In-Class Benefits of Flipping for Students

So in my last post, I noted that the benefit of the flipped classroom technique that my students most often mention is a better workflow. They like the heightened sense of control that they have over accessing and handling course content, course assignments, and coursework. This workflow, of course, extends to both inside and outside the classroom. Almost as often, my students note in their feedback that they like the way the flipped composition class changes the in-class experience, which includes the ways that they relate to each other, to the course content, and to the instructor. Let’s see if I can unpack their thinking and their truly astonishing insights into the flipped classroom.

Just what will you do with all those students when you quit talking and they start learning?

The active classroom

Many faculty seem to think that the main part of flipping a class is moving lectures online, but I have not found this to be the case. For me, the main part is making my class more active. If I move the lecture/demonstration out of the class and onto the Net—which is really a rather trivial task technologically—then my class is left with this gaping hole in the classroom that we have to fill, and of course, as the instructor, I’m supposed to do most of the filling. I must work hardest at replacing in-class lectures and demonstrations with activities that synchronize with and support those now online lectures and demonstrations. In some respects, this is rather easy with a writing class—we simply do much of our writing in class on our computers and we use peer reviews—but from time-to-time, we need to reinforce some specific issue that the students did not master with the online lectures. I have to find interesting, engaging, active ways to do that. I don’t always succeed, but I must succeed well enough that I’ve caught my students’ attention. They have this to say about an active classroom:

I liked the flipped class as you call it. It helped a lot on understanding the exercises we needed to do on documents and lectures that were presented. It was more visual to see it presented by groups in class and everyone had a chance to show their point of view the way they processed the learning. Just doing group on documentation did not make sense to me though. Individualism works better on doing documents during class time for me but groups as a class works really well. We all have many different ideas.

This was my first time being in a flipped classroom.  I enjoyed this method very much, and prefer teaching to be this way!  In other classes, when teachers are standing up there lecturing the whole time I tend to daydream.  I lose focus very easily.  With the flipped classroom, we are constantly on computers.  Technology is everything now-a-days.  When I would get done with my work for this class I could move on to any other work for other classes.  The flipped class allowed us to work independently, which I loved.

A learning-centered classroom

An active classroom appears to have many educational benefits. Student writers appear to benefit from working on their documents and with the course content in the company of colleagues and instructors. Especially after I moved my flipped classes to a computer lab, my students seem to benefit from having most all necessary resources close to hand. They like the hands on lectures and letting the subject marinate in our heads. Sometimes my students are just brilliant.

Keep them I think we learn more when we do more hands on lectures.

The flipped classroom was great because we learned the subject at home and let it marinate in our heads. then being in class, we can actually put it into work with fellow classmates, while having access to you for any and every questions.

Time management is huge when attending school and any extra time to do work is needed. The flipped class technique gives students a chance to ask questions and receive direct assistance when doing their assignment. Often students find themselves lost at home trying to figure out the topic and staying focused. With the flipped class technique, homework can be done at the best time possible.

Practical learning

An active, flipped classroom is less theoretical and more practical, which many of my students appreciate. Lectures and even demonstrations can be too abstract for many, but when they are working on their own documents to craft a deductive argument, then tips from a colleague or from the instructor can be immediately handy and concrete.

The flipped classrooms are great because we intake the new teachings on our level of comfort and then get to come into class and elaborate and question what we don’t understand.

This concreted what you wanted us to learn so I think you should keep it.

Peer-enabled learning

An active, flipped classroom restructures the relationships among students.

I liked the flipped class it was easy to work on papers and get my peers advice on how to write my paper during class.

Although Professor Hamon was present, available to be of assistance and willing to assist at all times, relating to another student was very beneficial. The video lectures gave us the main points of the lessons and working by way of computer was a great learning tool. The only way that this type of class setting could or would be difficult to the students in the beginning is, if they are not computer literate. However by the end of the course they will be.

Instructor-enabled learning

An active, flipped classroom also restructures the relationship between students and instructor. Students overwhelmingly value the increased interaction between students and instructor, though at least a few were uncomfortable with the outside work, which often asked them to try things that they could not easily do. Students do not like failing at any task, and it took them a long time to develop the faith that I would not penalize them if they could not correctly accomplish some task outside of class. They could not quite grasp a participation grade that rewards effort rather than measures competence. Most, however, saw that they could correct in an upcoming class any issues that they identified in the out-of-class work and that they would learn better after they had identified precisely what they didn’t know.

Flipped class should be in all classes. It was extremely helpful to do lectures at home and write down questions that I could ask the teacher next class. It also was helpful to have more of the professor’s time in class to have more one on one with the students rather than waiting for class to be over or not having time to meet up with them. It was also great for the students that did not have questions it would not hold them up and their work would get done.

The flipped class allows for more learning with the professor compared to others. It allows us to accomplish more work and feel more connected to everyone.

Technology-enabled learning

An active, flipped classroom benefits from having networked computers. I’m not prepared to say that they are absolutely necessary. I believe that one could flip a writing class without technology, but it simply wouldn’t be as elegant—at least not the way I teach writing. It’s clear that my students prefer the flipped composition class in the computer lab.

Perfect.  This was the first time I have seen the flipped class and I love it.  maybe because I like computers and have horrible handwriting so the computer takes care of all the worst parts of my writing and puts them on a level playing field with everyone else.  It even fixes my bad spelling!

This was my first time being in a flipped classroom.  I enjoyed this method very much, and prefer teaching to be this way!  In other classes, when teachers are standing up there lecturing the whole time I tend to daydream.  I lose focus very easily.  With the flipped classroom, we are constantly on computers.  Technology is everything now-a-days.  When I would get done with my work for this class I could move on to any other work for other classes.  The flipped class allowed us to work independently, which I loved.

Engaged learning

An active, flipped writing class is a more engaging class, even enjoyable. It provides way more opportunities for students to connect to colleagues, content, and instructors, and as Terry Anderson’s 2003 study Getting the Mix Right Again shows, students who connect persist and succeed. My students say it this way:

I really really like the idea that you have a flipped class. I also like how you give us the opportunity to work on our assignments in class. This would have been a very boring class if you just talked or lectured the whole class. Thank you for not doing that.

If all my classrooms could be like this, i would absolutely love it. i feel like i learn more this way, [than] sitting in a class listening to a teacher talk for almost two hours. Flipped classroom definitely helps keep me concentrated and motivated to do my work.

Prepared learning

The flipped class seems to prepare students for work better than a traditional class—at least, a number of my students claim that it prepared them better:

Strong point of the flipped classroom allowed the students to be free and come to class prepared with questions. It also allowed us students to be ready for what the professor had in store.

It helps have you ready and engaged in discussing the information you already saw at home and bringing it into the classroom. You were never lost before you walked into class, you always knew what was going to be discussed in class.

As I said at the beginning of this post, many educators seem to think that moving their lectures online is the major part flipping their classes. This is wrong. The biggest challenge is rethinking your classroom and turning it into an active learning space. Just what will you do with all those students when you quit talking and they start learning?

 

Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Jeromy_S.

One Comment

  1. the issue can be moving this approach from innovators to an
    entitlement model for all learners. Lots of schools are using the free
    Verso application because it takes care of the creation and curation of
    out of class content and allows for visibility on original student
    thinking

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