HE students’ mental health concerns are closely linked to performance difficulties, dropping out, and other academic challenges (Bruffaerts et al., 2018). Moreover, the HE landscapes across the world has changed, and this brought into limelight the need to embrace the teaching and learning challenges. According to the literature (Bassett, 2020; Pomerantz & Brooks, 2017; Cachia, Anusca, Ala-Mutka, K. &Punie, Y. 2010; Fook & Sidhu, 2015 ), challenges include:
In order to confront and surpass these problem areas, alternative models for teaching-learning have been developed and applied to meet learners’ unique needs. Such academic initiatives are programs, services, facilities, and learning communities that support the academic needs and goals of diverse students and concomitantly promote equity, diversity, and inclusion on HE campuses and institutions. Examples are provided below.
Teaching strategies are of vital importance in engaging HE students. Some examples are listed below.
The “Inverted or Flipped Classroom” is based on the assumption that conceptualization and competence in learning are based on acquiring the foundations of knowledge, developing an understanding of facts and ideas within specific frameworks, and organizing knowledge so that it is readily available to use in analysis and problem-solving (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000).
The “Flipped Classroom” method offers students the benefit of greater control and a chance to take responsibility for their learning by conceptualizing material instead of remembering and regurgitating it on exams. Hence, it is a student-centered pedagogical technique in that students can apply their unique learning styles to conceptualize information and steer the class discussion or ask for clarification from their peers or the instructor. This allows for learning in an autonomous pace and manner. It also allows for the practice of skills (Mazur, 2009).
Flipped learning provides students with opportunities to use the knowledge they acquired, get feedback and correct their misconceptions in the active classroom sessions, and hence, take control of their learning and think about it in a metacognitive fashion (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). There is support for the efficacy of the ‘Flipped Classroom” model (Hamdan, McKnight, McKnight, & Arfstrom, 2013; McLaughlin et al., 2013; McLaughlin et al., 2014).
The “Inverted Classroom” places students in the center of the teaching-learning process. Several activities can be used, including assessments clickers or smartphones, question and answer sessions, fishbowl practice, and role play. Online aid for educators is available at www.flippedlearning.org .
Practices such as these transform the teaching-learning process. According to Susan Blum (2016): “the more learning in school resembles the successful learning that is so abundant outside school, the greater the chance that some learning will take place.” (p.2) Undeniably, reflecting on the teaching-learning process and the impasses involved is crucial to initiating and bringing about change, flourishing, academic engagement, meaning, and wellbeing