Tag Archives: Pedagogy

Flipping the teacher

If I’d suggested flipping the teacher while I was still at school, I would have been in serious trouble. Given my reputation though, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary.
I once spread a rumour at primary school that my tyrant of a head teacher had died (wishful thinking), and when he came back from sick leave, I wasn’t the most popular child in the school. Having said that, many of the kids began to believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Once, during a chemistry lesson in secondary school, I was larking around and accidentally burnt a big hole in my teacher’s pretty floral dress with concentrated acid.
He was furious.
I got into a fair few scrapes and a lot of mischief, but suggesting that we ‘flip the teacher’ would have been the last straw.
Today, the idea of flipping the classroom is a familiar one. Flipping teachers may not be so familiar. Don’t panic though – I’m not advocating violence, nor am I suggesting children use obscene gestures. Flipping teachers is about swapping roles. I have already written about this in previous posts. The idea that teachers should become students so that their students can act as teachers may still be contentious and problematic, but I believe that as we see more flipped classroom approaches, the argument for also flipping the role of the teacher will become more compelling, and eventually more acceptable.
A little history: Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann developed the term ‘flipped classroom’ by considering the time spent by teachers with their students in classroom. They wished to maximise this time, and developed a number of strategies that involved instruction taking place outside the walls of the classroom. Inside, with the teacher present, students were able to explore their learning in more depth and detail, capitalising on ‘face time’ with the expert. The work of Harvard University professor Eric Mazur supports this approach, because, as he says – instruction is easier than assimilation, and advocated coaching rather than lecturing as early as the 1990s. This is not new of course. For centuries, innovative teachers have been trying to find other more effective methods of pedagogy that can take the place of lecturing and instruction.
If we are at all serious about promoting student centred learning, then we should at least reconsider the roles teachers traditionally play at the centre of the process, and begin to discover how we can help the student replace them. This does not mean that teachers relinquish their responsibilities or shirk their obligations. What it does mean is that teachers should seriously consider new forms of pedagogy where students are placed at the centre of the learning process, and have to spend some time ‘teaching’. We learn by teaching. If you have to teach or present something for an audience, you will make damn sure you go away and learn it thoroughly so you don’t make an absolute ass of yourself. This is the same principle we see when we flip the teacher.
Here are just five ways you can flip the teacher:

  1. Ask students to peer-teach. This form of paragogy ensures that all students need to know something about the topic before they teach it, and can also learn from each other during the process. Even better, get them to teach you something you don’t already know about.
  2. Give your students a problem to solve. Ask them to come back later to show how they solved the problem, and get them to defend their solution. If they all have different solutions, the fun can start.
  3. Students create a self-directed project that encapsulates the principles or facts of the topic they are learning. It can be in the form of a video, or presentation, or role play, or even a blues song (be creative). Just as long as they ‘perform’ their work in front of an audience.
  4. Act as a student, and ask your students awkward questions about what they have learnt. Challenge them to explain clearly what they know. This approach ensures that they must think more critically and reflectively about what they have learnt, and that they need to justify their decisions.
  5. The age old seminar is a great flipping method. Ensure that each student has time to study a specific aspect of the course, and prepares teaching materials. They then get to present their work in front of you and their peer group, and are also tasked to encourage discussion by preparing some key questions.

I gratefully acknowledge Max Brown for giving me permission to use his most excellent cartoon that depicts flipping the teacher.
Graphic by Max Brown
Creative Commons License
Flipping the teacher by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Using Facebook to build community in large college classes

Although it is often said that the academy moves slowly, very slowly, I never really thought about myself as a “slow mover” with regard to pedagogy in the classroom. But when the idea of using social media (e.g., Facebook) as part of my face-to-face classes was suggested to me about two years ago, I found myself in the slow lane.
Luckily, about a year ago I saw the proverbial light. It was then that I had a frank conversation with a colleague about the value of using Facebook (Fb) in my classes.
Full Text: Using Facebook to build community in large college classes (essay) | Inside Higher Ed.

The Portfolio As a Teaching Strategy in Distance Education | Higher Education News & Views

The portfolio is another innovative technological tool in the teaching-learning process. In this case, this tool allows the teacher to integrate the real evaluation of this process as it collects samples of learning activities in key moments and this allows you to reflect on the achievements made during the process and the difficulties that arise.
This is significant in distance education and involves more interaction between teacher and student.
The teachers, through this system continuously collect information on the work and the process of developing them, and thus can adapt the contents of the subject to notice requirements in them. To the student is motivating and helps make your work collaboratively.
Both teachers and learners manage a virtual space that may include some reflection on the tasks to be performed.
Full Text: The Portfolio As a Teaching Strategy in Distance Education | Higher Education News & Views.

Pondering the “flipped classroom” in the age of online education

Flipped Classroom

“Flipping the classroom” means using class time differently than you would in the traditional mode of instruction — which is to say this: Why waste class time lecturing/presenting during class meeting times when you can ask students to listen to lectures via video outside of class, and then use class time for interaction with students, hands-on group activities, group problem solving, in-class writing, etc.? “Flipping the classroom” means flipping the usual mode of learning — instead of lecturing in class and assigning homework for outside of class, you flip it: lecture gets done outside, homework inside.
At Miami University we have been talking about this pedagogical approach as the “engaged learning” model. But well over ten years ago, my AIMS colleague Glenn Platt and his co-authors (Lage, Platt, & Treglia, 2000) coined the term “inverted classroom” to describe this mode of teaching and learning. It is by no means a new model, but it is taking on new meaning in the realm of online education. How do we apply the inverted or flipped classroom model in online instruction — particularly in my field, writing instruction?
Full Text: Pondering the “flipped classroom” in the age of online education « Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies.


The Flipped Class as a Transition to Deep 21st Century Learning

I have been thinking a lot lately about where flipped learning fits into the whole educational reform movement.  What place does flipped learning have in this movement?  We have learned a great deal about learning in the recent past, but sadly much of that research doesn’t get into actual classrooms.  Why is that?
First, a little background on educational research:  Research suggests that mastery learning, problem based learning (PBL), inquiry learning, hands-on learning, and many other learning practices increase student engagement and performance.  But in many classes, teachers are not using these learning strategies.
Full Text: The Flipped Class as a Transition to Deep 21st Century Learning | Flipped Learning.


JISC e-Learning Pedagogy programme


e-Learning and Pedagogy activities are being broadly grouped under two themes: Designing for Learning with a practitioner planning focus on e-Learning and Understanding my Learning with a learner reflection focus on e-Learning).

Aims of the programme

Given this context, the e-Learning and Pedagogy programme will have two related aims to:

  1. 1)Provide the post-16 and HE community with accurate, up-to-date, evidence- and research-based information about effective practice in the use of e-Learning tools
    The programme will scope the range of available information on pedagogy for e-Learning, drawing on the practitioner, researcher and developer communities. It will evaluate the approaches that seem effective for learners, and the forms of information and support that are relevant to practitioners. Further research and development may be promoted to fill significant gaps in the knowledge base.
  2. 2)Promote the application and development of e-Learning tools and standards to better support effective practice
    The programme will explore applications and approaches that support the design and delivery of learning activities, including learning design tools and commercial learning environments. The focus will be on evaluating specific applications of these tools, in order to build up a repertoire of effective models and to identify those approaches that are both useable by practitioners and effective for learners.

via e-Learning Pedagogy programme : JISC.