Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Flipping Classes and Flipping Academics

No - I'm not cursing or cooking! The concept of flipping classes has been around for sometime - at its simplest it is about doing homework/exercises in class, and taking the class at home (perhaps via a video). Sounds good to me and could make better use of class time. But I don't do it, and at the moment don't plan to do so. It could work very well for me in Project Management classes - this subject can be a bit boring (see my previous post about this - You can't polish a turnip). I already have some short videos that are available to students to prepare for tutorials - however I have noticed that quite a lot do not view the videos beforehand, preferring instead to view them in class, which of course defeats the intended purpose of the videos in the first place.

Claire Shaw, writing in The Guardian, in an article The flipped academic: turning higher education on its head, asks the questions "Can we also flip academics – or even academia itself?". She discusses how teachers and lecturers can "add value" to their classes in an age when it's "very hard to find a topic taught in universities for which there isn't also a free lecture available from someone world class". So this challenges us to think about how best to use class time, especially if a student can access top class content on-line.

Here are some useful items to remember from high-school teacher John Sowash that he wish he knew about flipping classes before he stared:

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