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Swimming Against the Tide, Flipped Upside Down: Navigating the Teaching and Learning Environment in the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on COVID-19 and the Caribbean, Volume 2
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Abstract

Like many other universities worldwide, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus adopted a ‘state of emergency’ method of remote teaching. Classrooms were outfitted with cameras and staff were trained to use the Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) model of classroom delivery, touted as the best way to cater to the needs of our student body. This chapter explores the impact of one teacher’s choice to go against the tide and implement a different approach—a flipped classroom instructional approach. Coupled with ‘Kahoot’, and ‘WhatsApp’ applications, the flipped classroom approach (FCA) was applied in four undergraduate inorganic chemistry courses across the three levels of the degree. A qualitative research design captured students’ views on how their experiences compared with that of the Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) model. The impact of the FCA on the students’ work-school-family-life balance was also assessed. The data was drawn from semi-structured interviews of 22 students as well as feedback from course evaluations. The findings indicated that students found the flipped classes more engaging and provided more opportunities for self-directed and deep learning than those which utilised the ‘HyFlex’ model. While the ‘HyFlex’ model gave students the opportunity to choose whether to attend classes ‘face to face’ or online, the FCA gave them more control over their study schedule, allowing them to find a better work-school-family-life balance. This research has implications for the teaching and learning environment as it provides a viable alternative for structuring online and blended classes.

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Correspondence to Leah Garner-O’Neale .

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Garner-O’Neale, L. (2023). Swimming Against the Tide, Flipped Upside Down: Navigating the Teaching and Learning Environment in the COVID-19 Pandemic. In: Roberts, S., DeShong, H.A.F., Grenade, W.C., Devonish, D. (eds) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on COVID-19 and the Caribbean, Volume 2. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-31119-2_19

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-31119-2_19

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