help me explain my flipped classroom

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geonerd:
I refer to the homework you describe as "background reading" and "foundation building" and tell the students that the purpose of the activity is to get everyone up to speed on the basics so that we can spend class time on the applications of topic X. My assignment prompts are titled "Week 2. Topic Y Foundations," and the first paragraph is a purpose statement (which was someone's Jedi mind trick).

I'd try to NOT get sucked into an argument about defending your pedagogy. When the student complains that he is being tested on material he hasn't been taught yet, reframe it as ensuring adequate background preparation and ensuring his readiness to BEGIN working with the material. I also echo Mythbuster's suggestion to give examples of how professionals in your field need the ability to independently acquire, synthesize, and apply new information. In my field that would be something like "OK, Hurricane Sandy just flooded the subway system. Go."

lucero:
I agree with Frogfactory. This is what students (and I mean undergrads!) should be doing. This is how it was in the OLDEN days (1980s) when I was in college. You prepared for class (i.e. did the reading, learned the material) and then you went to class to participate in the discussion, the lab, or listen to the professor deliver a lecture that ASSUMED you did the reading.

I still teach my classes this way and they are FRESHMEN. I have maybe one or two in the spring semester complain that they have to "learn it themselves" -- probably they had a professor in the fall who assumed they did nothing and spoon fed them the material in class.

This is one reason why a lot of students are not successful. They are waiting for the professor to outline or recite the textbook in the class or break it down like it's third grade.

The way I have explained it to the complainers is that they should at least try to do it themselves first at home because in that way they will familiarize themselves with the topic, even if they don't quite understand it. Then when they come to class, it is the SECOND time they are seeing the topic and they can actually participate and interact as opposed to sitting in class like "duh? What's this about?" They have the chance to ask meaningful questions. And then when they do follow up assignments, this is the third time they are seeing it and they can verify they have learned the material well. Otherwise, they come to class with nothing, are confused in class because it's the first time they saw it and can't keep up (and everyone else did it at home) and then go home confused and can't do the assignment.

cc_alan:
Quote from: lucero on February 16, 2013,  8:00:34 PM

I agree with Frogfactory. This is what students (and I mean undergrads!) should be doing. This is how it was in the OLDEN days (1980s) when I was in college. You prepared for class (i.e. did the reading, learned the material) and then you went to class to participate in the discussion, the lab, or listen to the professor deliver a lecture that ASSUMED you did the reading.


No it wasn't! That's what *you* did. That's not what garden-variety students did back then. I know because that was me.

C'mon. This whole "students are crappy now" is complete bull$hit. Student are just as unprepared now as students were back in <insert favorite tie period here>.

Quote from: lucero on February 16, 2013,  8:00:34 PM

This is one reason why a lot of students are not successful. They are waiting for the professor to outline or recite the textbook in the class or break it down like it's third grade.

The way I have explained it to the complainers is that they should at least try to do it themselves first at home because in that way they will familiarize themselves with the topic, even if they don't quite understand it. Then when they come to class, it is the SECOND time they are seeing the topic and they can actually participate and interact as opposed to sitting in class like "duh? What's this about?" They have the chance to ask meaningful questions. And then when they do follow up assignments, this is the third time they are seeing it and they can verify they have learned the material well. Otherwise, they come to class with nothing, are confused in class because it's the first time they saw it and can't keep up (and everyone else did it at home) and then go home confused and can't do the assignment.


As an undergrad, I waited until the professor was done with a section just like my current students try and wait. Which is why I love the inverted classroom and the interwebs. Since summer I've been redesigning my courses to have students do that which I *should* have done when I was an undergrad- prepare before class starts. With today's technology it's very easy to make ancillary material available to help them better prepare. Which I do and I design assignments to try and force them to prepare early.

If my professors then did what we're trying to do with our students now, I would have complained then just like some of my students complain now. And if I were able to go back in time, I'd show my younger self what will be available and then I'd kick the $#@$ out of me when I started to complain about doing the work before class. I'd then tell myself to remember this moment years later when I decided I wanted to teach.

Experience is a wonderful teacher. We have it. Our students don't have it.

Alan

lucero:
It was what the garden variety students did at the university I attended. I was usually at the bottom of my classes, except perhaps in my major. The majority were smarter, had better high school educations that I did, and also studied more than I did my freshman year. It took me a year to figure out that I was out of sync with everyone else (who was studying 3 hours per credit hour). The library was full on the weekends. The library was always full except during vacations. We were told to put in 8 hours of study a day, and most people did it (or more) at my university.  Some would stay at school during the breaks and STUDY. I never did that.

I also taught at two SLAC and a state university in the 80s and 90s. Most of the students at the state school did not study that much, however, at the SLACs they did and they came to class PREPARED and had learned/read the material.  I've taught at all types of schools since 2005 and the only one where the students might prepare for class was an Ivy League U. There is a definite difference in what I've seen. I haven't taught at ALL schools of course, but I was quite surprised when I returned to teaching 2005 and a student asked me what did "prepare" for class mean.

lucero:
I also want to say that I'm shocked that the OP's GRADUATE students would expect to be taught like high schoolers. I'll give the benefit of the doubt that I went to a great university for undergrad and taught at good schools 20 years ago, that might have still been the exceptions rather than the rules. However, I went to a MEDIOCRE grad program because it gave me the most funding and even there no one would show up to a class not having done the reading ahead of time. And if that did happen one surely did not tell the prof. that there was too much work or that he/she was the problem, and not one's own lazy self. We did not have to have reading quizzes or reflections and all the other nonsense that professors are forced to do today to get students to do some kind of preparation. We wanted to do the preparation and participate actively in the class. In my experience as a grad student what the OP has described never would have happened.

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