I know my titles are not catchy. Sorry. I am so worn out, my creativity is lacking. Flipping is tough. It’s so much more difficult than lecturing. I just hope all this hard work is worth it.
We diverged a bit from the “normal” schedule this week in Forensics. I have guest speakers come into my class to speak about their professions that are related to forensic science. This week we discussed a local case that involved Dr. Richard Illes and the murder of his wife, Miriam. We viewed the CourtTV episode of the case and then Mr. Mike Dinges came in to fill in the gaps. Friday we spent discussing the case and started looking at the “final assessment” in this course, the Crime Scene Project (description can be found on my Wiki). In years past, I waited until the last month to begin talking about it. This semester I decided to use my flipped class discussion time to have students work on the final assessment incrementally. I really think these students are going to do great work!
Teaching chemistry in the flipped classroom learning environment is definitely more challenging. The content is different, students are more extrinsically motivated to learn the material (more focused on grades than learning for the sake of learning), the class size is triple that of forensics, and the students have a wide range of mathematical abilities.
The one thing I do notice is that some students are not doing many problems on their own outside of class. I have online problem sets due, but most wait until the due date to complete them. I had to remind them that we may not get to all the “in class” problems in class therefore they should work on them outside of class. Again, 2.5 hours is not enough time. I am begging them to see me during office hours.
One student visited me during office hours yesterday. We talked for awhile about test anxiety and her crazy schedule as a student athlete. I gave her a few suggestions to help alleviate test anxiety. During the course of the conversation, she mentioned that she would rather I vodcast my lectures in my office. She thought this would focus her more on the content. She said she almost feels like a second party looking in rather me talking to her. She also said that because the lectures were recorded in a live classroom, student questions make the focus diverge. Interesting…. I assumed students would prefer this.
I used MediaSite to classroom capture my lectures last fall thinking that the students would prefer hearing a “real” lecture in a classroom with students versus a “simulated” one-way lecture of me talking to a computer screen. I asked her if she would like me to provide links to other professors lecturing on Khan Academy or YouTube. She said no. She wants to hear me. So, I will lecture capture the next few chapters in my office and see if students prefer this over the MediaSite recordings of my “real-time” classroom lectures.
For now, students are giving me great feedback on the flipped classroom! Most coincides what the “flipped experts” suggest. Students want to hear their own professor explain the concepts rather than someone else. The first exam is next Thursday. I am anxious to see how they do. I anticipate the performance will be identical to that of my lecture class from semesters prior. We will see.