Just a few notes about the past week’s flipping the classroom trial:
After the first night of homework (watch two videos and write a short reflection about each on a Google Doc) I did my first check. After absentees (realised I will have to be much more on top of absentees with this methodology) only 50% had completed their homework. This took a few minutes to check, make a spreadsheet to keep track of homework completion, and obviously time has to be spent on follow up and consequences/rewards. This will be new for me, as often the nature of the work is ‘work on task’ so it is incredibly difficult to check homework. Is it worth it is the question? With consistency and persistence I think it is. Not only for my understanding of their application to work, but their development of their work ethic and consistent application to understanding the set work. After the shock of knowing they’d have to stay in Friday lunch to make up the time they should have spend on work, 95% did their homework the next night. This dropped with the Friday homework session to 68%.
During the week the headphones I’d ordered online arrived, and they seem to be working. It is definitely worthwhile having a set on hand if students are expected to watch videos and not disrupt each other.
Quality of Reflections
Students have been expected to watch videos for homework and reflect on what they’ve seen. As we’ve worked through their responses in class, and followed this up with group activities on what constitutes and effective presentation, I’ve seen a sharp increase in the quality of their reflections – moving from summaries of the content of the performances to analyses of their delivery. This means that the substance of what they’re doing for homework has steadily improved with the complementary class activities.
Time With Students
The big question is did I spend more time with students in class than usual, as that is the primary reason I am trialling this. While not a huge difference yet, definitely yes. I spend most of Friday’s double going from group to group helping them improve the quality of their responses to the set group work, explaining to them how they needed to cover less points in more specific depth.