I listened to a great talk by @josebowen author of Teaching Naked, a book urging professors to use technology – laptops, smartphones, social media and games – to flip the classroom. Move lectures and readings to outside the classroom…. and close the laptops and do hands-on projects in class.
Jose cheered the large crowd by declaring that the “MOOC Bubble” has peaked and probably popped. “Lecture capture” is dead: a taped 50- or 75-minute lecture from the most entertaining and knowledgeable expert in the field is generally B-O-R-I-N-G.
However he went on to remind the crowd that the traditional university model will continue to be under siege. Online providers are learning from Khan and others how to make content more digestible than broadcast live or recorded lectures.
Flipping as a defense against online disruption
The same studies that have shown that interaction with faculty is central to good academic results, show that the interactions that students remember are not lectures, but typically are outside the classroom, activities such as seeking help with a problem or consulting with the professor in the professor’s office.
Dr. Bowen and many others argue that lectures just aren’t that effective. We should be focusing on those valuable contacts with students involved in solving problems or understanding content by bringing those experiences into the classroom.
Content delivery has moved from lecture halls and libraries to computers and now tablets and smartphones. So narrate some of your PowerPoints and post them on slideshare or elsewhere. Find other’s who have presented some of the same material in an enjoyable video and send students there. By “flipping the classroom” you encourage content delivery out of class where it is more efficient and increase teachable moments where students discuss, apply principles and try to use the knowledge.
The key principle of flipping: Let students receive content by the text, computer, and smartphone; use precious class time for discussion and individual or group applied work with the professor as moderator or consultant. Even the most tech-savvy flipping professor might well want to ask students to close their laptops and put their smartphones in their pockets when they are in class!
Flipping the classroom has been one of the enduring ideas for the five years that I have been attending the VT Conference on Pedagogy. It also is consistent with my teaching experience.
I think all of us in higher ed should be flipping!!
But… It is HARD. I will follow with some posts on how I am attempting to do the flip in my classes.