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Reflecting on a tertiary educator’s implementation of a project-based flipped classroom: A repertory grid analysis


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Grid-based reflection: This report outlines how the authors used repertory grid findings in their collaborative reflective practice in vocational education in a tertiary setting. Second author (SA), Dileep Rajendran, invited first author (FA), Willfred Greyling, to track his implementation of a project-based flipped classroom in an Information Technology module.
Pedagogy: The course design was based on the following principles associated with project-based flipped classrooms:
• Acknowledge learners’ current and potential skill: The teaching had to be pitched at a level where learners’ current competence would be an adequate stepping stone to elaborate their knowledge and skill through inquiry-based learning .
• Specify classroom participants’ responsibilities in inquiry-based learning: The tutor’s role would be to structure inquiry-based learning projects and learning spaces where learners took optimal responsibility for their learning.
• Design and enact learning that develops learner autonomy: The target would be to promote learner autonomy and their ability to reason and act in the IT networking field.
Observer interests: The observer’s interests include classroom observations as third-party accounts of interactively accomplished learning, and repertory grid use as a means to assist educators in exploring their pedagogical thinking and doing.
Eliciting pedagogical constructs, grid design and application: Following two classroom observations and reflective dialogues on both observations, we agreed to elicit SA’s constructs for a repertory grid (see Appendix A). Following the difference method (Fransella, Bell and Bannister, 2004), we used 10 elements to elicit 10 constructs. After crafting the formulations until SA felt they best represented his meaning-making lenses, we used a 7-point rating scale in our grid design, and followed guide-lines for scale conversion, pole reversals, and reverse scoring (Fransella, et al., 2004) to enhance the validity of our process.
Complex interactions among an educator’s pedagogical constructs: Our purpose was to unpack SA’s pedagogical meaning-making at a level beyond discrete lists of bipolar constructs: we intended to show a deeper level of analysis, namely, that educators’ constructs do not function in isolation, rather, they form complex patterns within the individual’s meaning-making. To explore these patterns, we performed principal components analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) on SA’s ratings which yielded two components and a dendrogram. These, together with the correlations among constructs, became prompts for making sense of the varying levels of association among SA’s constructs.
Triangulation: Following Viney and Nagy (2012), we triangulated our collaborative account of the repertory grid findings against two classroom observations and informal input from participating students. The observations highlighted how SA implemented the principles and practices of a project-based flipped classroom, specifically the principles referred to above. We also elicited informal input from the participating learners. A selection of comments is included.
Findings: We found that
• the tutor’s role remained significant as a designer of learning experiences and a guide to learners to develop problem-solving strategies. These strategies avoided transmission-based exchanges; rather, they consistently ensured learner engagement and learner-centred practice.
• In project-based flipped classrooms, the tutor has a significant role, designing tasks, re-defining both his own and learners’ roles, as well as retaining an inquiry-based approach when barriers occur in the learning.
Conclusions: We concluded that our grid use
• allowed both authors to reflect on SA’s implementation of a project-based flipped classroom, capturing an account of SA’s thinking and doing associated with his teaching practices (classroom observations).
• gained in meaningfulness when we triangulated these findings against student perceptions which showed that although they found the learner-centred role and the tutor’s deliberately limited project information (step-by-step outlines) challenging, they understood the purpose and the approach.
• exposed the tip of the iceberg: much more could be extracted from the grid, especially when the grid was transposed and elements analysed.
• identified an agenda for continued reflection, for example, how to manage the ratio of teacher mediation and learner-centred activity; and the deliberateness of tutor strategies to enact learner-centred approaches.

Item Type: Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: repertory grids, capability development, reflective practice, project-based learning, flipped classroom
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Foundation Studies
Depositing User: Willfred Greyling
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2018 22:40
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 08:11

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