The Resurgence of Flipped Learning Chat – Part 2

 

Once students have studied the flipped learning resources (AKA Pre-learning)  put online (prior to class), should they do anything with their new knowledge before coming to class?

Many educators have opinions about the value of this. In addition, enforcing this adds another level of tracking for the teacher. Tough one. My original thoughts were ‘If I’m going to make the effort to put these resources online, I want to know that my students have viewed/listened to them and thus, they will need to prove to me that they have seen the resources.’

For about 6 months, I set the pre-learners up for students and required them to perform comprehension tasks on each. I asked targeted questions or had them explore other parts that fitted the rules taught in the resources. To be honest, it was painstaking to track, mark and value. In addition, the amount of students actually viewing the resources was low – about 10%.

I decided that students needed more motivation to view the resources. In Numeracy, we implemented a new system of learning that allowed students who had previously viewed the pre-learners to complete the week’s assessment early and then have the opportunity to choose a PBL to work on independently whilst everyone else worked in more structured and explicit teaching of the concepts. What was interesting is that many students, although having viewed the resources prior to class, chose not to complete the assessment early (ie. They felt that they didn’t understand the concept well enough and required more explicit instruction); a mature response, I feel.

Although this increased the pre-learner viewing for Numeracy, I still didn’t feel that I was getting enough out of the pre-learning. It didn’t link enough to face-to-face learning. We needed less but we also needed more.

Ditty Time…. One of the most valuable  learning situations from Uni (and incidentally, one of the only lessons I remember) was in my first year. My Literacy lecturer asked us to write 2 questions for every reading we were required to read. At the time, I thought ‘I have no idea how to even ask a question about this stuff‘. But, gradually, I found my way and also the value in training my mind to explore further into what was being presented.

Eventually, I decided to abolish the comprehension and task activities linked to the pre-learners. Instead, I asked more of my students… and less. After each resource, I asked them all to do one thing: Write 3 questions that you (or someone else) might have after viewing this resource and submit them on your Edmodo assignment. Essentially, I required more thought from the students and less product. Naturally, the protests that all educators expect occurred – I don’t have any questions, etc. Nevertheless, we have persisted and found that the amount of students participating in pre-learning has increased by over 100%.

It was that simple.

Next entry, I’ll write about how we use those pre-learning questions in class effectively.

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The Resurgence of Flipped Learning Chat

I’ve noticed a revival of the ‘Flipped Learning’ edchat lately. Having trialled Flipped Learning (AKA Pre-learning*) for nearly 12 months, I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve gleaned through the process. I’ll do this over a series of 3 blogs; the first blog will focus on how to find appropriate resources and then distribute these resources in a helpful, meaningful way.

Before embarking on a flipped learning program, it’s most crucial to decide on your goal for flipped learning.

Is it an adjunct to a current homework program?

Is it to replace/assist in class explicit teaching?

Is it to ensure students are prepared for learning a new topic prior to explicit teaching?

Is it for students to realise the gaps in their knowledge of a certain topic and then bring questions forward to the class?

If you chose either of the last 2 options, then this blog entry will be of assistance to you. If you chose any of the other options, then you may as well look elsewhere.

No doubt you’ve realised that there is a plethora of resources out there that could be potentially used for flipped learning. The question is, how do you choose the best resource for your purpose? The following questions will help you to decide:

  • What is it that I want the students to learn/understand?
  • How will students demonstrate their learning?
  • What internet (vodcast/podcast/website) tools will my students access most frequently/easily?

Sometimes, it’s helpful for our students to provide them with a variety of resources according to access and learning style. I recommend, where possible, that students are provided with a vodcast or podcast and a website link. Many of my colleagues have successfully achieved this in a ‘shiny’ way using http://www.glogster.edu.com. One of my colleagues has done this successfully for spelling –

 

 

 

 

 

Early on in the journey, I realised that I needed a visual gizmo to organise and collate the assortment of resources I was finding. I found www.pearltrees.com the most effective. I began by linking sites that have a massive assortment of resources, such as; www.bbc.co.uk and History Channel. Then I realised that I was going to need to sort further ie. for specific spelling rules. Pearl Trees has allowed me to do that.

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Ultimately, if you have the time, inclination and resources; your students will benefit most if you create the flipped learning vodcast or podcast yourself. Although there are a variety of vodcasts and podcasts out there, many are horrifically boring.

However, we teachers are always time-challenged. Here are some solid resources that I draw from frequently:

 

YOU TUBE LARGE REPOSITORIES WEBSITES
Mr ThorpeJamesESLKhan Academy The Learning Federation (via Scootle)www.bbc.co.uk Brainpop (US, UK and Jnr)Mathletics

 

Our students access the pre-learning activities from 2 portals. They access the resources through the NBCS Portal (Moodle) via the subject link.

 

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Students then show me that they have viewed the pre-learning information through www.edmodo.com. I set them an assignment of what to watch and then what to do. I comment on their musings.

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The next entry is about what students should DO with the flipped learning resources before class.

* Yes, I have realised the redundancy of pre-learning… it’s still learning. It’s what we called flipped learning during the trial phase and it just kind of stuck.