#Flip the flipping classroom!

I listened to a great talk by @josebowen author of Teaching Naked, a book urging professors to use technology – laptops, smartphones, social media and games – to flip the classroom. Move lectures and readings to outside the classroom…. and close the laptops and do hands-on projects in class.

Jose cheered the large crowd by declaring that the “MOOC Bubble” has peaked and probably popped. “Lecture capture” is dead: a taped 50- or 75-minute lecture from the most entertaining and knowledgeable expert in the field is generally B-O-R-I-N-G.

However he went on to remind the crowd that the traditional university model will continue to be under siege. Online providers are learning from Khan and others how to make content more digestible than broadcast live or recorded lectures.

Flipping as a defense against online disruption

The same studies that have shown that interaction with faculty is central to good academic results, show that the interactions that students remember are not lectures, but typically  are outside the classroom, activities such as seeking help with a problem or consulting with the professor in the professor’s office.

Dr. Bowen and many others argue that lectures just aren’t that effective. We should be focusing on those valuable contacts with students involved in solving problems or understanding content by bringing those experiences into the classroom.

Content delivery has moved from lecture halls and libraries to computers and now tablets and smartphones. So narrate some of your PowerPoints and post them on slideshare or elsewhere. Find other’s who have presented some of the same material in an enjoyable video and send students there. By “flipping the classroom” you encourage content delivery out of class where it is more efficient and increase teachable moments where students discuss, apply principles and try to use the knowledge.

The key principle of flipping: Let students receive content by the text, computer, and smartphone; use precious class time for discussion and individual or group applied work with the professor as moderator or consultant. Even the most tech-savvy flipping professor might well want to ask students to close their laptops and put their smartphones in their pockets when they are in class!

Flipping the classroom has been one of the enduring ideas for the five years that I have been attending the VT Conference on Pedagogy. It also is consistent with my teaching experience.

I think all of us in higher ed should be flipping!!

But… It is HARD. I will follow with some posts on how I am attempting to do the flip in my classes.

Your thoughts??

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5 Responses to #Flip the flipping classroom!

  1. Sheree says:

    I’m not opposed to the idea of flipping. But I think students have to be re-educated as to the purpose and goals of the flipped classroom.

    My experiment with flipping was mixed, at best. Students described the class as disorganized, that they didn’t do anything in class, no teaching in class, had to do everything on their own. It’s challenging to get them to read and discuss without giving quizzes and tests to verify. Giving a bunch of quizzes and tests defeats (in my opinion) the goals of more experiential/active learning and discussion where there’s not “one right answer.”

  2. Jack Malcolm says:

    I train for a living, and I never ask people to put away their smartphones or close their laptops. I take it as a personal challenge to ensure that I am more interesting than their phones, and it works very well for me. On the rare occasions where I see people beginning to steal a peek, I use it as feedback on how I’m doing.

  3. Dakota says:

    I think this idea would be beneficial for students. Even though I enjoy learning I often got bored sitting through traditional lectures. I look forward to reading how you are flipping your classes. Great post!

  4. Lynn Barnsback says:

    I am using a semi-flipped classroom approach this semester with my Social Media Marketing class. It has led to more grading for me- they must do assignments before the class so we can discuss. So far it has been engaging. The interesting part is I have adapted an online class to a live classroom. Some of the lessons that were not working online are now-because I get to do the follow-up discussion live. This of course it having me think about the possibility of adding a live lecture into the online class. Full circle here or chasing my tail?

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