Making connections in the #flippedclassroom

We had a really good day in gen chem.  Instead of assigning a vodcast quiz with notes, I asked students to view the vodcast and/or read the textbook and complete about 7 problems from the text.  These problems were fairly simple problems that a student could do after reading or viewing the vodcast.  My office hour immediately before class was packed!  So many of the students sought out help with the problems.  I was able to give these students one-on-one attention and they came to class really “getting” solution stoichiometry and titrations.

As a result, in class these same students were able to progress more easily through the “in class” problems and tutor their peers more effectively.  I noticed excitement in the class as a whole.  They were gaining confidence in their ability.  Students were making connections.  Finally!

On a different note…. a friend of mine works with high school students.  I had presented the flipped classroom idea to a group of teachers from my local school district.  Two teachers (one science and the other calculus), started flipping this year.  My friend said the group of HS students were saying great things about their flipped class experience.  They love it and think they are learning so much more!  This is a quote taken directly from Ms. Persun’s (Calculus teacher) email to me and school administrators.

“Good morning!  I wanted to share the results of the student survey on the flipped classroom.  The students completed this survey late September.  I will probably do another quick survey after our next test or at the end of the nine weeks to see if any thoughts have changed.  If you click on the link it should take you to the results.

Some of the responses are very interesting.  I think the thing that stands out to me the most is that from the students perspective the vast majority like the flipped classroom.  I have one very strong opinion the opposite direction from a student and maybe one or two more that are not 100% sure.  Also you can see that 91% of the students feel that working on the problem sets in class increases their comfort level for problem-solving and 87% feel like their problem solving skills have developed.  No one said that it doesn’t help them!  Another important aspect is that 91% said that they pause and rewind the video.  By far I think this is the best thing about flipping.  They can hear and see the content as many times as they need!

Also after analyzing our first test compared to the three previous years the average was up a few points, not drastic results.  But any improvement is good as far as I am concerned”.

We need more educators who are “risk-takers”. We need share our ideas and best practices and find what works with our students.  I’m so excited to be a part of the flipped class movement.


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