PGCHE Week 2: Flipping the classroom


Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 15.37.47Fascinating week. I think I got the essential idea. What if you shift the lecturing/teaching bit, the so-called ‘chalk and talk’ by the ‘sage on the stage’ [Sams, 2015], to a pre-recorded video [or similar] to free up the session itself for working through the concepts with students, guided learning style, as the so-called ‘guide on the side’ [Sams, 2015]? All this I found intuitively appealing as I’ve witnessed in my own classes that trying to get through the information and the data via PowerPoint is an inefficient method at best [I’m pictured above in full flight in micro-teach session!]. Yes, I feel better for getting what I feel I want the students to know out to them in the traditional format, but I can see that a few [perhaps as many as 10-20%] don’t seem to be engaging much at all. So catering for these students is important – as well as for those who are way ahead of the game and are already twiddling their thumbs. Mixing things up with video clips and impromptu Q&As can [and does] work, but I always have the nagging feeling that I’ve not been using my teaching time effectively to reach everybody in these traditional lectures.

This is amplified when I get into the corresponding seminar or workshop sessions where we try and apply what I’ve been discussing in the lectures, and I can tell by the knowledge base of some of the students that they evidently haven’t taken the concepts in, at least not as I have delivered them. Flipping the classroom suggests a solution to this – hive off the information and concept delivery to the students during the self-directed time in the week, and focus the face-to-face sessions on subject mastery and application of ideas.

In some senses this is what we do already on the TV BA Television degree, as in addition to the [traditional] lectures, we have seminars and technical workshop sessions, all of which allow for more ‘hands-on’ and experiential activity, which the literature suggests, encourages deeper learning [Kolb, 1984]. So I’m already getting to do the activities that the flipped classroom techniques would free up space for, but I think there is certainly more space for more hands-on stuff, as well as more creative and intelligent ways to deliver and register the information and concepts and assist the students in being able to apply this knowledge etc.

In this respect I found all the video material from the three blended learning experts this week – Katie Gimbar (2011), Aron Sams (2015) and Andy Piesley (2014) – really fascinating and thought provoking. They also answered some of the issues raised in the forum by Tim Leandro in particular [very pertinent questions], although I also got a lot from the feedback that Dario Faniglione gave Tim and others [see the week 2 thread for some very pertinent answers from Dario!].

Further research has also re-inforced the utility of the flipped classroom concept, including a visit to Aron Sam’s own website, which can be found here – as well as Sam’s interesting sidekick Jon Bergmann, who has an excellent site  – with an interesting set of podcasts on flipped learning, one of which can be found here

The other reflection I have about this week’s learning [a hopeful sign], is the degree to which I have been aligning task aims and module aims in my existing face-to-face sessions, something that Andy Peisley really emphasised in his video ten commandments. I could always improve this further, but at least I don’t feel I’m way off the mark. I’m now looking forward to attempting to develop my own flipped classroom session in a new hypothetical module on documentary production that I’m developing, a part of which I’ve already tried to work in on EDU710.

Gimbar, K, (2011), Why I Flipped My Classroom, YouTube

Kolb, D, [1984] Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of Learning and Development, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Peisley, A [2014] Lessons learnt from implementing and evaluating ‘flipped classroom’ approaches, YouTube

Sams, A, [2015] Flipped Classroom: The Next Step, YouTube

Other useful resources:

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