Not to draw attention to the man behind the curtain, but one of the steps is a key part of flipping the classroom:
3. Replace homework with engaging in-class activities. The research on the effectiveness of homework ends up on both the pro and con sides. Most studies that support assigning homework suggest that it increases grades in class or on tests. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. Measuring achievement with grades and test scores is a false barometer of learning because all the control in these areas is in the hands of the teacher, and there is no place for control in a student-centered classroom. With engaging, ongoing projects that are driven by interactive web tools, students produce more in class, making homework obsolete. Best of all, when not faced with “do-this-and-do-it-my-way” assignments, students become eager to complete the projects that they have created and choose to do schoolwork outside of class. This autonomy breeds learning for the sake of learning—one of the best parts of the student-centered classroom.
3) Step aside and allow students to learn from each other. “Pre-class, my students access digital readings using a web-based, collaborative PDF annotation tool called NB, which was designed by MIT,” says Mazur. “I have been truly impressed by the energy with which my students dive into the readings. I thought I would need to give much more extrinsic motivation [for them] to do that, but the answer is no, not at all.
“Within a couple of weeks, my 35 students created 2,000 annotations in their text, discussing the readings asynchronously with each other. Their discussions were incredibly thorough, exciting, and in-depth. Yet, every time I participated in the NB annotations, I killed the discussion among the students, because I was seen as the authority. It stopped them from working it out on their own and finding the solution. [Now] I participate only if there is a situation where they are completely and utterly stuck.”
"I believe that deeper professor-student shifts are in store for us. It’s not controversial to say that the Web has significantly eroded the special claim that professors have as unique repositories of knowledge. That doesn’t mean we’re useless in the classroom. Quite the opposite, in fact. “It’s not about memorizing the structure of the periodic table,” I tell my students these days, “because that’s all on Wikipedia. It’s about communicating to me that you can solve problems. Because the world has a lot of problems.” In short, the information age makes it easier to make it clear to students that the central pillar of their college education is what we have always believed it to be: their responsibility."
A great article. I appreciated the simple and realistic solutions the author came up with. Here’s an excerpt:
Now consider what you usually read about the classroom of the future: picture huge, multipurpose spaces that allow for seminar areas, group work using a projector for feeding back to others, private work areas and an area for IT use. How many schools do you know that have classrooms with this amount of space? Perhaps if we were building a school from scratch then this is the type of room you would make, but most of us are not starting over, we’re trying to reinvent with what we’ve already got – small classrooms on long corridors and class sizes we can’t do a huge amount about.
So there’s no magic wand to make the walls we’ve got disappear and the students contained within those walls to diminish to a number that we feel comfortable with, but, by utilizing technology in the right way, the dynamics of the classroom could be radically changed for the better.
“Did you ask someone to help you yet?” said Gray. When a group got stumped, she’d squat next to the students, guiding them toward answers, inspiring engagement and creativity.
Gray’s classrooms emphasize coaching, not lecturing. With 16 years of teaching experience, the educator encourages collaboration, peer support and inquiry, while coordinating quizzes only when content is mastered.
Ask3 is a free iPad app from TechSmith. TechSmith is probably best known as being the company that produces Jing and Camtasia screen capture software. Ask3 is a tool that teachers can use to create short instructional videos that are shared directly to their students’ iPads. Students can use Ask3 to ask questions about the video, mark the video with drawing tools, and create their own audio comments about the video.
"…an important element to consider here is that transforming one’s pedagogical approach to what some people are calling flipped requires an increased attention to how time is used inside and outside the classroom, how activities should be paced, how activities and learning should support one another, how support structures can be used inside and outside the class, and if or how various elements of work should be assessed. In other words, the transition to something new requires an attention to detail. Is anyone examining the possibility that some of the benefits currently attributed to what people call flipping are really attributable to more intentional pedagogy, and an increased focus on the craft of teaching?"
If I was an English teacher (from the quality of my writing, you can guess I’m not), I would video my teaching of writing techniques, themes, composition and writing narrative using examples etc. The students would then start writing and publishing online as quickly as possible. They receive informed feedback from their fellow students comparing elements with the examples in my videos. I could then just monitor the discussion both in the classroom and online. I would then point individual students to specific videos based on either their work or feedback, if I felt they didn’t understand an idea or skill. The students could then develop quality literature, poetry and articles and collate the work together in digital books, blogs or even publish to Amazon. This personalised approach makes writing seem more real and meaningful. Teamwork’s also made much more significant when students are in the driving seat."
Branded instructional online channels playing speaker-centered videos and tutorials on a range of themes and topics, such as TED and Khan Academy, claim to break new ground with the ability to teach you anything, including physics and programming fundamentals.
But think about it: they are using rather traditional instructional methods. Instructional TV (ITV) is half a century old. While this medium is compelling when produced well, isn’t it time to make use of new technology to move beyond streaming impersonal frontal teaching, instructional video tutorials or filmed lectures aimed at mass audiences?
In an effort to raise student performance in a difficult course, San Jose State University has turned to a “flipped classroom” format, requiring students to watch lecture videos produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and using class time for discussion. And initial data show the method is leading to higher test scores, university officials announced this week.
The class, “Engineering Electronics and Circuits,” has been “one of the most-hated courses in the college,” said David W. Parent, a professor and undergraduate coordinator in the electrical-engineering department. The course has a historically low passing rate—40 percent of students in the class received a C or lower last semester—and change was needed, said Khosrow Ghadiri, an adjunct professor who teaches the flipped-classroom version.
“We were concerned about this class,” Mr. Ghadiri said. “We wanted to revamp it in a fashion that would enable the students to pass this course and continue with their education because this is a gateway course required to continue in the major.”