Proceedings of the 34th International Academic Conference, Florence




Student cohorts within UK Higher Education (HE) institutions have becomes increasingly diverse over the past decade. This has presented the HE sector with a number of challenges, including the need to evaluate whether the delivery of degree programmes, traditionally targeted at a predominantly white student cohort, are fit-for-purpose when programme cohorts are becoming increasingly culturally diverse and white students account for only the second or third largest ethnic group. For example, in this case study, 75.7% of the student cohort is classed as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME), with the largest ethnic group being Asian at 32.4%. The National Union of Students (NUS, 2009) observed that ‘Black students are less likely to be satisfied with their educational experience and to attain first-class degrees in comparison to their White peers’, going on to note that ‘a simple explanation for the attainment and satisfaction gap of Black students does not exist’. Furthermore, Berry & Loke (2011) note that differences between Black and White students centre on the “rate of retention / withdrawal and achievement”. In addition, the National Union of Students (2009) reported that a significant minority of BME students viewed their teaching and learning environment negatively, often speaking of alienation, exclusion and feeling invisible to lecturers. Whilst Pewewardy (2008) highlights the fact that BAME students differ in the ways they learn and communicate, Morgan (2010) suggests that such students only differ "from what a given culture considers appropriate or normal." Consequently, the author asserts it is time for HE institutions to re-evaluate the concept of ‘appropriate or normal’ to one based on BAME students rather than that of a predominantly white one. This case study examines the use of a refined flipped-classroom model across an entire undergraduate programme may prove the key to an increase in the rates of retention and progression of BAME students on undergraduate programmes. This paper examines the use of a refined flipped-classroom model across an entire undergraduate programme which has resulted in a significant increase in the retention of BAME students. Pioneered by Bergmann and Sams, the traditional flipped-classroom allows students to review lectures at times and in locations that suit them. It also provides students with a library of information to refer back to, proving invaluable in the lead-up to assessments. In this regard, a significant improvement in the progression of Home/EU BAME students may be noted during the period 2013/14 to 2014/15.

Keywords: Refined flipped classroom; BAME students; Student retention; Student progression

DOI: 10.20472/IAC.2017.034.058

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