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A first-hand look inside a flipped classroom
Global open house exposes the 'flipped learning' approach to the public
Attendees were asked to give their thoughts after the open house. Bergmann recorded some of the comments on his blog “Flipped Learning“:
“There were at least four different activities going on in the room at one time,” explained one attendee. “There were multiple small groups, but also individuals. … I was amazed at the students. A couple of them asked him if he had any more worksheets to help them understand the concept. … He was very organized and very flexible. I want to try this because it seemed to work so beautifully in his class, but I also know it will take time to accomplish something like this.”
Another attendee said flipped learning might be a great option for students with special needs.
“I really like the flipped model. I started doing a similar thing on my own this year, but felt I was missing a component I did not know how to fix. Now I know. This is the type of classroom I need for my visually impaired students. When they go to the dorm or home after school, they often make a lot of mistakes on their work, and no one knows if they are not doing it right. With this model, work is done in class, and I have more opportunities to make sure the students are successful and learning.”
One attendee said he was skeptical at first, but appreciated the focus on “learning by doing.”
“I was really impressed with how well it was working. At first, I doubted the reality of the students actually going home and listening to the ‘vodcasts,’ since they rarely complete their regular homework, but I was wrong. They listened, then in class they completed the homework. Plus, by doing the homework with the teacher right there to answer questions, I feel you eliminate the need for coming in for extra help. The only downside: For me in particular, I ask a lot of questions during lectures, and without a teacher while I’m learning, I wouldn’t learn the material as well. And even if you write down the question to ask later on, the probability that you will remember what you were wondering is slim. However, you really learn by doing, and that’s when you need the most help, right? So, all in all, I think it’s a great way to teach, definitely the way of the future, and the improvement in scores at least for Ms. Duncan’s class speaks for itself.”
Stillwater is analyzing the data collected during its flipped learning pilot and hopes to make the results available sometime in February. Besides test score data, other factors were included, such overall student reactions.
For example, many students said they preferred to watch videos that used their own teacher’s voice and face instead of an actor, actress, or another teacher. Students also liked cultural references to their own school environment in the question sets, such as references to the school sports team.
In addition to these open houses, Bergmann and Sams are holding a “Flipped Conference” June 19-20 at the Joseph Sears School in Illinois. For more details, or to contact Bergmann, click here.