So you have flipped your classroom by recording a few brief videos which present the topic you are teaching, and your students have watched the videos at home and have completed a single question assessment.
You notice all of your students watched the videos because they each completed the assessment.
And now you have all this extra class time, since you no longer have to cover what you covered in the videos.
What do you do with all this extra time, now that you no longer have the safety net of lecturing?
I recently came across a few creative ways to lead class discussions, which are outlined in this pdf file.
The F Word (Instructional Strategies)
Sometimes we get so caught up in different pedagogical theories and ensuring that we teach complex scientific principles accurately and completely, that we forget one of the most important elements in good teaching: fun.
If we can make learning fun, we may spark a life-long interest in a student.
Ultimately, what does it matter if a student learns all the minutiae related to a topic if they do not discover the excitement and fun of life-long learning and discovery?
Traditionally classroom time has been spent on lecture. A teacher stands at the front of a room and presents a PowerPoint presentation. While this is a simple way to distill information, studies have shown that lectures generate about as much brainwaves as watching a reality television show: next to none.
In most traditional classrooms, the face-to-face time is taken up with activities that only generate lower level thinking in students; they are often sitting and listening. The higher-level thinking skills in Bloom’s Taxonomy take place at home when the student is doing homework. And there is a huge drawback to this: when the student is using the higher level thinking which will “cement” the topic in their memory, they are doing so alone, without any coaching or supervision from a mentor or instructor.
That’s where Flipping the Classroom comes into play. In a flipped classroom, you record brief video segments the student can watch at home and save the valuable face-to-face time for interaction and activities that generate higher level thinking. The class becomes homework and the homework becomes class. It’s flipped.
But there are a few things you should remember when you decide to flip a class:
the video you create should be short and to the point; it is not effective to record a lengthy lecture
A short video is most useful for topics students typically struggle with or for teaching something that is integral to a student’s success in the class.
A short video should be coupled with a low-risk assesment, something simple a student must complete for participation credit. The video should always be coupled with an assessment in Moodle or Brainhoney. (Studies show that many low-risk assessments are more effective than a few high-risk assessments for students. I’ll write more on this later.)
Videos tend to address lower level thinking skills in Bloom’s taxonomy. Any time you “flip” your class with video, the video should be accompanied with intensive activities during the next face-to-face meeting. These activities should address higher level thinking skills. This is the real benefit of flipping a classroom: you have more time for discussion, hand-on activities, coaching, etc.
The teacher takes on the role of coach or mentor. You can move around the room viewing how students work, who needs help, giving feedback. etc. rather than standing at the front of the room lecturing. The lecture takes place before the students come to class.