Exemplar: Dr Nick Herriman - ANT2AWH

Version 1.0, October 2014

At La Trobe there are some excellent practices of teaching and learning using flexible, online and blended approaches. This exemplar has been chosen to develop awareness and knowledge of how subjects and courses can use learning technologies to engage students and increase learning outcomes.

Flipping the curriculum: The Anthropology of Witch Hunts

Dr Nick Herriman
Coordinator, ANT2AWH 

Summary

A flipped curriculum/classroom means delivery of content outside formal class time (notes, podcasts, readings), while formal classes become collaboration and activities. Hence podcasts and readings may replace lecturing, and class time is used for active learning. While Nick produces much of his own content, it is done using low cost and easily adaptable methods. Once the resources have been developed, he can then reuse these resources for a range of teaching purposes.

Student preparation

Students are required to engage with a series of texts including traditional readings, podcasts and videos. 

A weekly quiz worth 25% of the total mark closes Sunday night before the class. The quiz ensures that students have read or watched the content before the class and are prepared for the discussion. These quizzes are carefully constructed from a bank of questions developed over several iterations of the subject and ensure that students are only able to get the correct answer through the carefully reading of the weekly content. Occasionally, Nick will include decoy Wikipedia quotes which are then slightly reworded to catch out any students tempted to get an easy answer.

Lecture

The lecture time is used for discussion, in the traditional tutorial mode. As students have already prepared for the class, the discussion is often highly productive for the students.

Tutorial

In tutorial time, students practice their writing with the aim of getting them to write anthropologically. Nick has reported that students may initially resist this focus on writing in class time, however the quality of student work has increased as a result. By using the tutorial time, students are encouraged to spend more structured and collaborative time engaged in academic writing.

Resources

  • Online videos: Nick has produced a series of short videos (8-13 mins) explaining some key concepts in anthropology, available through his YouTube channel, accessed via the LMS. He refers students to the relevant video as part of the weekly class preparation.
  • Podcast: Nick has an iTunes podcast called The Audible Anthropologist which includes the discussion of key concepts in anthropology

Read about Nick's approach in An Anthropologist's Toolkit revealed, La Trobe University Bulletin, 13 Nov 2012


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