Challenges of flipping the classroom in technical drawing: case of Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology, Kenya
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The Flipped Classroom Approach (FCA) originated from the United States of America (USA) in 2007. It functions by utilizing the time that is traditionally meant for homework to deliver lesson content via information and communication technology (lCT). Subsequent face-to-face (F2F) sessions in the classroom dwell on hands-on activities. The enhanced interactions between the teacher and the learners makes a teacher "the guide by the side" rather than "the sage on the stage". At Kiambu Institute of Science & Technology (KIST) in Kenya, there is insufficient time to handle practical work, hence the need to adopt the FCA. An increase in the contact time in the classroom could potentially contribute to better academic performance. In this case study, the purpose was to identify the' challenges of flipping a Technical Drawing class. Four tools were used in the study, namely, content analysis of the syllabus, a checklist on ICT resources, a trainee questionnaire and a schedule of observations for the cooperating tutor. Technical Drawing was identified for the study because it lent itself to the use of FCA through its practical nature. Furthermore, it was mandatory for all trainees in the Building and Civil Engineering department at KIST. Content analysis of all topics in the syllabus was done to identify those that could be effectively taught by flipping the classroom. Up to 92 per cent of the topics identified required manipulative skills and could be effectively flipped. A sample class of 27 trainees from the Diploma in Quantity Surveying programme selected through purposive sampling was used in the study lesson. The trainees filled a questionnaire on their experience which was analyzed to establish the major challenges they encountered. 89 per cent and 69 per cent of the trainees did not have access to personal computers and smartphones respectively. This made them heavily dependent on JCT resources at KIST. Moreover, 85 per cent of trainees did not have adequate computer skills. The study lesson was delivered by a cooperating tutor who filled the schedule of observations detailing his experience in utilizing the FCA. His main challenge was packaging the lesson content for easier access by trainees. The checklist used to examine the capacity of the physical and information communication technology (JCT) infrastructure to support the FCA at KIST revealed that online delivery of lesson was limited by poor data connection speeds. The offline delivery was the preferred solution. The study conlcuded that, unless the challenges were overcome, only a moderate level of success in achieving the learning outcomes could be obtained by flipping the classroom. The study recommends that the FCA be utilized in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions such as KIST provided that the trainees have basic computer skills to access online and offline resources. The study also recommends that tutors should have basic proficiency in ICT and be willing to tryout new learning and teaching approaches. The researcher suggests a replication of the study should be undertaken at other TVET institutions.