Every Picture Tells a Story: The Power of 3 Teaching Method
Frederick R. Kates, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Michael D. Byrd, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
M. Rifat Haider, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Going beyond the recent surge of papers on the flipped classroom, this article calls for an active “constructionist” approach to flipping classrooms. Not only are homework and lecture sessions flipped, students create, or “construct” knowledge outside of class and present to others through group learning activities. The creativity involved in the students learning while teaching is enhanced through the use of digital storytelling technologies (e.g., Photo Story 3, Movie Maker, and iMovie). This approach also works in fully distance-enabled classes where there is no in-class time individually or within interactive small-groups and teaching both take place asynchronously on-line. It is a myth that synchronous group work is more meaningful or a more productive environment for student learning. Asynchronous groups require the same interpersonal skills and effective communication processes. Students become more meaningfully engaged when they are creating rather than merely receiving knowledge in either a synchronous or asynchronous learning environment. Flipped classrooms are transformational, shifting the educational focus from the traditional and passive lecture-based teaching to an active engagement of students with each other and with faculty. The traditional lecture format has been used so long that both faculty and students sometimes struggle shifting to a more engaging approach to teaching and learning. This article moves beyond exchanging classroom lectures and traditional homework for student watched lectures or videos outside the classroom to free up time for interaction inside the classroom. Using a “discussion starter” approach, the teacher introduces a topic or assignment and then steps aside to allow the students to become the teacher. This study finds reversing the role of the student from passive observer to an active participant improves the overall learning. The pilot implementation of the P3DST technique in three classes revealed students were apprehensive at first confronting a new assignment, but later found it a rewarding experience. Most of the students liked the technique as a discussion starter and (felt) that the technique (could) be used in various settings beyond the classroom.
Digital storytelling, constructionism, collaboration, flipped classrooms, teaching methods, online instruction, student-centered learning