This year my learning inquiry will be investigating and experimenting with Flipped Learning methods, or anything else I discover that catches my eye.
I’m trying to address a problem and plan for a change:
- The problem is that I spend a lot of time delivering content from the front. I want to offload that and have more time for individual work and better discussion
- The change is in our school timetable. Currently a senior student at this school has 6 timetable lines of 5 periods each. So I see a student for 4 time(3 single lessons and a double). Next year one period on each timetable line will become ‘free time’ (I don’t know or haven’t heard exactly what it’s going to be called yet).
Year <=2018 >=2019 11 (6 subjects) 5 periods each = 30 in-class periods 4 periods each = 24 in-class periods, 5 ‘line 0’ periods 12 (6 subjects) 5 periods each = 30 in-class periods 4 periods each = 24 in-class periods, 5 ‘line 0’ periods 13 (5 subjects) 5 periods each = 25 in-class periods, 5 study periods 4 periods each = 20 in-class periods, 5 ‘line 0’ periods, 5 study periods
Students will choose how to use this time. Teachers will have a line of extra timetable slots now, but how these are used is to be decided by departments. Bigger departments seem to be looking at having a teacher accessible at all times (timetable depending). For me as the only DT teacher (hopefully there’s 1.5 or 2 of us in the next year or so) this is problematic as I my availability and my students’ may not cross very often.
In my research last year I saw a lot of reference to Flipped Learning and it looks like it can help to address both of my issues above, so here we go.
Stage 1: what exactly is Flipped Learning and will it work for me?
I like wikipedia‘s definition best:
Flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom.
It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom.In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home and engage in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor.
I just crossed the homework bit out because I don’t like/give/expect homework and also the school has a “no-homework except for some things related to assessments” policy.
I think this will be good next year because in their downtime, students can watch videos or do readings, and come to class ready to get going actually using the information or applying what they’ve seen. Some other benefits I see:
- Students are out regularly, this will help them catch up on their own time.
- Some students don’t do well being talked at. With a video they can re-watch, pause, or watch in bits.
- I have a reasonable number of international students, I’ve used similar concepts in the past with good results.
I also did a couple of readings. On tki’s Flipped Learning page I found The Flipped Classroom and The Flipped Learning Model. The former was useful but maybe a bit biased as it was written by the guys who essentially ‘started’ Flipped Learning. The latter is interesting, it essentially said there hasn’t been much research done on the effectiveness of Flipped Learning but the research done has generally shown at least marginal gains. It also seemed quite biased.
Step 2: plan
Basically I just want to rip into it and see what happens. I’ve got a web project I’m halfway through which would have really benefited from having a bunch of resources students could work through alongside what I actually want to do in class. Here’s a 3 minute video on what a database is. Here’s a 2 minute video on primary keys and some obvious ways they keep our data accurate. We’re currently beginning to write queries and I don’t think it’s too late to put together a set (maybe 3-4) of screencast videos talking through the process of breaking down the question, looking at the data, and then bit-by-bit building the query.
How to measure it? I’m thinking of using student voice. I have some very honest students and I think they’re comfortable criticising me (and I’m a big boy, I can handle it). I get the feeling they’re ok with what we’ve done so far, but not loving it. I might poll them now, spend a week or 2 delivering lessons differently, then poll them again.
I’m going to continue reading, but try to find stuff not written by people with an interest in promoting Flipped Learning. Teachers and researchers would be nice. I’m also going to look at already made resources and see if they suit. Generally I don’t like using online learning tools such as codecademy, khanacademy, or codeavengers as they’re very linear and I can’t exactly control the content. However I might use them to complement what I already do. I just need to give away some control for the benefit of saving some time.