Flipping the Classroom

I feel like in-class lectures are very important. I admit my bias, as this is my personally preferred method of learning, however post-secondary instructors are expected to be subject area experts, and I believe there is value in teacher centred learning. I expect the best information from the best experts and I believe that students, who are “paying customers” expect the same. But can some of this lecture be done at home, shifting from teacher centred learning to student centre learning?

The question I’m addressing today is whether flipping the classroom can be incorporated into any of my courses – well sure it could – but do I want to do this, and how will students learn best? To help inform this post, I read an article, on flipping the classroom by Pamela Kachka. A vaild point, Kachka mentions that flipping the classroom is not a new or even recent idea – essentially, any “homework” like reading, or advance preparations is flipping the classroom. On some level then all courses involving homework, essentially all courses, involve “flipping the classroom” to some degree necessarily; this makes the term arbitrary for me, and the current reference should more accurately be titled, “at-home-lectures”. Personally, I find that students frequently do not do readings in preparation for class. My perspective is that if students won’t read at home, they are even less likely to watch an hour-long video of me talking while on their own time.

In theory, I think it would be great if students would watch a video-lecture at home for say Business Communications – then I could use the in-class time to assist individual students in applying writing skills through the various course assignments. In practice, I don’t believe that students would actually watch the videos. I suppose this means I am a skeptic that in-class lectures can be replaced with watch-at-home lectures.

As a final thought, I think that ‘alternative’ teaching methods may work (ie. watch-at-home-lectures), later on in a post-secondary career. In universities, seminar courses are often introduced in year four (last year of studies), perhaps watch-at-home-lectures could work in a final program year for college students as well.

I am open-minded however, I would love to hear any and all thoughts or examples on successes of at-home-video-lectures. 


One thought on “Flipping the Classroom

  1. Hi Laura,

    I agree, when students are left to read chapters in a book prior to coming to a lecture, they usually won’t complete the assignments. I found if I ask them to create questions about the content they read. This way it forces the students actually read the content.
    I give them 10 percent of their marks for creating questions. I tell them I may use these question their quizzes or exams.


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