In the last part of this series, we filled our in-class framework with activities that allow our students to collaborate on the advanced learning objectives to achieve mastery. For this final part, we’ll be designing a pre-class session focusing on our basic learning objectives that students complete on their own. Our primary goal is to provide only the necessary materials and interactions for students to gain fluency in the basic learning objectives. No superfluous information should be given unless we are providing multiple paths through which to learn. For instance, there may be an assigned reading, but perhaps there is also a video that covers the same topic. Providing learning alternatives such as this has been shown to be a great motivator in learning.
We’ll want to keep the pages that we build simple in structure and transparent about why we are having them do this work. To achieve this, we use a model called Guided Practice which sets up a sort of template for providing information to students in a structured manner. This model keeps students from having to search out the readings, assignments, and any additional materials that may be useful to them. The model is laid out as follows:
Not only does this model allow the instructor to demonstrate full transparency by providing the “why” behind the assigned materials, but by revealing the learning objectives for both the online and in-class sessions, we can help orient students to better understand the flow of class and how the sessions are connected. Revealing this “connective tissue” provides students with yet another method to help regulate their own learning.
A common myth is that videos are required for flipped learning. This just isn’t true. As I mentioned above, readings and other media can be provided. That said, there is evidence that suggests instructors leverage their social presence in the online space to reinforce the idea that, in this style of learning, both instructor and student are putting in effort. This presence could certainly come in the form of a video that is short and laser-focused on the material, but it could also be that you are actively providing feedback in a discussion forum or commenting on submitted work.
The graded work, whether it be assignments or quizzes should be failure-tolerant. Making mistakes should be seen as opportunities for learning instead of high-stakes stressors. As an instructor, you can use the results from these assignments to inform your teaching for the in-class session, allowing you to make minor adjustments to the opening minutes, to tweak the main activities, or even as data collection on student learning to use in scholarship for teaching portfolios or research purposes.
If you find yourself interested in ideas or more information on Flipping/Hybrid classes, feel free to contact Matt Barton.