Journal article Open Access

Using active learning in hybrid learning environments

Christophe Demazière

In this paper, an innovative pedagogical approach relying on flipped classroom and offered in a hybrid learning environment combining on-site and off-site attendees is proposed. The set-up is furthermore tested on two short courses offered at Chalmers University of Technology and analyzed using student course evaluation questionnaires. Several elements constitute the backbone of the courses. Such elements are either offered in an asynchronous fashion or in a synchronous fashion. The asynchronous elements are made of textbooks specifically written for the respective courses, pre-recorded short webcasts explaining the key concepts of the textbooks and on-line quizzes giving formative feedback to the students. Such elements should thus be studied by the students before attending the synchronous sessions. Because of the preparatory work made by the students, the synchronous sessions can focus on much more active forms of learning under the teacher’s supervision. The success of the pedagogical approach entirely depends on the contents of the synchronous sessions, which need to be carefully planned and designed so that they promote student learning. Although the hybrid learning environment gives rise to some additional challenges from a teacher’s perspective, it also gives much more flexibility in attracting students from remote locations, without compromising the learning experience.

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