For anyone who’s interested, here are the Prezi slides from my “Flipped Classroom” presentation in the Library this week: Flipped Classroom Benefits.
The 2010 University of Illinois study I refer to near the end of the presentation, shows final exam gains of between 10% and 18% after their largest physics course was flipped.
Here’s the outline:
“A flipped classroom is a reversed teaching model that delivers instruction at home through interactive, teacher-created videos and moves “homework” to the classroom. Moving lectures outside of the classroom allows teachers to spend more 1:1 time with each student. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and work through problems with the guidance of their teachers and the support of their peers – creating a collaborative learning environment.”
Benefits of the Flipped Classroom:
- Students can move through the materials at their own pace. They can revisit materials they have not mastered.
- Students learn through activity in the classroom instead of listening to a largely passive lecture.
- This frees up the lecturers time for more 1:1 time with students who need the most help. Peer tutoring facilitated.
- Can be implemented so that the instructor has a good idea who is prepared for class, along with which students are struggling and what concepts or tools they are struggling with.
- Students who have mastered the material can be paired up with students who are struggling. Difficult materials can be reviewed.
Drawbacks of the Flipped Classroom:
- Equity: all students need access to computers and internet (libraries can help with this).
- Students need to be motivated to get the pre-class work done. If not they will struggle to keep up in class (much like with doing class readings now).
- While flipping is a great pedagogical tool, it is not necessarily the best tool in all situations… But it is an excellent strategy for all teachers to have in their toolkits.
A Case Study: UVic Law Advanced Legal Research and Writing Class.
- Was guest lecturer for Knowledge Management Tool class for 3+ years… decided to flip the lecture in order to engage students more fully and give them hands on experience with.
- Show pre-class Zotero video from: http://richmccue.com/2012/12/13/a-flipped-class-knowledge-management-research-software/
- Show Intro Quiz – Gmail question
- Review Evernote Exercise – Install evernote on mobile device & desktop. Take picture of wite board with phone; sync to desktop; upload photo from desktop to Moodle (or Facebook if LMS not available)
- Back to Prezi: Review feedback from students. Only 10% preferred the traditional lecture over the flipped lecture. 80% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they were more confident with the KM tools after the in class exercises than they would have been with a traditional lecture.
University of Illinois Physics experience:
- Significantly better results on exams.
- A – level students viewing videos gaining 15%. non viewers staying the same. B – level students gaining 19%. C – level students gaining 10%.
- Fewer students rating the course at very difficult.
- Great study by University of Illinois Physics department to check-out: http://research.physics.illinois.edu/per/details.asp?paperid=130
- Their method for large classes includes a multiple choice question or two after every video along with an open ended “why did you answer the way you did”, so the teachers can get a feel for why each student answered the question right or wrong.
I’ve been a happy iPhone user since 2007, so my recent purchase of an Android phone was not a decision I took lightly. In the end, the lure of a larger high resolution display was enough for me to seriously consider making the switch. Now that 3 weeks has passed since my Nexus 4 arrived in the mail, here is a list of my personal pro’s & con’s on the switch.
Nexus 4 Pros:
- The larger 4.7” screen great for reading; it makes a huge difference. My iPhone 4S screen was 3.5” and the new iPhone 5 screen is 4”. I can get literally twice the amount of text on the screen of my Nexus 4 than I could on my iPhone 4S.
- The Android “Return” navigation button great for getting right back to original app after linking out to the browser or another app. It also returns you to the original tab in Chrome after a link opens a new tab for you.
- The Nexus 4 keyboard larger, haptic feedback is nice, and it suggests 3 different words as you type for auto completion
- Chrome password syncing & tabs from your desktop Chrome browsers.
- I really like Google Now. It does a good job of anticipating what info I’m going to need, and displays it on my “Start Page” for me.
- Notifications are much better with the swipe down and little icons on the top left bar.
- I like how the voice recognition works in real time rather than waiting until I’ve pressed the stop button.
- Apps running button nicer than iOS double press of home button.
- Better collaboration between apps, especially for sharing links.
Nexus 4 Cons:
- I haven’t been able to find a podcast client not as good as Downcast on iOS.
- Some apps are not quite as polished on Android than iOS. Facebook & Navionics for example.
- As a teaching tool in education I miss apple TV screen mirroring. I can always use my iPad for that.
- Scrolling seems slightly less responsive… Not a big deal, but its different. I might get used to it with time.
- I miss the physical mute switch, although I just found an app that asks you how long you’d like to put your phone in vibe mode when you use the volume buttons to mute.
- I miss being able to use the volume control on my Apple headphones, and haven’t been able to find android equivalent headphones with volume control.
- More tinkering with setting required to reign in apps that are using too much power.
I do miss some things from my iPhone, but the larger screen for reading, and the better browser experience in Chrome are the things that will keep me using an Android phone for the foreseeable future. That said, I’d probably still recommend and iPhone for my less tech savvy friends who have the money to spend on a more expensive device… at least the ones who I might end up doing tech support for
Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun wrote an excellent article, on why he made the switch from iOS to Android recently: http://www.techhive.com/article/2030042/why-i-switched-from-iphone-to-android.html
As Sal Khan admits in his book, One World Schoolhouse, that he has not proposed anything particularly new, but the popularity of his non-profit Khan Academy website has given him a prominent platform to advocate for educational change in the United States and around the world.
Ever since my high school aged son started using Khan Academy lessons to help him with the Physics class he was struggling with, I’ve been impressed with how helpful the web based lessons can be to helping students learn and master difficult mathematical concepts. Some students and teachers use the Kahn Academy for more than just remedial tutoring, and instead replace in-class lectures with the lessons, and then spend the majority of class time working through problems and related projects.
This teaching method struck a chord with me, so much so that I’ve created “flipped” or “blended” versions of two of guest lectures that I give at my University. I’m happy to report that the observed learning outcomes and student feedback from the new blended format lectures has been excellent.
In One World Schoolhouse, Sal talks about how the tutoring of one of his nieces was the impetus for him to begin tutoring part time, while working as a hedge fund manager. This snowballed, and turned into his passion, as he tutored more and more relatives and family friends. After a lot of positive feedback to both the lecture videos and online exercises, he took the plunge and started a one year experiment, to see if he could turn his passion into a career. After struggling for several months he, received one or two foundation grants to fund his little non-profit. With the publicity this garnered, he received several more large grants from the likes of Bill Gates and Google, and his organization was fully funded and in a position to hire some full time staff to help him.
Instead of lecturing and having a little bit of time devoted to using the Library’s audio recorders, we moved the lecture portion into 15 minutes of video, and then devoted the whole 50 minutes of class time to working with the audio recorders. Enjoy!
In this class we’re going to cover the basics of audio recording and editing of interviews. While it may seem like recording an audio interview should be straightforward, there are a number of things you can do to make your interview easier or more difficult to listen to. There is nothing worse that trying to listen to an interview with a lot of background noise, or to an interview that was not recorded at a high enough input volume.
To help you record the best quality audio interview possible, we will cover the following areas:
- How to choose a good interview location.
- Where to borrow high quality audio recording equipment.
- Audio recorder setup options – when to use them and when not to.
- Settings for Interviews, Meetings and Music.
- How to effectively test audio quality immediately before the interview and why this is so important.
With all this under your belt you’ll be record a high quality audio interview. We’ll also cover the basics of audio editing in the Mac application Garageband, in case you need to splice together some audio, or trim the beginning or end of your audio files.
Lastly, in class you’ll be able to use all that you’ve learned by working through a short project with one or two of your classmates.If you run into problems, you can always ask for help at the Music and Multimedia counter in the library. Good Luck!
B. Using the Audio Recorder
C. Editing with GarageBand
For the past four years I’ve taught the session on Knowledge Management tools for Law Students in an Advanced Legal Research a Writing class. In an effort to help the students get more out of the session, this year I “flipped” the class. Instead of lecturing and demonstrating software for 80 minutes, the students watched the short instructional videos I prepared and installed software on their laptops in preparation for the class. This took them between 40 and 60 minutes depending on their technical ability.
Then in a shortened 40 minute class, I put the students together in groups of 2 or 3 and had them work on some exercises. This allowed them to practice using the using the tools they learned about in situations approximating how they’d be used in legal research.
The feedback from the students on the new class format was very positive. 83% of students preferred the blended class style to a traditional lecture, and 75% said that they felt more confident using the tools covered in class than they would have with a traditional lecture. At the end of both classes, most of the students stayed behind after the class was dismissed to continue playing with the new software tools.
Below, exercises A to H are to be completed before the class. The in class exercises are at the bottom. These materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License to encourage their use and re-use. In plain english this means that anyone can modify the materials, as long as they share the modifications back to me, and the materials can be used for commercial purposes.
We’re going to look at 7 different tools that will help you develop a more efficient research work flow. It is not expected that you’ll use all the tools, but most students find that they’d have a hard time living without two or three of them once they see how the tools make their research lives easier.
- The tools we’ll look at are:
- Desktop Search,
- Zotero for citation management,
- Evernote for saving general notes, capturing web pages and pictures for future reference,
- JotNot Pro to take the place of a photocopier,
- Google Drive for collaborative document editing,
- Google+ Hangouts for online meetings and document co-editing, and lastly
- backup options so that your digital life is safe.
Before you move on, please make sure that you have a Gmail account, and have signed up for Google+, as you’ll need access to a Google account for the exercises in this module (and in the next class). If you don’t have an account, you can sign up here: http://gmail.com
B. Desktop Search
- Using your desktop search tool, see if you can find a paper you wrote last year.
- Also using your desktop search find all the emails you’ve received from a friend. How many were there? (if you don’t see any emails in your desktop search you’ll need to add your webmail account to your desktop email program).
This weekend I thought back to a story I heard years ago about the railroad industry. As people and products started using highways for transportation, most rail road companies did not diversify into those new modes of transportation because they saw themselves as railroad companies, not transportation companies.
It’s never easy to make big shifts when technology opens up new opportunities. Looking back in time it seems obvious that big, successful railroad companies should have been able to make the transition (or diversify) into new modes of transportation, but generally speaking they did not. How come?
- Change is difficult and scary at the same time. Bureaucratic inertia makes it difficult to change the direction of most large organizations, along with the fear of dislocation and not knowing how to do a new job.
- Another major consideration is that the “new direction” that is obvious to us know, is generally not obvious at the time. Mistakes will be made in technological transitions. There will be ventures down dead ends, before the new best practices become well worn paths.
- In the case of academic libraries, we are a service “department” inside of larger organizations. Out of necessity we support the direction of the University in the best way we can, and do not necessarily have the power to change the direction of the university no matter how certain that our version of the future is correct.
- Lastly, larger, consensus based, democratic organizations (like Universities) generally change more slowly than smaller organizations that have strong central authority to dictate to their direction (like Corsera, et al.). This is a double edged sward. On one hand we are not as nimble as smaller start-ups. On the other hand we have resources and prestige that can allow us to be very competitive if we can create a consensus to move in the “right” direction in a timely fashion.
Trying to figure out what is the “right” direction is the tricky part, and what I think we’re headed towards in the Strategic Planning process at the library where I work. One point to remember is that railroad companies survive to this day, but they are much less important than they were a century ago, in large part because they were unable to recoginize the importance of new technologies, and integrate them into their businesses.
P.S. Here are two great articles on the future of libraries by Seth Godin & Clay Shirky as food for thought:
A lot has been written about the rise of Coursera and MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) over the past year. Increasing numbers of prestigious universities are offering online courses for free to anyone in the world with an internet connection, spare time and motivation. Is this the direction that higher education in Canada will take? I don’t think so. Except for a small number of courses on the fringes of academia, MOOC’s will not go mainstream in Canada. Why not? Because hybrid classes – a mix of web based recorded lectures and exercises, so professors can spend more time in class interacting with students – are more effective and less costly than traditional lecture based classes. Here are three reasons why MOOC’s will not become main stream in Canadian Higher Education:
#1 As far as I can tell, there is currently no evidence that MOOC’s are as effective as traditional lecture based classes or hybrid classes. The two positive things we know for sure about MOOC’s as they are currently being run, is that they are much less costly, and are more accessible to people who do not live close to universities. My sense is that eventually studies will show that MOOC’s as they are currently run, are less effective at achieving learning outcomes than hybrid courses, and lecture based courses.
#2 Student interaction, socializing and networking are something that MOOC’s will have a hard time replicating. Friendships and relationships formed in by students are they earn their degrees can be as important to the success of students in the long run as the degree itself. In addition, while hard to quantify, I believe that a significant amount of learning at Universities happens between classes and in social settings on and off campus.
#3 Hybrid classes (or flipped classrooms), in at least some disciplines, are significantly more effective than traditional lecture based classes. From wikipedia: “Flip teaching [or a hybrid class] is a form of blended learning which encompasses any use of Internet technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing.” Hybrid classes are not only more effective, but in the long run will cost less for universities to run because of the lower use of classroom time. There will still be papers and assignments for professors and teaching assistants to mark for each student, but less time in classrooms mean that universities and colleges can serve more 50-100% more students without adding additional classroom space. Hybrid classes are not yet common in higher education, so there is significant room for disciplines to take advantage of the cost savings and learning outcomes.
Universities in the US and Canada are currently under enormous pressure to reduce the cost of educating students. The extremely low long term costs associated with running MOOC’s must be tantalizing to university administrators. While tantalising, they will not work as well as hybrid courses, or even lecture based courses in most disciplines, especially where lab time and experimentation are important. There is also the issue of how universities can make money while running MOOC’s. One option is to offer the MOOC’s for free or low cost, and then charge fees for testing and credentialing to pay for the courses.
MOOC’s are currently being experimented with at major universities around the world, however I believe that they will only displace traditional lectures at institutions where cost constraints are so severe that they have no other choice. Fortunately most Canadian universities and colleges are not in that position. That is why I believe they will pursue the Hybrid or Flipped classroom model, as they offer the potential to reduce the cost of higher education (for governments at least), and improve learning outcomes for students.