Just as with Gamification, the Flipped Classroom/Reverse Instruction topics have spurred and churned some emotions in the Coetail community – which is great! Some people are being newly introduced to these concepts, while others have extensive experience with using these methods in their classroom, and yet some of you feel more opposed to both of these and provide challenging arguments to state your perspectives.
Skepticism and debate, as we know, can lead to healthy discussions and ultimately improved experiences for all. We’ve seen theories come and go throughout education, so it’s quite understandable that any relatively new concept may be met with caution.
Let’s take a moment and highlight a few points from the readings and beyond.
From, “Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom”
Before the flipped classrooms, there were auto-tutorials, team learning, peer instruction, inquiry learning, Just-in-Time Teaching, blended classrooms, hybrid courses, and POGIL (process- oriented guided inquiry learning). Educators are forever experimenting and innovating. A central theme in all of this activity is the idea that active learning works best. Telling doesn’t work very well. Doing is the secret. Active student engagement is necessary, and one of the best ways to get it is to use stories that catch students’ interest and emotion. The best film directors, authors, preachers, comedians, lecturers, and motivational speakers know this. So do the best teachers. And they use a variety of methods to achieve it. The better a student is prepared, the more learning that can be achieved.
The flipped classroom idea is not new. Teachers have forever struggled to get students to study on their own, either ahead of time or as homework; that is when the real learning happens, not when the teacher is lecturing, droning on and on. The flipped classroom, with its use of videos that engage and focus student learning, offers us a new model for case study teaching, combining active, student-centered learning with content mastery that can be applied to solving real-world problems.
It’s a win-win.
I’ve observed that there are similar threads running through some of your blog posts; some of the same topics and questions may have been addressed in Alan November’s post, “Flipped Learning: A Response To Five Common Criticisms”. Here’s just one such assumption/question/topic of concern:
Kids do not want to sit at home watching boring video lectures on the Web. At least in the classroom, they get some kind of interaction with me and with their peers. This is just a lot of excitement over bad pedagogy.
We completely agree that simply watching a boring lecture video will not get kids excited about this process. However, is the fact that there are bad examples of lecture videos a problem with the model—or with the implementation of the model?
Certainly, there are opportunities to improve these resources in ways that ramp up interaction and pedagogy. To begin, do not replace an hour-long classroom lecture with an hour-long video. Audio and video should be used in short, five- to 10-minute segments, and there should be opportunities for students to interact with the information in these videos in a variety of ways.
Make sure you provide more than just video. You are going to have students who want to watch video, but you are also going to have students who would rather look at a concept map or read a bit of text. Mix it up and keep your students guessing.
That’s a critical point he’s made. There are many examples of teachers droning on and on in videos that are 4x longer than they need to be. If you amplify that by, say, 5 other teachers doing the same thing, then we’ve only increased the amount of homework that a student has to drudge through, and in fact perhaps made it less effective and meaningful.
Within this article, November highlights Dr. Eric Mazur of Harvard University. Here’s the video from Dr. Mazur. Love this quote taken from the video, “You can forget facts, but you cannot forget understanding.”
“From Questions to Concepts: Interactive Teaching in Physics”
Switching gears, if you’d like to dabble in flipping a lesson, a great place to start may be TED Ed. They’ve come together with some fantastic teachers and illustrators to help make the process of reverse instruction as painless as possible. We’ve had a number of teachers effectively use TED Ed here at Int’l School Manila. For more information, check out the video below.
“The “flip this video” button allows you to turn a video into a customized lesson that can be assigned to students or shared more widely. You can add context, questions and follow-up suggestions.
Because every learners’ needs are different. TED-Ed videos come equipped with optional supplementary materials. When you “flip” a video you get to decide which of those materials you keep, and whether to craft your own. This will allow you to relate the resulting lesson to your class, to an individual learner, or to a wider group.”
Last week, the section in which I highlighted some of your blogs was met with warm reception. So I’ll continue to do so knowing that, again, you don’t have time to wade through everyone’s fantastic work.
Jeff Layman had a humorous counterpoint to the benefits of Gamification. I just saw that he’s from Michigan – as am I (or was – been in Asia since 2002).
Gamification is a fad. If you’re offended by this and you’re lining up you’re Minecraft-laden references to refute my point, reconsider your attitude towards the word. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. I’m simply saying that it’s a thing. If you’re still angry that I laced your beloved new instructional strategy with a term reserved for skinny jeans, please see my disclaimer above. Gamification is new, trendy, hip, cool, whatever. It’s proven to work in the business world, and that’s about as much justification as we need nowadays for instituting major change in the education world.
Mary Carley’s post, “Flipped Classroom – No, thank you!“, sparked an interesting dialogue in the comments. Here’s a snippet from her post:
My criticism is with the concept of sending kids home to do more work.
There are many sound reasons for educators to think about reducing or abolishing mandatory homework rather than entrenching it more firmly in the learning process. Joe Bower has gathered a thoughtful collection of articles critical of common homework practices on his blog For the Love of Learning.
I do think very small amounts of homework can help students develop organizational skills, but probably remembering to bring PE clothes, permission slips, school photo money, and their violin or guitar could accomplish this without adding 2 hours of academic work.
And lastly, on Tuesday, a few of us got together for the monthly COETAILcast. If you didn’t have a chance to check it out, please look past some of the Movember happening!