Flipping 2.0

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.

ASSESSMENT

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.

We will do a pre and post unit student survey to look at students’ perceptions of flipping the classroom.

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.

REFERENCES

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.

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Flipping The Classroom: Sixth And Final Week Complete

Homework

Specific homework to be set that could be tangibly checked became less frequent as the unit progressed (ie how do you easily and quickly tangibly check students’ rehearsals). The one checkable homework last week had a 50% completion rate. It’s such a pity as those who tried out the power stances in the video said they were great. (It was a long video, so I got them to watch specific parts, practise the power stances, and complete a quiz via google form.)

Student Feedback

Given that the unit is complete, I asked students for their feedback:

The Negative
  • One student said he was banned from the internet during the unit (playing games when he should have been working), which affected his ability to complete homework.
The Positive
  • The students liked being able to work on assignments in class with teacher available for help.
  • They also liked learning tips for homework and then applying them during the next lesson while the teacher was available for help.
  • One student commented that he liked having a substantial length of time to work on assignments in class instead of being ‘interrupted’ with tips and activities.
  • Another student commented that he is not good at self drafting, so the frequent one on one advice about the wording of his performance poem was great.
  • An interesting comment from one student was that having a specific, tangible activity made the mental shift from working on an assignment for another subject to English easier. She said she finds switching between working on assignments for a range of subject in one evening difficult. Many other students in the class were nodding in agreement.
  • Another student stated that watching quality video examples was a great way to ease in to this style of homework and she found them inspiring.
The Wikispace
The students liked:
  • The colour scheme to help with navigation.
  • That everything was externally linked (even the same Google doc being linked every time it was mentioned).
  • The Google Doc – found it a great way to collate everything in one place instead of having lots of files / handouts / retrieval points. They especially liked how I constantly shifted tables around so that the one they needed most was always at the top.

Conclusion

The ultimate question was is, considering the time and effort in preparation required, flipping the classroom worth the effort. In my opinion, the answer is a resounding yes.

Flipping The Classroom: Fifth Week Complete

Homework

Not much to report for week 5. I was away on an interstate school trip for part of the week, and I’ve found that now students are in to rehearsals homework has become ‘run through your speech’ which is difficult to follow up in a tangible way. There was one homework set that could be checked, which was done by 55% of the students.

Time With Students

Students had one on one time with each other rather than me, rehearsing in front of each other and giving each other constructive criticism.

Overall week 5 was more like a normal week than a flipped classroom due to the current nature of the work. Not  a negative (should always adapt methodologies to suit) but just means I have little new to offer this week.

Flipping The Classroom: Fourth Week Complete

Homework

Following the 87% completion rate last week, there was a 33% completion rate one night this week. It seems that the Friday lunch detention is not much of a deterrent. I used a quiz on Google Form this week to check completion, which was a quick and easy way of doing it.

Creating A Video

I now have my new version of Camtasia so I made a video last week (below). Here’s a collation of the feedback from the students and myself:

  • Need to break the video up into smaller segments. The length (10:47) overall was fine, but 5 minutes, quiz, 5 minutes, quiz would be better.
  • No need to use the function where they can see me talk.
  • The pop ups were great for highlighting key points and making it a little more interesting, feel free to use more.
  • All the stumbles and pauses were edited out (much appreciated by the students!).

I’m in the process of collating some more tips on a wiki.

Time With Students

I’ve had some fantastic one on one time with students because of flipping. Eg instead of delivering a lecture to students about how to improve their writing which, unedited, would be more like 20 minutes, they watched that video for homework and I spent those 20 minutes giving one on one help. In these sessions I was able to open students’ eyes to the amazing transformation their work can undergo with deliberate use of techniques. It has been incredibly valuable.

Flipping The Classroom: Third Week Complete

A few notes after week 3 of my flipping the classroom trial:

Homework

The next lesson follow up after set homework has continued to be a focus for me – finding ways to tangibly and fairly check the homework and provide reflection or consolidation where necessary. I did just have the best percentage of completion yet for a Friday homework (87%), which is great. They are well into creating their performance poetry piece now, so checking was simply a matter of looking at how much work they’d done (they had to have enough of a rough draft that it would take them at least three minutes to say).

Catch Up

Having strict homework records has also meant having better records of absentees. Because I have structured the flipped unit to be easily followed on a wiki page, I have found they are easily able to catch up on lessons and I can easily provide direction on what they have missed.

Time With Students

I am now noticing a marked difference in the amount of one on one time I am spending with students. Eg in today’s lesson after checking homework (which I’d made tangible and quick & easy to do), I went from student to student role modeling how to make a couple of their sentences more powerful (talking through what I was doing and why, and why the audience would find that more effective). I want to give a lesson about turning sentences into visual images, so in the spirit of the flipped classroom I will have to create a video so that that can be homework and I can continue to give one on one help during lessons. I have my updated version of Camtasia now, so no excuses.

Camtasia Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License

Camtasia Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License

Flipping The Classroom: Second Week Complete

Just a few notes about the past week’s flipping the classroom trial:

Homework

After an improvement in homework there was a dip back to 50% for Friday’s homework. It is interesting to note that there is a definite Friday dip, as though that homework tends to be forgotten. I’ve now recorded enough nights to start to see a pattern in who does/doesn’t do their homework; handy information to have. I’ve used three methods of checking homework so far: checking their reflection is done on the google doc, running a quiz with Nearpod, and posting on the wikispace discussion board. The reflections and posts were quick and easy to check, and tangible – students had done it or they hadn’t. The quiz was time consuming and intangible, but lots of fun. To make such a quiz more tangible in terms of recording homework completion I’d have to use something that records answers for me like survey monkey or a google form.

Ease Of Access

I did have one student whose home internet went down for a few days, so had to help him come up with alernate strategies for homework completion. Other than that access has been smooth.

Quality of Reflections

With the increase in homework completion I have seen a definite increase in the quality of input from students in class discussions and one on one discussions. The breadth of videos they have been made to watch also seems to have fired enthusiasm for performance poetry as an art form and an understanding of the range of topics and styles there are.

Time With Students

Now that students are writing their own performance poem scripts, I’m noticing a big increase in the amount of one on one time I’m giving students – going around individually and helping them with their concepts and scripts. Because I can give them any further examples or tips as homework, eg the tips from the Snap Judgment page, I’m engaging in more one on one support. It’s great!

Flipping The Classroom: First Week Complete

Just a few notes about the past week’s flipping the classroom trial:

Homework

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%.

Headphones

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.

Flipping The Classroom Begins

My first step in flipping the classroom begins. This blog post is to chronicle what I’ve done differently for my own records, for those interested in trying it out, and to remind me what it was like being a beginner at this (I say optimistically). PS – Is it just me, or does anyone else have an image like below come to mind when they hear the term flipping the classroom? Problem is other terms, backwards teaching, reverse teaching, etc, aren’t much better!

finger

CC0 1.0 Universal License

I’ve chosen one unit for one class (see Snap Judgment Unit for Year 10s here). On the unit page I have spent more time than I normally would structuring the students’ wiki page so that it is easier for them to follow. I also ‘test drove’ it by having a student look at the page and give feedback on the ease of navigation. To make it all more obvious, I put used a colour coding system, and gave this explanation at the top of the page: Links are in blue (followed links in purple). Information is in black. Instructions are in green. Headings and accented information are in brown.

I deliberately chose this unit as there was prepared video material I wanted students to watch (to give them inspirational examples for their performance poetry). This avoided the incredibly time consuming making of videos (and turned out to be great, as I discovered my copy of Camtasia didn’t work with my updated operating system and I’m sorting that out!).

When introducing the unit today, the main thing I did differently was briefly explain was flipping the classroom was and why I was trying it out. It was a fairly minimal explanation as I find students at my school are receptive to new methodologies and aren’t too interested in underlying pedagogical practices. I asked the students to identify a crucial potential problem with the approach, and was impressed when one immediately said, “Students have to do their homework or they’re stuffed.” He was absolutely right, and it has been a key difference in my unit planning and resulted in the following pattern:

  1. Classwork
  2. Homework
  3. Check homework next lesson

1. The classwork now incorporates a lot more one on one time with students because of the flipping methodology. Eg an instruction in one lesson plan reads, ‘ Work on draft. I help student individually with creating their draft.’ 2. I had to completely rethink what I set for homework. It had to be something students could access and easily watch/read/listen to and understand without me there. The goal was to remove passive receiving of information from class and set it for homework. 3. Homework is usually ‘work on assignment’ so I’ve never found it practical to consistently and accurately check it, but now it’s finite tasks and I have to plan ways to check they are done. Eg one lesson starts: Nearpod quiz on Emilie Zoey Baker’s blog post.

Another factor that is not an issue with my cohort, but could potentially be for others, is access to ICT and the internet. For any of my plans to work it has to be an ICT enhanced classroom and students need access to the internet at home. For more on this see Jarrod Johnson’s presentation.

 

Flipping The Classroom

Flipping The Classroom

Flipping The Classroom

I am about to flip. While yes reports and exams are looming it’s not the ‘go crazy’ flip but the educational methodology flip. I am now feeling confident enough with online learning tools environments to try ‘flipping the classroom’. To prepare intellectually I made it the focus of my last two assignments my Masters in Teacher Librarianship, and to prepare emotionally I have been looking at inspiring role models around the world. I also went to a workshop about it at the SAETA conference by Jarrod Johnson recently. I’m set to go, and yet I’m pausing.

I think the hesitation is due to the fact I’m aware it is a huge investment of time and energy, and a complete restructure of my role as an educator. Even though I have gradually been moving away from content delivery mechanism to learning facilitator, flipping is a whole other level. Content delivery appeals to the ‘control freak’ in me, and learning facilitator is making me trepidatious.

I just have to take a deep breath and jump. I did one small thing that I have been scared to try last night – online clothes shopping. While I’m feeling brave, it’s time to start planning some flipping for Term 3.

Have you flipped?

Off We Go!

The school year has begun, and I’m in that phase of not knowing yet quite what the year will be like. I had a student yesterday after class stop me in excitement to tell me what he was planning for the task I set, and another this morning getting furious with me because I had no interest in listening to what was a blatant lie. What I find (and I’m sure many others experience this) is that it’s the second interaction I’m spending all my mental energy on. Why do we do that? To combat this negative feeling I decided to come to my blog and look for inspiration. My thoughts immediately turned to a wonderful video Amanda Isherwood forwarded me last year about the power of words. It’s a wonderful reminder of what we are truly aiming to do in English.

There is also this wonderful video forwarded to me by Jonathan Scobie about the demands and implications veiled in euphemistic politeness, which is a lot of fun.

Checking my sticky note, there’s also some useful resources I’ve made note of, such as Karen Bonnano’s Using Google Research Tools, and some introductory videos about flipping the classroom. This is something I want to get into because, as the speaker of the first video said lecturing to students is an inefficient way of teaching a diverse group of learners and it’s exhausting.

Focusing on something positive, fun, and a way to improve my practice has already made me feel better. Must focus on the positive!