When I was first introduced to the term ‘flipping the classroom’ I thought I knew what it meant. I thought it meant that the students are sent to research a topic and then they bring their findings and ‘teach the class’.
I have since discovered it actually means the students homework is to watch the lectures or other material and come to class prepared to discuss the material, ask questions, or complete assignments about the lectures they watched at home. They then are able to get the help they need while doing assignments or questions right away from the teacher. I think back on my own time spent over the years as a student. This technique would have saved me many hours of frustration trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing or what I was doing wrong while plugging away at my homework at the kitchen table.
This then brings me to today. I think of the homework I just assigned my own students at the college. I wonder how many of them will struggle with it or will they have success without having access to myself for questions or clarification.
I can see the real value in flipping the classroom. Not only are we providing a situation where more students can be set up for success but we are also embracing technology. Technology that our students and future employees will need to be able to navigate. The video lectures give students more control over the material they are learning about. The can replay it or they can rewind it and go over a section they are struggling to understand.
Once back in the classroom this article regarding tech free strategies for engaging the students lists 3 effective ways to get students thinking about the learning material and looking at how well they understand it. It also helps them be able to identify what they are struggling with. These are very creative ideas that get students up, moving and being an active participant in their learning. The students are ultimately steering their own boat.
I listened to an interview on How I get my students to own their own learning . I was intrigued as the teacher spoke about the students needing to “prove to me you understand this”. It put the responsibility on the learner to show how he/she understood the material. The students were active in the learning and they discovered how to use each other as resources and to work through questions and assignments but had access to the teacher if needed. This was a classroom in middle school but I think it would easily transfer to college learning.
As I look at using this technique, I do wonder about the quieter students. The students who are not as self assured and confident enough to speak in class. How do I ensure they are succeeding and feeling confident in their learning?