Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Flip Flopping on Flipped Learning

In March 2012 I wrote about Flipped Classrooms. Here is a brief update to that material:

December 11, 2013 Update
Mixed news today on the MOOC front. The NY Times reports on how MOOCs "flopped" at California State University, San Jose. The Times reported on a University of Pennsylvania Graduate School for Education report that shows a very small percentage of students ever complete these massive online courses. The Times goes on to say that San Jose State experimented with smaller online courses and personal mentors designed to increase participation but this had little impact.

Meanwhile, the PBS NewsHour profiled Detroit area high school Clintondale this evening in a piece on flipped classrooms. The NewsHour included an interview with Justin Reich, a professor with the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Reich was clear that the power of online learning is directly related to the connection between teachers and students and the curriculum in the classroom:

"What is exciting to me about the flipped classroom" says Reich, "is that it gets teachers asking two really important fundamental questions:

'What are the best ways for me to use my time, especially the very precious time I have in classrooms with my students?'

and then,

'What are the kinds of direct instruction that I can provide that could be digitized so that people can watch it again?'"

However, Reich adds: "If what we see from the flipped classroom is that we take bad lectures and uninteresting worksheet problems . . . and we simply flip the order of those two things the odds that we see significant improvement in our schools is pretty low."