More Resources – Flipped Classroom

I know, I know. I’ve posted a lot of information and opinion on flipped classrooms lately. Since this link takes you to a diigo page of resources and articles on flipped classrooms – all in one spot – I had to share it. I hope it’s helpful!

Flipped Classroom.

In Defense of Studying Social Media – 10,000 Words

In Defense of Studying Social Media – 10,000 Words.

Should a more indepth and critical knowledge of social media be articulated by granting certificates and degrees in this area of study? This article advocates for such, and for moving beyond personal and more superficial knowledge of these platforms, so that employers and academics can better demonstrate and exercise the power of social media in the work place and the classroom. Discuss.

Are you Facebook friends with your students? Should you be?

Are you Facebook friends with your students? Should you be? Comments and experiences welcome.

teaching and learning with technology

In the normal classroom discussion the other day I was interested to find that everyone in the class (16 of them) have joined a Facebook group that one of them set up as a Literature study group. They’re all there, I asked and checked, and are discussing and asking questions and supporting each other (I hope) and pushing each other in the right directions (I hope)

I hope because I’m not sure. And I’m not sure because I’m not there. I’m not allowed to ‘friend’ students or be connected to them in social networks according to our school policy; a policy that I had a hand in developing. But, you’ve got to wonder. Here am I out here, trying to utilise our own online tools including a pretty decent wiki and blog setup, to get student collaboration and participation going and, here are they in there, doing it themselves, in…

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An excellent article on active learning using technology. Especially consider the points on using Wikis and creating multimedia ebooks with your students. The Research Academy’s Showcase on May 2, 2012 – open to all, no cost! – will feature a workshop on developing Wiki’s with students as a way to collaboratively build knowledge. We will release the full schedule of workshops later this week. If you are in the area, plan to attend this free and interactive day of workshops and presentations on teaching and learning.

Technology and Learning

Several decades ago, Paulo Freire attacked the traditional “banking” concept of education — the idea that faculty simply transmitted knowledge to students who stored it as if they were passive containers. Instead, Freire argued, they should treat students as equals capable of active learning.

Now, more than ever, educators have an opportunity to realize Freire’s vision. By teaching well with digital technologies, faculty can help students connect, collaborate, and create, allowing them to take ownership of their own learning.

Connecting is a central part of today’s online experience. The rise of Web 2.0 technologies several years ago allowed users to move beyond such basic communication tools as email and instant messaging to find people who share their interests and build relationships with them.

This is an important distinction. Where early web technologies enabled people to communicate primarily with friends and family, today’s networks encourage discovery and new relationships.

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For those interested in instantly gauging student understanding of concepts, polling for student opinions and perspectives on issues raised through discussion, or just curious on how you might integrate this in your teaching practice, check out these new tools. Read the full entry for more information of how these tools are utilized, and how easy they can be used for instant student feedback on learning.

On blogging in the Digital Humanities

I have nothing to really add to this excellent blog post on why we academics, scholars, and teachers should be blogging, now:

http://ullyot.ucalgaryblogs.ca/2012/02/24/on-blogging-in-the-digital-humanities/

“Blogging in the social, pure, and applied sciences is a common enough practice that two members of the London School of Economics’ Public Policy Group said today that it is “one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now” — namely, circulating ideas-in-progress to readers in more immediate and (yes) more interesting forms than traditional academic publishing.

It’s no less important in the humanities, even if it’s less common. But in a research field like the digital humanities, blog posts and tweets are the primary way — for many, the only way — that scholars and students disseminate and learn about new questions and methods.”

Read the full post at: http://ullyot.ucalgaryblogs.ca/2012/02/24/on-blogging-in-the-digital-humanities/

More on the Flipped Classroom – From the UK and Online Teaching Practices

This re-blog comes to us from Verona, Italy, written by a British teacher and scholar, and primarily discusses technology used to teach online courses. There are several mentions of new tools that may help the instructor who is currently teaching online, or considering moving courses into a hybrid/online environment.

http://hartlelearning.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/flipping-the-classroom-and-the-future-of-homework/

I am posting this not only for the tips and perspective on what a “flipped” classroom is, but because it is helpful to know what practices are considered successful – and how emerging technology is leveraged – in different countries and how it may be helpful to us here in the U.S. to consider different ideas of instruction, homework, and student motivation.

I’d love some comments on this post, as well as some discussion on what others are doing (post your links!)

Technology and Learning

The scene in the basement of Notre Dame’s business college Saturday fit the day’s theme: Teaching well with technology.  High-definition monitors decorated the room’s walls, offering participants a look at the cloud-based tools they’d spend the day exploring. Banks of networked PCs allowed them to dive into these tools, or browse the workshop’s agenda and resources, which were posted online. And technophiles Chris Clark (Notre Dame) and Bruce Spitzer (IUSB) brimmed with enthusiasm as they presented and took questions.

For the next several hours, Clark and Spitzer led participants on a tour of tools aimed at helping them to encourage active learning, craft engaging presentations, and gather data from students to enrich their teaching methods.

Clark and Spitzer stressed the importance of a planned approach that begins with defining learning goals and student assessments, continues with determining teaching strategies, and concludes by picking the appropriate supporting technologies

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Dig deeper into this article for the link to the article in Cerebrum, well worth the read. Essentially, creativity is not an isolated characteristic inherent in particular people, but can be fostered through cognitive development of the processes that lead to creative thought. Groovy.

Seven Ways to Be More Positive (and a better teacher)

Though these tips are directed to a more holistic approach to enriching and becoming satisfied with your life, as I read them I felt they applied as well to who we are as instructors. As you move through these tips, consider how they might influence how you plan and execute your curriculum, and what level of mindfulness you bring to the classroom:

http://www.thechangeblog.com/ways-to-be-more-positive/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheChangeBlog+%28The+Change+Blog%29

I especially think that numbers 4-7: #4 Set Small, Achievable Goals; #5 Do Something Kind; #6 Write Your Own Affirmations; and #7 Focus on What’s Already Good, can apply to not only how we approach teaching, but how we reflect on our teaching. We don’t always ground our experience and growth in checking in with ourselves, and perhaps these simple steps will help.

Be sure to check back often, as I have a new post coming in the next few days concerning Mindful Learning, from a research-based approach, to contemplative practice.

TED Lessons Worth Sharing – Critical Balance

This blog post examines the 10-minute lectures, an initiative based on animating the best TED Lectures and lecturers:

http://runte.blogspot.com/2012/03/ted-lessons-worth-sharing.html

I’m re-posting this analysis because it relates to our discussion of the flipped classroom (pre-recording lectures for students), and because I think Dr. Runte makes some wonderful points about reducing knowledge to encapsulated bits of information that may not allow for deeper thinking, critical discussion, and a regimen of disciplined learning that serves them well into their academic lives and careers.  Could this be enabling a further reduction in student attention spans? Thoughts?

How to Make Math Meaningful

 

This video discusses how to make math more meaningful and less intimidating for students. Short but rich!

Mid Term Evaluations – Checking in with students

Mid Term Evaluations – Checking in with students

Part II of Teaching Circles Discussion Review

As I finished up my post on student failure, I remembered that amidst all of our discussion on attendance, setting expectations, letting students fail, and more, I forgot to talk about mid-term evaluations. Yes, we fit this in! In fact, we started our conversation talking about conducting mid-term evaluations in order to gauge where students were, whether they felt they were learning, and what suggestions they had for improving their learning. For those of you who have never performed a mid-term evaluation, it’s worth looking at why we do these and how they help us continually enhance our teaching and “check in” with our students’ learning.

Mid-term evaluations give us a chance to adjust our courses based on feedback from students on what’s working and what could be changed to help students learn – changing horses mid-stream, if you like backwardly applied metaphors. Coincidentally, one of my favorite teaching and learning blogs (ProfHacker, sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education) had a post about mid-term evals, as well as a promotion through a really excellent higher ed forum, POD. See below.

For those of you considering mid term evaluations, this is an excellent list of resources, combined with an idea of how to conduct evaluations collaboratively with your students, that is, invest them in the process.

We also offer this service to Montclair State faculty through the Research Academy, called SGA’s. Go here to learn more: http://www.montclair.edu/academy/services/sga.html

Conducting Your Midterm Evaluations Publicly with Google Docs

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/make-your-midterm-evaluations-public-with-google-docs/38680

Croxall uses GoogleDocs to have students collaboratively do a midterm evaluation answering two questions: “What is working well so far?” and “What could be done better?”

The post links to other ProfHacker entries on the same topic.

List of Evaluation Resources From POD:

  • Anderson, Joan, Gary Brown, and Stephen Spaeth.  “Online Student Evaluations and Response Rates Reconsidered.”  Innovate 2, no. 6 (2006). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=301 (accessed January 8, 2011).
  • Brinko, Kathleen T.  “The Interactions of Teaching Improvement.”  In Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education, 3-8.  Edited by Kathleen T. Brinko and Robert J. Menges.  Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press, 1997.
  • Coffman, Sara Jane.  “Small Group Instructional Evaluation Across the Disciplines.”  College Teaching 46, no. 3 (1998): 106-111.
  • Creed, Tom.  “Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID).”  The National Teaching & Learning Forum 6, no. 4 (1997). http://www.ntlf.com/html/pi/9705/sgid.htm (accessed December 12, 2010).
  • Diamond, Miriam R.  “The Usefulness of Structured Mid-Term Feedback as a Catalyst for Change in Higher Education Classes.”  Active Learning in Higher Education 5, no. 3 (2004): 217-231.
  • Diamond, Nancy A. “Small Group Instructional Diagnosis: Tapping Student Perceptions of Teaching.”  In A Guide to Faculty Development: Practical Advice, Examples, and Resource, 82-91.  Edited by Kay Herr Gillespie, Linda R. Hilsen, and Emily C. Wadsworth.  Boston: Anker Press, 2002.
  • Lewis, Karron G.  “The Process of Individual Consultation.” In A Guide to Faculty Development: Practical Advice, Examples, and Resources, 59-73.  Edited by Kay Herr-Gillespie, Linda R. Hilsen, and Emily C. Wadsworth.  Boston: Anker Press. 2002.  59-73.
  • Penny, Angela R., and Robert Coe.  “Effectiveness of Consultation on Student Ratings Feedback: A Meta-Analysis.”  Review of Educational Research 74, no. 2 (2004): 215-253.
  • Seldin, Peter.  “Using Student Feedback to Improve Teaching.”  To Improve the Academy 16 (1997): 335-346.
  • Smuts, Bridget.  “Using Class Interviews to Evaluate Teaching and Courses in Higher Education.”  South African Journal of Higher Education 19, no. 5 (2005): 943-955.
  • Theall, Michael.  “Student Ratings: Myths vs. Research Evidence.”  Focus on Faculty 10, no. 3 (2002): 2-3.  http://studentratings.byu.edu/info/faculty/myths.asp (accessed December 12 2010).
  • White, Ken.  “Mid-Course Adjustments: Using Small Group Instructional Diagnoses To Improve Teaching and Learning.”  In Assessment in and of Collaborative Learning.  Edited by The Washington Center’s EvaluationCommittee, Evergreen State University. http://www.evergreen.edu/washcenter/resources/acl/c4.html (accessed December 12, 2010).

Cool.

Please also check out this comment with even more resources (visit the original post here: http://ltlatnd.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/a-daily-dose-of-digital-creativity/):

March 6, 2012 5:02 pm

Chris,

Thanks for the awesome write-up of ds106 here, it is a really fun class. Tim Owens deserves full credit for making the Daily Create site a reality, and it is all done with freely available WordPress plugins, you can see the details here

Also, Martha Burtis’s work with the ds106 assignment repository is amazing. It’s a space where students submit assignments and other people in the class can do them. Take for example the fat Cat visual assignment which a student at UMW submitted and people all over the world completed, pretty crazy:
http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/fat-cats-make-art-better/

One thing you might notice is not only the list of 23 people who did that particular assignment, but also the 3 or 4 tutorials people submitted to help others complete it. What happens with ds106 is the students not only help build not the community of the class, but the class itself. It is like building an airplane while flying in it!

The Flipped Classroom: The Good and Bad of the New Old Trend

by Julie Dalley

A new buzz word has been wending its way through the online education forums and blogs: the flipped classroom. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what this means exactly, and here are some borrowed definitions as well as a look at how this method is anything but new.

What is a Flipped Classroom?

A flipped classroom is one in that the students do research, study, and analysis of core concepts and exercises outside of the course, and the instructor has them practice applying these concepts during class time. Most models call for the instructor to pre-record lectures (sometimes as podcasts, mostly as videos uploaded to Youtube.com)  In the flipped model, the core concepts are viewed by the student prior to class and class time is taken up with applying these concepts and wrestling with problems or exercises using this core knowledge. All of the examples I have seen have been math classes, probably due to their heavy reliance on lecture to impart fundamentals and then consistent practice that reinforces learning. In addition, most of the models I’ve found online are K-12, but I suspect that many higher education instructors are using some variation of this model and are just not calling it a “flipped” classroom. For an example, see my first link below under Resources. Kieran Mathieson, associate professor of information systems at Oakland University, also integrates interactive exercises and e-textbooks, in addition to lecture:”My variant on this is that the independent, outside-of-class work also includes many exercises, with formative feedback. See http://coredogs.com/article/tale-two-students for a short story. I’ve been running courses this way for a few years.”

I don’t know if “flipped” or “backward” are appropriate terms for this model of learning and instruction. You actually are NOT reversing instruction (are the students teaching you?), you are delivering it in a different way, so “flipping” may just be a catchy idiom. As one video pointed out, many humanities courses already do this: you read the novel, or essay, or history of a subject first (rather than watching a video, but you could be watching video) and then discuss it in class. The term and practice of “flipping” a course has become quite popular though, and I believe it is because of several factors:

  1. The corporate model. This is how Khan Academy presents all of their material, via the video. Khan is backed by many big name corporate sponsors. Bill Gates is all about this model. As one blogger cautions, though, “A nagging concern that what might come out of this movement is not the freeing up of the classroom, but the intrusion of the bureaucracy, the big business backed educational resource sites such as the Khan Academy.”
  2. The hybrid course model. Many schools are vying to compete in the hybrid/online course market. This method of instruction integrates an online component and also keeps the physical presence and expertise of the instructor available to the student.
  3. Practice. Theoretically, more class time is spent in inter-active, engaged exercises that allow for deeper learning. By allowing students to view or listen to lectures via video/audio casts at their own pace, rewinding and listening to lectures (as well as returning to them for review) as often as they like, instructors can spend class time working one-on-one with students to implement problem-based learning that leverages the knowledge they gleaned from the lectures. More time can be spent on discussion, and on give and take between students and teacher (Socratic questioning), rather than passive information reception on the part of students.

Some Criticisms of the Flipped Classroom Model.

  • Time: Recording and posting videos of lectures prior to each class session (and far in advance of class) takes some technological knowledge, reliance on technology (will all students be able to access it? what if my uploade fails or is corrupted?), ability to record and upload each video, and then notify students of its availability. This takes time.
  • Lack of Flexibility: Some classes really “win” when they happen organically, when the topic can diverge and discussions can be nurtured from without (the days news or events informing instruction, for example) and pre-recording lectures takes some spontaneity out of instruction. However, one can hopefully create spontaneously creative and dialectical moments through in-class exercises and practices.
  • Dated material: one criticism that really resonates is the inability to use lectures from class to class. One assumes that a dynamic class is constantly changing, with new or fresh ideas, material, or curricular activities helping to deliver a lesson from semester to semester, or year to year. Spending so much time pre-recording lectures probably means doing this every time, for every class.
  • Student Preparedness: Some of us already struggle with students coming to class prepared by doing the reading, much less have expectations that they will listen to the lectures and be prepared to engage in active exercises of conceptual knowledge. What if they didn’t “get it”? Do we then waste the time we planned on doing application work with re-explaining what the video was meant to already have explained? As Professor Karl Fisch acknowledges, “First, students must watch/complete the “lecture” or “content-delivery” video portion of the class outside of class. Clearly some college students – as well as some of you – are not doing this. If this part isn’t done, the entire model falls apart.” He does not offer a solution to this problem if it becomes endemic of the whole class. What then?

If you are currently experimenting with or have used the “flipped classroom” model, I would love to hear from you. Please post your comments or experiences to this story and share with other educators around the country.

Resources:

Exploding the Lecture: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/11/15/professor-tries-improving-lectures-removing-them-class

Create a flipped textbook for your course: http://flippedtextbook.com/

A Blog compilation of Flipped Classroom Resources and Articles: http://www.diigo.com/list/warrickw/flipped-classroom

Nom-Noms for Professor Cats

http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/researchcentered/2011/09/23/advanced-faculty-wrangling-techniques/

This hilarious article reveals the difficulty in getting butts in seats. Or cats in kitchens?

Teaching Communities and Failing Students

Student Failure: The New Old Way of Teaching

Last week at our first Teaching Circle meeting of the semester, we focused on student expectations and failure. There are many sub-categories that fit these inter-connected topics: grading, attendance/absenteeism, why students don’t try harder, school policy versus individual instructor policy, why students resist change/innovation, and much more. We talked for nearly two hours about these central issues, and how they might be addressed in the classroom.

The biggest issue, and one coming under increasing public scrutiny, is student failure. This is a landmine issue for teachers, because, while we want to set high standards and clear expectations for our students, we also don’t want them to fail and some of us even dread the fallout emotional battle that comes with student failure. John Rosemond would say that we are experiencing the products of the “psychological parenting revolution” (which bled into our teaching methods) of the 1970’s and 80’s. This makes us afraid of hurting the feelings of our students, and by extension, afraid to let them fail. For related articles, read the below:

Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Mickey-goodman/are-we-raising-a-generati_b_1249706.html

Teaching Students to Fail Better: http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Feature_Teach_Your_Students_to_Fail_Better.aspx

Tales of Spectacular Failure: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/06/146880518/try-and-try-again-3-tales-of-spectacular-failure?sc=tw

Married to this idea of failure are grading policies and student absenteeism/attendance policies. Nostalgically we discussed our undergrad and graduate days, when attendance was not a requirement or only loosely monitored. Back then, if we wanted a good grade we had to make it to class, make sure we had the notes, or meet with our professor to get/turn in assignments, which were always set ahead of time by the syllabus. That is, our success or failure was totally in our hands. Now, student attendance has become connected with performance: just by showing up, to some instructors (and certainly in the minds of many students) counts as “effort.” Should we grade participation? In addition, the focus on engagement and group work requires that students be present to actually engage. Or does it? How might we engage students in and out of the classroom? Finally, university policies have changed such that they are more and more requiring that attendance be mandatory and that instructors revise their individual policies to reflect university mandates on attendance.

So we have many dynamics at play here: effort, attendance, student failure, and the various methods of considering all these factors when planning our courses. This, in addition to considering how we foster a creative, active, and engaging learning environment and address these, among myriad other, teaching and learning issues. Phew. Enough for you?

We turned our discussion to requiring attendance versus engaging students. Several instructors offered their personal policies on attendance: some don’t even take attendance and give it no reward or punishment, some have very strict attendance policies, some use a middle ground of points, percentages, and grade scales tied to attendance and participation. There is no perfect way, though we discussed how we might create a learning environment that students want to be part of, are compelled (intrinsically) to be there and thus help us put less emphasis on attendance and more on engagement. None of us wants to be the attendance police and spend class time checking off a list of names. We want our students to be there because they realize they need to know what we have to teach them. But we are frustrated and timid about not setting a specific policy for students to follow (what happens if they aren’t compelled to show up? Few of us have the confidence in ourselves and our students to be so hands-off concerning attendance).

There is no one way of doing this, but one professor talked about tying in-class assignments and scaffolding foundational content and concepts with performance expectations. He sets up assignments so that a student cannot move on to the next level without completing the prior level, and to do that, they must come to class. He gives them the defined milestones and a calendar to achieve them, assignments that move them through these levels of knowledge, assessed by conceptual tests, essays, and final projects. Though in some cases a student may try to “catch up” near the end of a unit and thus rush through material, in general he finds that students move through the material in concert and with enthusiasm. I speculated that in some cases it is the relationship with the instructor (trust, respect) that allows for looser “policies”; what works for one instructor may not work for another without building trust and respect.
We spent some time discussing innovation, ways we try to implement new scholarship on teaching practice and student learning, and of course, technology that can help us do that. We acknowledged that ofttimes students display a distrust of, and at times outright dislike, new ways of learning. This may be because they are used to performing and succeeding in a defined way – the lecture, taking Powerpoint notes, working in groups to complete a project – and when we ask them to think or learn in new ways, they are skeptical or resistant. I think this may be, as most teaching methods are and as I noted above, because of their trust in their instructor; we all know instructors that experiment all the time in their courses and are enthusiastically engaging their students, so why can’t we? So we segued to building trust in students: demonstrating that we know what we’re doing, setting expectations to that emphasize that it is okay to try something and have it bomb (even us teachers have failures!), that ultimately, we all want to continue learning. We talked about building in small successes and achievements that lead to bigger successes and investment of the student in reaching those goals. Ultimately, we were intrigued by the idea that we let our students experience failure in order to give success a more genuine sense of achievement on their part.

Want to be more creative? Be alone.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

Some of the most innovative and life-changing ideas have come from some serious alone time.

Can we get more satisfaction from finding problems, than appeasing our passions?

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/01/to_find_happiness_forget_about.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Stephen Heppell at the The Schools Network Learning Technologies Conference

“What on earth do we mean by creativity? …I think the word ingenuity is little closer to what we’re looking for…” Great insights into technology and innovation and what we bring to students.

teaching and learning with technology

Late last year I blogged about a short session I attended with Stephen Heppell on technologies in learning, which I enjoyed a lot. So, I was pleased to find a video of Heppell presenting much the same presentation I saw. So, I embed it here for your viewing pleasure. Some interesting points relating to ‘bring your own technology’ around the 19 minute mark and also on classroom design from a student perspective beginning around the 21 minute mark.

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