A change to the way teachers and students have interacted for more than 100 years is set to reap rewards at one Brisbane school as external exams are re-introduced next year.
A decision to engage with emerging technology to change the way teachers provide students with feedback, and a preliminary move to flipped learning – which incorporates video lessons being watched by students at home – in some subjects, means All Hallows’ School students have access to teachers’ lessons and advice at any time.
The change has been initiated by a teacher named one of the top 100 flipped learning educators in the world this year, Stephen Crapnell. He is also a finalist in the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.
Mr Crapnell has spoken about his work at 10 international, national and state conferences and workshops in the past 18 months alone. The eLearning Coordinator and Mathematics teachers said his school’s focus on ‘the evolution of feedback’ over the past two years had allowed teachers and students to have a ‘digitally mediated conversation’.
“In other words, the technology underpins the ability for us to provide audio, visual, digital and video feedback. We need it to be specific and timely, but also the key here was giving students the chance to respond … feedback has now become a lot more two-way,” he said.
Mr Crapnell said students could sometimes find it challenging to retain all they have learnt between tests and topics.
“Under the new QCAA syllabus coming as of next year this can’t happen – we have a 50 percent external exam at the end of Year 12 (for Mathematics), so the ability to rewind and review, and reconsolidate, is invaluable. That is where the bank of video lessons we have created will be beneficial,” Mr Crapnell said.
All Hallows’ School teachers provide digital feedback in many ways, including hitting record and dropping it into student work as an audio file, enabling student access at any time.
Mr Crapnell has also created and developed a network of eLearning Co-ordinators across the greater Brisbane area to draw from the collective wisdom of local educators on the forefront of this learning area. In April he was named by the Flipped Learning 3.0 Magazine as one of the top 100 flipped learning educators internationally.
Mr Crapnell, who was instrumental in developing an annual All Hallows’ eLearning conference, said he was a lens for some brilliant teachers and his job was to amplify their work. “I don’t want to do technology for the sake of it. I am really looking for the best workflow, a workflow that is effective and efficient for both students and teachers,” he said.
The QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards are the only state government awards which recognise teachers from all schooling sectors state-wide. Winners will be announced on October 25, on the eve of World Teachers’ Day celebrations in Australia.