It is hard to do the #Flip! How much have you flipped??

I have been inspired to flip my classes by the VT conference on Pedagogy and educators such as @josebowen author of Teaching Naked,. Due to this flipping influence, my classes now have:

  • Fewer lectures than three or four years ago,
  • Student summaries to begin lectures in some of the classes,
  • Weekly online Monday evening quizzes on the readings for each week, and
  • More project or application work in class

From the time saved in reduced lecturing and testing during class time:

  • In sales class we have time to do more role plays on sales practice and mock job interviews;
  • In social media marketing class there is more in-class time to work on the group consulting projects and compare individual passion projects.

What are the effects? I am confident that:

  1. Class discussions are improved as students who are inclined to do readings now do them before class discussions, while those not inclined to read at least skim the chapters and PPTs (to prepare for the quiz).
  2. I believe, but am less certain that there has been some movement from skimming to reading, and
  3. Projects are improved due to more feedback along the way.

Some students like the new style; some don’t. I haven’t seen a lot of change in student ratings. Some students are comfortable with the old lecture on the materials format. In fairness there is advantage to repetition and to receiving material multiple ways. But it is also true that some students have learned to squeak by with limited reading, relying on class presentations: for them this new approach requires more effort.

I believe in the message to move lectures and readings to outside the classroom…. and close the laptops and do hands-on projects in class. And that flipping is a defense against online incursions.

Even though I am a believer and have been working to flip my classes for 3-4 years, I would estimate that they are only about 40-50% flipped!!!

As I have noted previously… It is HARD to flip a class. 

Your thoughts?? How much have you flipped?

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3 Responses to It is hard to do the #Flip! How much have you flipped??

  1. elkement says:

    In the last two years I had been a moonlighting student. Some of the classes were sort of flipped. (I am not sure if the professors would have used that term ;-)).
    Sometimes I found that replacing traditional lectures by role play or by presentations done by students was actually a pragmatic way to minimize the efforts on behalf of the teacher. So I am not convinced yet.
    I guess efforts actually would / should be the same as you (as a teacher) would need to invest more time in creating lecture notes or other material that is really useful as a preparation before classes.

    • Gary Schirr says:


      The idea should not be to make the profs life easier. I suppose if lectures are moved offline and recorded that would seem to save prep time going forward… But I seem to always want to add content, so I worry that it would actually increase prep time.

      As in any innovation, it is all in the implementation!

      Thanks for your comments!

      – Gary

  2. Pingback: Applied Research Class: Sentiment Analysis Project Reflection | Social Media Syllabus

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