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Flip Class Homework Observations

February 17, 2014

I haven’t had to do homework since grad school.  Yet, in order to really understand the pros and cons of the Flipped Classroom model, I dutifully sat down the night before my visit to Dan Welty’s classroom to watch my videos.  In order to make sure I was prepared, I watched one 10 minute video for the College Prep course  and another video for the Honors class.  Here were my thoughts and questions (the answers are written in parentheses):

  1. It was nice to be able to go back and replay a section when my attention strayed or when I didn’t understand something.  This is perhaps the greatest benefit in that learners with various processing speeds can watch at their own pace.

  2. Question – What program does Dan use to make the videos?  (Explain Everything it’s a app for the iPad.)

  3. How do you check to make sure students have done their homework?  (He checks notes and the problems they solved at the beginning of class.)

  4. What do you have kids do if they have questions during the video?  Can they email you? (They can email with questions or they can post a question on the Google Form they complete when they finish watching the video.)

  5. I really liked how he put his expectations for the upcoming class in the video: “You will need to be able to calculate the electrical force in class.”

  6. Loved how he told the students to “Pause your video for a moment and do the calculations.”

    1. This would be great for me since I would be able to have the kids do something to process the knowledge at home

      1. “Take a moment to write a quick poem summarizing… or draw a picture of….”

  7. Students are able to go back and rewatch the videos when preparing for cumulative tests or when working on projects.

  8. Even the captions work (although not well for words like Coulombs) to help people read along.

  9. My takeaway – I was lost about the content in the videos.  Truth be told, I never took physics in high school and haven’t done math like that since college.  Yet, there was the information I needed to master and I knew two things: 1)  If I were a student, I could spend as long as I needed in order to understand the material.   2) If I had questions or didn’t understand a concept, I could email my teacher, or wait to get the answers in class.  Either way – it puts the burden for learning squarely on my shoulders.

Question – What did I miss?  What are your thoughts about homework within the flipped classroom model?

  1. stephanie permalink

    A student at our high school recently published an article in which he claimed that the “flipped classroom” was a flop, in his experience – because the students were supposed to be doing homework in class after learning the material at home, and that the teacher spent most of class time giving one on one help, and not everyone could get the help they needed. He stated that eventually students quit doing homework in class and started doing other things, which the teacher realized – and that they went back to the traditional model.

    Not sure if this wasn’t implemented correctly, or if flipping a classroom only works well for certain subjects. Thoughts?

  2. In my next post – I’m going to talk about my experience in this teacher’s class. I was in awe. I don’t think I have ever seen a more productive class. The teacher spoke to the class for 5 minutes and most and spent the rest of his time working with students. The vast majority of students were engaged and working hard, which I believe has a lot to do with what the students were asked to do. There was always something else to be done. I was impressed. I’m not sure about it working better for different subjects – all I know is that I am dying to try it.

    What do you think?

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