Week 2 of flipping…. I’ll start with Forensics. I have two sections where one has 8 students and the other 15 students. I feel the flipped classroom is working great in Forensics. I gave students the opportunity to give anonymous feedback on a note card. Almost every student said they really liked it. They liked being able to ask me a question immediately. One student did not like that some students were not coming prepared. From my point of view, students are spending more quality time answering the questions. I anticipate huge improvements on test scores.
My gen chem class has a different dynamic. There are 50 students in one class. I also have students at VERY different math levels. Some are in calculus while others just completed remedial math. This has always posed a problem in Gen Chem. Trying to teach to all levels is difficult. In reality, I should adopt #Mastery Flipping, but the structure of higher ed is not conducive to this approach. Labs are completely separate so students could not complete labs after mastering content. I would like to hear from my #highered colleagues who have adopted the #flipmastery.
I also only meet with them two days/week. This poses problems establishing a community of learners. I just don’t get to know them very well and the students certainly don’t get to know each other. As a result, I asked students to give their feedback on note cards. I also asked them to tell me what concepts were still confusing (muddy points).
After reading their feedback, I was able to address most of the issues in an email. Honestly, most students felt overwhelmed with what was expected of them. Between “vodcast” assignments, vodcast quizzes, Connect homework, and a new LMS, they were disoriented and very concerned they were not going to be prepared. I made a conscientious effort to streamline all assignments. This new way of learning AND teaching takes some time to adjust. I have to admit I am spending MUCH MORE TIME preparing for the flipped classroom. Lecturing is easy after 15 years. All I had to do is walk into the classroom, pull up a ppt, and start talking. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even need a ppt.
Today’s class went much better! I gave them a chapter quiz. I did a bit of “lecturing” and “flipping”. Good questions were asked by students which allowed me to focus on the “muddy” concepts. The students were loosening up and relaxing. They seemed more willing to talk to their partners and help each other. I am going to use the chapter quiz results to restructure the partners/groups. OR I even thought about identifying some “peer tutors” and have them roam the room with me.
Overall, I think this is going to work. I just have to be patient and not get frustrated. I have to remain positive and encouraging towards my students. I will take the approach of a motivating coach or parent. Find the positive in each student’s progress and encourage them to find the learning that works for them. You can now call me Coach Butzler 🙂