Strength and Conditioning, Department of Health
This is a case study of one of the University's funded pilot Flipping Projects, looking at the motivation for flipping, the methods used, lessons learnt and impact.
The motivation behind a flipped approach for the “Introduction to Strength and Conditioning” unit on the BSc Sport and Exercise Science was to enhance the connection between theory and practical settings, via group review and problem solving. Group review enables students to discuss their analysis of the performance of an exercise (e.g. squats) together enhancing the peer-learning aspect of the class as they concentrate on the vital, and more advanced, problem solving aspect of real life examples.
Two main activities were completed by the students ahead of the sessions:
- Pre-reading on some of the theoretical issues
- Video recording of their own performance (e.g. a squat)
By reading through some of the theoretical material in advance, students were then able to move straight to analysis and problem solving activities. The use of their own videos as the case studies made a strong connection with both their own performances and the real world. This technique also provided a large range of cases to use for review. The videos were submitted in advance so that common errors could be picked out ready for discussion in the session.
Live in the class, video software on a tablet was used by the teacher to annotate slow-motion play back of the videos. This was visible by the whole group on the main screen and allowed live analysis to be performed and close inspection of technique. The group would review the technique and actions and then discuss advice and coaching that would be given to improve performance. This mirrors the real life analysis of technique for high performance athletes.
The following are the key lessons learnt from the first attempt at flipping following the design above:
Technology: As is often the case with technology, despite preparation and checks, things can go wrong, In this case, although there should have been the correct connectors for the iPad to the main display, this was missing in the classroom. However, the lesson learnt from adapting was the flexibility of the visualiser, which could project anything in front of it including the tablet’s display.
Student discussions: In hindsight, the solutions from these discussions could have been better recorded for the group to use in the future. Considering this in advance will be useful for next time, finding a solution that also integrates well into the class environment.
Pre-work: Those who engaged with the pre-work received feedback and benefitted from the class time more (both for the reading and the submission of videos of their own performance). As with other flipping projects, this isn’t always done, but often for reasons other than direct choice not to engage. Other mechanisms including prompts will be considered in future.
Enjoyment: The students enjoyed it! In particular the real world and practical elements as well as looking specifically at their own practice.
- Later practical sessions in the course, following the flipped part, were found to be more effective. Students were better prepared. The learning thus improved.
- Student feedback on the unit was good, indicated satisfaction improved as well.