For this project, I worked out some of the technical aspects of recording, editing and posting lectures in short segments with the professor. One of the initial stated goals was to make more lecture material available to students, while also having more time to discuss course topics in their classroom time together. Initially students were less than enthusiastic as more was required of them on the homework side of things. Watching a handful of short videos each night was something that took some getting used to. What the study did find, was that once this change became the students’ new normal, they became more invested in the course materials than in past semesters with the traditional lecture format. Read the full report here.
The Flipped classroom or as some have termed, Flipped Learning is just one example of how educators are re-thinking some of the traditional approaches to student engagement and learning models. This is not THE solution for every class or teaching situation, but is one sign post on the path to discovering how to free students and teachers from the top down, one size fits all education model that author Frank Smith refers to as the “Official” theory of learning. In this pilot project, the professor was able to leverage technology to encourage a back and forth flow of ideas. It isn’t just the act of assigning the lectures as homework and the associated problems or questions as classwork that is a potential difference maker in our new learning ecology. The real win for students and teachers can come from finding new ways for learning to have a context in their daily lives.