Saturday, February 16, 2013

Flipped Classroom - Part 2 (Reflections)

1)   The flipped classroom was definitely a success.  My lectures were more focused and shorter.  Students were able to go through the material at their own pace. Students who were more familiar with the content or were already teaching could go through the lecture at a faster pace.  Students who were not native speakers of English could take their time and look up words they did not understand.  They could also check in their book and in the other resources for explanations of the concepts.
2)    Students found the forums time-consuming at first but in the end said that they were valuable as a tool for getting to know each other, applying the concepts that they had learned, exchanging ideas with their peers, and it also provided a valuable assessment tool for me.
3)    The classroom discussions and activities were the big winners. Having the students come prepared for discussions (and me not having to do a long lecture) allowed plenty of time for group activities which then afforded me the time to listen in, and pose questions as an informal assessment.
4)    I felt that my assessments were varied enough to allow each student to excel in the class regardless of their learning modality.  By the end of the course, I was able to assess my students’ ability to: a) comprehend the text, b) apply the principles to their student population, c) lead and participate in discussions, and d) participate in a group activity with an oral component.  The forums and journals also allowed me to assess writing expression and ability.

Feedback from my students and self-reflection gave me some ideas of what I would do differently the next time I teach my course.

1)    The most difficult thing for me to do was to let go of control. Feedback from my students said that the sessions where I felt the need to go over the lecture notes again were the least interesting. I must trust that my students will do what they need to do in order to come to class prepared.
2)    I definitely need to rework my syllabus so that students know exactly what they need to prepare before coming to class, what they need to be prepared to do in class, and what is expected of them after class.  The timeline for preparation, discussion and activities, and responding to the forums needs to be more explicit.  This is something that can also be addressed by changing the format of my school website.  Right now, it is mostly a list of resources followed by links for assignments.
3)    Although I like the discussions and activities as I have prepared them, I would like to continue to refine them so that they become a better assessment tool.  I would also like to look for alternate assignments so that students have a choice in tasks and projects.
4)    The final change is technical in nature.  I’d like to make my presentation more visually appealing by including short video clips, using the tools available through the Faculte Studio, and providing additional assistance via the Q & A capability of the website.  My school website also allows for self-paced quizzes to ensure that students have gotten the correct information.  I would not use them for grading, but they would allow students to gauge their level of comprehension of the topic and ask questions for clarification.

I am also looking forward to getting ideas from the book I purchased as well as from the many websites available on the topic.  After all this time, I’m still learning and still loving it

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