Long time no blog! Since September 2014 I went on long service leave (had an amazing trip in Tasmania and volunteered in Sunrise Children’s Association in Nepal). I’ve also had a baby boy (Alex), been on a six week family road trip of Australia, reorganised my diet to be essentially sugar free, and taken up running. Consequently I have not done much in regards to flipping the classroom, but am continuing the experiment this year. I am working with a small professional learning team to conduct a second flipping the classroom experiment, taking a more evidence based approach, to solidify my understanding and confidence. I am also developing a wikispace to collate some of what we learn.
We are focusing on the question, ‘Does flipping the classroom improve Year 10 English students’ ability to construct deeper knowledge independently and socially?’ We focused on deep knowledge because that is our primary aim in using flipping the classroom. We included independent and social learning to follow our school’s pedagogical foci and narrowed the context to Year 10 English as that is a subject shared by all group members. What we’re most interested in with flipped the classroom is its potential to reshape instruction by maximising interactive teaching and activities in class learning time for higher order learning. Once established, flipping the classroom has the potential to provide extension and extra support to students who need it, and to allow self paced learning. Flipping allows us to ask what students really need a physically present teacher for and what is the best use of face to face time with students. To create learner centred spaces of active learning and student engagement where the teacher is a facilitator rather than a presenter of content.
While we are all working with our Year 10 English classes, we will be doing different units. I will be preparing a unit for William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice unit.
KEY ASPECTS FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION
- Rethink the teacher’s role. Facilitator, guide – ensuring the student has the requisite knowledge, skills and support to negotiate a new learning and prompting the student through questioning or modeling.
- Classroom content needs to be (re)organised to make effective use of flipping the classroom. Classroom time needs to be structured around activities that develop deeper and more thorough understanding.
- (Re)Design the courses to ensure all activities are focused on students’ learning.
- The teacher needs to be familiar a range of with e-learning tools and learning management systems.
- Teachers need to be educated in flipping the classroom to develop their pedagogical knowledge, confidence, and skills in this teaching methodology.
- Teachers need to work with students and parents, keeping them informed so that they receive the new methodology positively.
- Potentially the learning space needs to be reconfigured for collaboration, individual work, etc.
- Homework needs to be cognitively interactive and the length of homework needs to be developmentally appropriate for the students (in length, complexity, etc).
BARRIERS / CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION
- (Re)Designing a course is difficult, time consuming, and takes strategic planning
- Files need to be mobile and multi system friendly.
- All students need to be able to easily access the set homework.
- Students’ completion of homework becomes essential; teachers need to work out techniques for effectively and consistently following up on homework completion to make students individually accountable. It is essential teachers don’t rescue students who don’t do their homework by going over that material in class (tells the students who did the homework that it was a waste of their time).
- Students – need to understand the logical of the flipping the classroom approach and how they will benefit to avoid resistance. A flipped classroom in which students are unprepared for this method of teaching will not be successful. Any break in a traditional routine can be stressful. Students will also need to be taught how to watch and learn from videos, and how to move from passive to active learner as it requires a different skill set that the student may not necessarily have.
- Teachers – need to be given time for implementation of flipping the classroom, support from administrators, support from IT. They will also need professional development on learning technology infrastructure and the pedagogy of the flipped classroom, taught to rethink their role, to focus on effective organisation of course content, and to look at new e-learning tools that best complement this methodology.
We are attempting to collect some data on the efficacy of our flipped units. While evaluative and subjective as we don’t have the time to construct full assessment procedures, we wish to collect some information on the effect of the pedagogical strategy.
To look at independent learning we will teach students a concept prior to the flipped unit in a lecture style with the students writing an example for homework. Then will will teach students an extremely similar concept in the flipped style with the example being done in class the next lesson with the teacher there to facilitate the process. The teacher will compare the quality of the examples of a sample group of students.
To look at social learning the teacher will gets students doing group work prior to the flipped unit, preparing them for this lecture style in class. The teacher will observe a sample group during group work. Then the teacher will get students doing group work, preparing them for this in the flipped style and observing a sample group during group work. Teachers will compare how students work collaboratively prior to the unit with how they work when they are allowed significant time for thinking about the activity prior to engaging in it.
We are still developing how we will look at depth of knowledge, but we are thinking of getting students to do a practise piece of writing in Term 2 at the start of a traditionally taught unit and compare this practise piece with the work they produce at the end of the unit. Then we will do the same for a Term 3 flipping the classroom unit. We will be looking at whether the improvements between practise 2 and final 2 more significant than between practise 1 and final 1.
Bergmann, J. S. (2015). Flipped Learning for English Instruction. Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education.
Bergmann, J. & Sams, A. (2014). Flipped Learning: Gateway to students’ engagement. Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education.
Covill, D., Patel, B., & Gill, D. (2013). Flipping the classroom to support learning: an overview of flipped classes from science, engineering and product design. School Science Review. 95(350), 73-80. http://www.ase.org.uk/journals/school-science-review/2013/09/350/3550/ssr-september-2013-073-080-covill-et-al.pdf
Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip Your Classroom to Improve Student Learning. Learning & Leading With Technology. 39(8), 12-17.
Garver, M., & Roberts, B. (2013). Flipping & Clicking Your Way to Higher-Order Learning. Marketing Education Review, 23(1), 17-22.
Gross, B, Marinari, M, Hoffman, M, DeSimone, K, & Burke, P 2015, ‘Flipped @ SBU: Student Satisfaction and the College Classroom’, Educational Research Quarterly, 39, 2, pp. 36-52, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 11 May 2016.
Johnson, J. (2014). Stages of the Flipped Classroom. [Google Presentation] Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4OYWKL7NlY5cU54YjhlN1NVOVE/edit
Kordyban, R. & Kinash, S. (2013). No more flying on autopilot: The flipped classroom. Education Technology Solutions. 56, 54-56.
Sankey, M. & Hunt, L. (2013). Using technology to enable flipped classrooms whilst sustaining sound pedagogy. In: 30th Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Conference (ASCILITE 2013): Electric Dreams, 1-4 Dec 2013, Sydney, Australia.