Flipped Classroom - the early semesters
Initially my attempts at a flipped classroom were less successful than I would have liked. Luckily, I had many years of experience behind me so when something didn't work the way I had hoped, I was able to fall back on traditional teaching methods to make certain the material was still covered.
Reasons Initial Flipped Classroom Models did not work
1. the materials were not digestible enough. This was a fairly consistent issue. With the hybrid model of teaching (one hour on-line, two hours in class) there is only so much students can be expected to read/watch/investigate on their own. On top of this, the idea has been implanted in them that they go to class to learn from an instructor and then practice this work alone at home (ie. homework). So the idea that they needed to self-direct their learning in order to be prepared for class was, if not foreign, at least awkward. The main issue is that if even a couple of students have not done the readings or watched the videos, then this material needs to be covered in class. When this happens more than once, other students will let the readings go, expecting a short-cut to learning to be given at the beginning of class.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG
As a professor at Algonquin College I work to assist my students' learning with meaningful, useful, and engaging courses. I primarily teach Communications courses which allows me a certain amount of freedom as the core competencies required can be reached in many different ways. These are, luckily, not courses which require endless memorization or extreme explanations of process and facts.
With this freedom, I have, in the past couple of years, worked towards a completely flipped classroom model. It has certainly taken a few attempts to clarify the process of a flipped classroom, and to find the balance between self-directed learning and traditional in class lecturing. However, this past year has been a revelation for me and this method.
I understand that this method of teaching is not compatible with all courses, programs, or materials, and I am not suggesting that it is any 'better' than other models. However, for my current needs, and the needs of my students, an altered flipped classroom method has worked wonders for me and I've watched as my students have grown more confident with their abilities not just in communications, but leadership, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills.
In this Education Blog, I'd like to keep track of what I have put into place, what others have to say about this method, and where I can see possible ways of improvement. As well, I'd like to link to articles and websites of other educators who have found innovative ways to deliver their course material.