Flipping conservation with iNnovative and sustainable IT Tools (FliNT) (completed)

Two archaeologists studying an ancient vase.

Yes please, both theory and practice! 

Photo: Douwtje L van der Meulen with thanks to Sofie Fallmyr and Einar Nilsen

About the project

This project is focusing on developing a teaching scheme in conservation that integrates theory, practice and transferable skills for first year Bachelor students within current resources of staff, time and facilities. This will be achieved by adopting a changed teaching strategy, better alignment of the teaching activities and more efficient use of the inside and outside class time with the help of ICT Tools.

Objectives

This project aims to (re-) develop the introductory course to conservation and two science courses at Bachelor level according to the Flipped classroom model using the teaching strategies of Blended Learning and Constructive alignment. Outside class time will be reserved for familiarization with the subject theory and preparation tasks for in-class activities guided by online instructions, as well as self-assessment activities. Freed up in-class time is reserved for practical activities, Q&A sessions, demonstrations, group discussions, etc.  A social learning environment will be created by dividing the student group in smaller colloquium groups.  

Outcomes

It is expected that this teaching model will give students better support in their learning process, closer guidance and follow-up, as well as increased motivation and engagement for learning. This hopefully leads to better mastering of the subject material, improved reading and writing skills as well as competence in basic practical skills and, ultimately, a lower drop-out level.

Background

Conservation of Cultural Heritage is an interdisciplinary field. Students at the BA in Cultural Heritage Preservation at the University of Oslo need to be educated in-amongst others- subjects of conservation and natural sciences. In addition, the European Network for Conservation-Restoration Education (ENCoRE) states in its Document on Practice that “the educational program should give the student the possibility to work with conservation and restoration projects through their whole studies and that the degree of complexity should increase over time”. Besides, the document mentions that “the basis of conservation should consist of an appropriate balance between integrated theoretical and practical teaching” [1]. 

Due to limited staff and time resources, there is an imbalance in the teaching of theory and practice at the BA  level. Especially, first year BA students have expressed their disappointment about a lack of practical training. Another issue is that many new students strive with reading and writing academic texts and because of their humanities background have difficulties to understand science topics. A conservation program at university level should preferably educate theoretical, practical and transferable academic skills in an integrated manner through the whole studies. This project hopes to address some of the above mentioned issues.

Duration

This Project will run from January 2018 until December 2019.

Financing

The Project has received funding from Norgesuniversitetet.

Tools

The ICT tools to support the teaching will be the newly introduced learning management system Canvas and self-produced instruction videos with lightboard.

 

Summary of the end report

 

Module KONS1000 Introduction of Conservation and Collections Care at the University of Oslo introduces students to the preservation and scientific investigation of cultural heritage objects. The course has a varied group of students from different countries and disciplines, and is taught in English. The central question that the project aimed to solve was: How to support a diverse group of students more effectively in their learning process of a new subject, improve training in reading and writing skills and introduce more practical training into the course, taking into account constrained time and teaching resources.

The solution to this question is found in applying the flipped classroom model (FC) in combination with teaching strategies of blended learning (BL), constructive alignment, collaborative learning, inquiry-based learning and peer-review. The ICT tools that have been tested to support the teaching and learning processes are the learning management system Canvas, interactive presentation softwares Mentimeter and Talkwall (Institutt for pedagogikk, UiO, 2018) and self-produced instruction videos using a lightboard. 

To give (new) student’s insight in how to study the course offers learning paths on study techniques and academic reading and writing skills, supplies focus questions and a list of key concepts to force more directed reading, and a collaborative writing assignment combined with peer-review and reflection note. To buildt theoretical knowledge a scaffolded approach is used. Learning content, which will include in time self-produced videos with lightboard, and pre-class tasks are provided in Canvas. Freed up class time is used for reflection and further development on subject matter by short quizzes, small group discussions, dialog lectures, followed by a plenum session. In future Talkwall (Institutt for pedagogikk, 2018) will be used to present small group discussions in plenum sessions to create structured feedback and increased learning effect. In addition, practice-based activities are offered once a week to complement the theory.

Evaluations of the course showed higher student activity before and in-class. More focused reading and deeper engagement with subject matter, improved written work and increased motivation and understanding due to practical exercises. Students gained greater insight in study methods and their own writing process. Small groups provide a safe learning environment and encourages greater access to the lecturer.

Published Feb. 25, 2018 6:46 PM - Last modified May 11, 2020 11:07 AM