I wanted to write a brief entry after comments made recently from two students. The first student is in my gen chem class. This student has really made great strides since the first exam. She is asking questions during class and doing a great job helping her in class group mate. Since I had this student before, I can tell you that her whole attitude has changed. When I commented on how well she was doing, she attributed it to being able to help and teach her group mate. She said that she is learning more by teaching. The flipped classroom may be most useful for these opportunities… the increased student-to-student interactions.
Similarly, a student in my forensics class made another very interesting comment. I have to literally force students to stay on task in forensics. I commented that the one group who were really discussing the answers and spending time writing detailed answers probably had a combined average of a high B on Test 2. A student who I have to force to stay on task replied, “this class is just an elective for me”. This student is only looking for a passing grade so that he can check off the science requirement. There is no need to learn the material. This attitude towards learning forensics is consistent with him being externally regulated in his motivation. To read more about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation towards learning, find the Ryan and Deci (2000) article here.
The autonomous learning environment developed in the flipped classroom is motivating for some students. No learning environment will cause the “D for diploma” student to become more motivated to learn. And trust me….. I do everything to make forensics interesting and relevant…. guest speakers, case studies, and class discussions. I don’t think I can add much more to my dog and pony show. It is really up to the student.