Goals and organisational buy-in

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Instructors are often stereotypically regarded as individual workers that are in charge of their classroom. But, no matter how independent instructors are, they almost always work within a social, regulatory, and organisational environment that is beyond their individual control. These externalities exert pressures that can affect what an instructor can or cannot do. So, even where the ultimate decision to flip or not is in the instructors hands, it is important that others in the environment are aware of, and understand, what is happening and why. This helps to ensure that the instructor is able to get the resources and support needed to successfully flip their learning environments.

As is described elsewhere, it is important that there is a common shared understanding within the organisation about what flipping is. But, equally important is that there be agreement concerning the goals of flipping the learning environment, even when not all instructors in the organisation are involved.

Goals should be described in such a manner that they can be measured to gauge progress throughout the implementation and developmental process. It is also important that the goals of flipping reflect the overall goals of the organisation. Otherwise, the flipping process may be viewed as working against the organisation’s interests and be more likely to generate negative sentiment.

Here are a few pointers about setting goals for monitoring the implementation of flipped learning:

  • Clear, concise and measurable – Goals should be unambiguous so that they are clearly understandable by individuals involved in the flipping project and those who are not. Avoid stating goals that encompass more than one measurable aspect of the project as this opens the door to misinterpretation of collected data.
  • Free of jargon – Goals should be stated in language that is clearly understandable by everyone within the organisation, whether they are familiar with the concept and process of flipping or not.
  • Goals are tools – Monitoring the flipping process is not done just for the sake of generating data. The primary reason for monitoring is to help to make the process better. Goals and monitoring tools should facilitate reflection and translation into better practice.

Here is an example of a reflective monitoring tool developed by the FLiP project. The criteria used here are based on the Flipped Learning Network’s F-L-I-P Pillars and feedback from the instructors who participated in the FLiP project. This is only for demonstration. It is likely that your goals will be different than those used here.