With flipped learning, how to make sure students are doing the work

By Stacey Roshan
June 10th, 2013

Stacey Roshan has found that flipping her math class leads to more powerful classroom interactions.

In the three years that my advanced math classes have been flipped, I have been able to get to know my students, as individuals, better than I have ever been able to before. My goal is always to make the classroom feel a little more like play, while still maintaining rigor. I have found that inverting the traditional classroom dynamic has lowered anxiety levels while increasing student performance. The same is proving true for other teachers around the world.

So, why isn’t everyone flipping? Simply put, the flipped classroom challenges the dominant format of our education system—lecture delivery—which remains prevalent in the U.S.

Flipped class methods differ, so let me define mine: In my classes, most students watch videos on their laptops (and some on an iPad), at home. When students come to class, we tackle their needs for the day. Often, this means delving deeper into the topic introduced in the video on the board, together. So instead of a one-way lecture, we start with an interactive discussion. From there, students break into groups to work on problems or get their individual needs met. These problems are what they typically would have been left to figure out at home, without any support

But it’s not simply: lecture at home on video and homework in class. The most important element, for me, is that the content delivery (a very one-way activity) is sent home to free up classroom time for interactive discussion and problem solving. The most important part of the learning process is what happens in the classroom. And the flipped class allows me to make this a reality. Ultimately, students are more engaged with me and their peers—and knowledge is being transferred among all of us. I’m learning from them as well, often through dialog—how they process information, comprehension, and what they need from me to progress.

(Next page: How in-video quizzes can help)

1 2 Read More »

3 Responses to “With flipped learning, how to make sure students are doing the work”

June 12, 2013

I have to disagree with the idea that everyone isn’t flipping because “the flipped classroom challenges the dominant format of our education system…” This past school year we went 1:1 with iPads and I had a goal of flipping for at least a few lessons. What I found was the exact same thing that we always find. 1:1 programs do NOT “level the playing field”. The students who are typically the “have nots” are STILL the “have nots”…as in the do not have internet at home. How on earth can I flip a classroom when about 1/3 of my students cannot watch the video at home? We have a learning management system that is suppose to allow them to save the video on their iPad, but it typically works for about 2/3 of the students, and of course, it seems to rarely work for those who don’t have access to internet at home.

I like the idea of the flipped classroom. I think it’s a good thing. But I also feel that most articles and “testimonials” I read and hear do not address the “have nots”…which are often the “high-risk” students in the first place.

    June 13, 2013

    Thank you for your comment. While *my* story does not leave you with direct answers regarding how to reach students who don’t have access, there are many models out there that do. Have you read about Greg Green and Clintondale HS? Additionally, since you have iPads, why not set up an iTunes podcast so the videos automatically download to students’ devices while they have internet access at school? That is what I have done.

June 24, 2013

My district is paying me to learn how to do this. It sounds very exciting (since I am a dinosaur)and I won’t have to write out all those lesson plans for absent middle schoolers. Yeah for elearning!