Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Flipped Class and Computers

Computer issues, such as holding class in a computer lab, using Google Drive, or computers as a distraction in class were the fourth largest class of complaints about the flipped class (5 of 27, 18.5%, 5 of 216, 2.3%). (Change 7, 8, 14, 20, 22). None of the students who mentioned an issue with computers suggested that I drop the flipped method.

Curiously enough, this category includes both recommendations that my classes be held in a computer lab and one complaint that the computers are a distraction to the class. One student wrote: "maybe you should start teaching class in a computer lab. that way if we have a problem with something it can be solved right then and there. also this would allow us to do more work in class, simply because everyone would be on the same page." That seemed a really good idea to me, so I arranged for my subsequent classes to be held in a computer lab, only to have another student write: "maybe having a class in the lab it was not that helpful after all...It distracts students too much!" I confess that classroom management shifts when students are faced with a screen that is just two clicks away from Facebook, but neither I nor most of my students see this as a significant drawback.

Note, too, that very few students had any complaint about the use of computers or access to computers, especially after I switched the class to a computer lab. Almost all students were able to access the outside, online work, and most seemed satisfied with completing their writing in class, online, especially with me there to help them.