It seems that no one flips any classes exept math and science and that no one flips classes at the college level. I teach Writing in Academia (Composition). Most of my classes meet 2 times a week for 75 min. each. Is it worth flipping them? How do you flip a writing class where students spend 1/3 of their time reading/discussing and 1/3 of their time engaged in research, and 1/3 in-class writing?
I am flipping my college level Information technology classes. I like it and so do the students. I only give mini-lectures to help explain a difficult concept, otherwise we spend class time do labs and hands-on activities. It would seem that flipped classroom would work well with a writing class. that way students can spend time writing in class and have you there to help them keep on track.
I've seen social studies and history classes flipped! But you are right, it seems flipping college courses is less common. I think colleges feel threatened by the model. Do you have any thoughts on whether colleges will move towards more of a blended learning (or flipped) model? At the risk of sounding cynical, I wonder if college administrators think that type of change might hurt the bottom line because they think it takes focus away from the professors, and makes it harder to justify increased tuition?
I think once better software like EDUonGo is adopted, flipped learning will become much more widely spread in higher ed. I know some colleges are already using EDUonGo with great success, you should check it out it's free. It's the most comprehensive LMS for blended learning I've seen :) . Check out this video tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pD9Kt0nEqU.
Yes, several of my colleagues are interested in flipping but the concern is that what we will actually end up doing in classes where they have to read several short stories or a number of poems to participate in a discussion during a class period is to overwhelm them if we add the "lecture" on top of all the reading. Most of my students are working half to full time so they try to be efficient studying--and too often efficient means skip as much of the reading as possible and try to bluff me during the class discussions and in-class exercises. I try to condense my "lecture" to no more than 10-15 minutes but my students may be spending several hours preparing for the class that will discuss that lecture and the related readings.
You are also correct that using this model concerns administrators. I am regularly evaluated and too often I hear from the evaluator or higher concerns about whether I'm really teaching because the students are doing stuff they should be doing at home as homework.
The first flipped classes were at the college level and are often called inverted classrooms. In fact, most of the research that has been done on the flipped classroom model that I can find involves studies done at the higher education level. (See Lange, Platt, and Treglia, Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment, 2000, in Economic Instruction). The article is based on the "flip" in 1995-96 when they filmed the lectures and made them available on VHS tapes.
James, you correctly point out that an LMS is important and most colleges/universities already have something in place (Blackboard) or you could use Wikispaces. Our school which went 1:1 this year adopted My Big Campus and they are great at updating, adding new features, and responding to questions, ideas, or concerns. An individual user can use a free version much like Edmodo.
I think you need to decide what they really need you there for. To me it sounds like they need you there for the in-class writing, and possibly the discussion. They could do a reading the night before and you could set up discussion circles where they discuss the readings amongst each other- where you circulate to make sure the discussions are on track and "correct"- no misconceptions. Then, give min or long writing assignments, and they can just write with you walking around and making sure they are on topic, fixing grammar, and syntax issues. I think it could be done- I teach college level for 75 min twice a week and the students realize they need to get things done more efficiently because they only see me a few hours a week.
I really enjoy when I can just facilitate by answering their questions or showing them individually how to do various activities. But, they do need foundational information that they don't as a group have--hence the lecture on key concepts followed by discussion and application work. Most of my students have little knowledge of history, literature, or most of the social sciences. For example, you're not going to really understand Machiavelli's The Prince if you don't understand city states and that there was no Italy during the 1400s. For that matter, most of my students believe a prince is elected! I'm not certain I'm up to creating mini-lessons on those items so they can get more out of the reading. Would it work to create (in Camtasia) a short video in which the students received a brief "history" or "literature" lecture prior to reading the text? In class I blend this type of information through the discussion. I'm concerned about a "canned" lecture that can't really address their needs.
Interestingly, writing itself is problematic because many of my students have difficulty writing by hand. Give them a computer and they're mostly okay. Pen and paper stops them cold. Would it be "acceptable" in a flipped classroom to have them do their writing at home and then discuss and revise it during the class?
Sure you can flip a college class. I teach classes for BYU Hawaii. I have flipped an introductory Special Education Class, the introduction to Education class, and a Classroom Assessment class.
I take the notes for the day, put them on a PowerPoint, add a few videos to reinforce the concepts and provide it to the students as "homework" to be done outside of the class (podcast is never longer than 20 minutes). At the end of the podcast I provide an "Exit/Admit" slip for class where they must complete some activity(for credit) that reinforces the PowerPoint. This then becomes the basis for the first discussion of the next class. Providing the notes ahead of time and in digital format allows students to prepare for class in an "on demand" fashion and then allows me to discuss in greater depth in the classroom the concepts.
Definitely doable--even the grading. I've been flipping my Composition classes without knowing it for years. This semester I'm formally flipping and have found it actually much easier to grade than before. My students come better prepared for class and their performance on the major assignments has improved significantly, plus they're learning to participate in the class rather than be receptacles for my wisdom :-).
First, my major assignments (papers and exams) are no different from what I did before. I refer to these as High-Stakes Assignments. Students know they make up 70% of their grade.
However, I now use Low-Stakes assignments for 25% of their grade. These assignments are designed to allow students to explore their understanding of the course material they just studied. In LSA, students practice applying materials from the reading and lectures. This works great in any discipline.
I usually have my students do LSAs where I do mimimum marking. My favorite is to have students do the reading and listen to my 10 min. lecture. Then they respond to 5-8 study questions in which they must explain their reasoning. For instance, prior to yesterday's class, students read about archetypes and stereotypes as literary concepts and annotated four short stories using that reading and 4 study guide questions (which I only sporadically look at). In class, we began with a 5-minute writing (about 200 words) "Why are/are not archetypes and stereotypes terms for the same concept?" Today, I went through and graded these responses on a scale of 0 (absent), 60 (obvious BS), 80 (average), and 100 (particularly fine critical thinking). I had 45 done in approximately 1.25 hours. I made no more than 2 comments on any one and those were usually thinking questions. Some didn't get comments as I don't waste time on 60s. Their in-class work was to work in pairs to identify the archetypes in a previously read story and write an explanation of their conclusions about archetypes in that story. This approach is useful in courses other than writing courses also--you focus the assignment on concepts, practices, or skills your students need to learn to master your course's material. Some times I "randomly" select 1/3 of the responses to grade when I'm busy grading a major assignment. Students know that their work will be graded in this way--so they don't slack.
Examples can be found at . http://www.centeach.uiowa.edu/materials/What%20is%20Low-Stakes%20Wr... or Google Low-Stakes assignments. Chris Anson is one of the gurus on this way to bring critical thinking skills across the curriculum.
Some times I have my students prepare materials at home and bring them to class. If they can't show them to me as the enter the classroom, they can't come in. Once in the classroom, they use those materials to complete in-class tasks (usually in groups). I first ask if they have any questions about the reading and homework. Usually, they don't. Then, I give them specific tasks to complete (case study, develop five essay questions that could be on an exam over the literary concepts, write a paragraph of X report, etc.) I always collect a report of their results from each group. Frequently, I take 15 minutes at the end of the class and randomly have one or two groups present and justify their conclusions. Early presentations stink, but students quickly make better ones. They don't want to look foolish to classmates. Again, I don't do much agonizing grading on these, and since there are usually only a few--they take me less than 30 minutes.
Mostly, it's a matter of turning loose of control during the class sessions. The more they have to examine, apply, and discuss the material, the more they become active learners. The better questions they ask--and they're not just asking me to give a master reading, they're debating with their classmates.
How do you do that exit/admit slip? And what do you use to record podcasts?
The admit/send away policy surprises students the first time, but I always make certain the first time I apply it is on a class where it won't hurt them too badly, i.e., never a workshop on a paper. I state the policy in every class preceding the first time the rule applies. I put it on the assignment sheet--if there is one. And, I put a notice in Announcements in the class website. Students know but there are always those who believe teachers don't mean what they say.
To implement it, I stand at the door with the roll. (I use My Attendance Tracker on my phone). As students enter, they show me their deadwood or electronic materials (it may be a draft to workshop or stories they've annotated). The first time, it took about 10-15 minutes because two or three students wanted to argue. But, once students realize they must show me they're prepared, it has taken no more time than calling the roll. And, unprepared students now know I'll send them away--"Sorry, since you're not prepared, you need to go catch up on classwork. See you next class." It's amazing how much better my classes have become because the students are prepared. By the way, I cleared this with my dean and several other faculty do the same thing. Word's getting around among students.
I use TechSmith's Camtasia 8 package to do the recording of my short videos--my college provides it. I either snag material using Snagit or I create documents or examples in Illustrator. With either I often put them in a Prezi which I then import into Camtasia and talk over or I load the illustrations directly into Camtasia. I can embed YouTube videos which helps a lot. (I prefer to create the "lesson" in Prezi because it's actually less work and I have a Prezi prepared should I need it. Occasionally, our system goes away and students can't view the mini-lecture so I have to do it in class. Rather than view the video, I've found, my students prefer the "old-fasioned" talk.
That is amazing.
Attendance tracker - part of your classroom management system? We use D2L.