Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In-Class Benefits of the Flipped Composition Class

In my last post, I claimed that students were most enthusiastic about the ways in which a flipped composition class helped them manage their work flows. They liked the heightened sense of control that they had over accessing and handling course content, course assignments, and coursework. But I think I made a mistake. I've looked more closely at the responses, and I think I unreasonably distinguished student enthusiasm for the ways in which a flipped composition class enhanced their in-class experience and enhanced the student-teacher relationship. As I look over the comments, I think now these two should be seen as aspects of the same benefit: students like the way the flipped composition class changes the in-class experience, which includes the ways that they relate to each other, to the course content, and to the instructor. This, I think, is the number one benefit that my students have noted (77/292, 26.4%). Let's see if I can unpack their thinking.

The active classroom: Many faculty seem to think that the main part of flipping a class is moving lectures online, but I have not found this to be the case. For me, the main part is making my class more active. If I move the lecture/demonstration out of the class and onto the Net—which is really a rather trivial task technologically—then my class is left with this gaping hole in the classroom that we have to fill, and of course, as the instructor, I'm supposed to do most of the filling. I must work hardest at replacing in-class lectures and demonstrations with activities that synchronize with and support those now online lectures and demonstrations. In some respects, this is rather easy with a writing class—we simply do much of our writing in class on our computers and we use peer reviews—but from time-to-time, we need to reinforce some specific issue that the students did not master with the online lectures. I have to find interesting, engaging, active ways to do that. I don't always succeed, but I must succeed well enough that I've caught my students' attention. They have this to say about an active classroom:
  1. I liked the flipped class as you call it. It helped a lot on understanding the exercises we needed to do on documents and lectures that were presented. It was more visual to see it presented by groups in class and everyone had a chance to show their point of view the way they processed the learning. Just doing group on documentation did not make sense to me though. Individualism works better on doing documents during class time for me but groups as a class works really well. We all have many different ideas. 
  2. It kept me not worrying about having to do too much work outside of the classroom and concentrated on what really mattered
  3. Keep the flipped class, but we [have] to work more in the classroom.
  4. This was my first time being in a flipped classroom.  I enjoyed this method very much, and prefer teaching to be this way!  In other classes, when teachers are standing up there lecturing the whole time I tend to daydream.  I lose focus very easily.  With the flipped classroom, we are constantly on computers.  Technology is everything now-a-days.  When I would get done with my work for this class I could move on to any other work for other classes.  The flipped class allowed us to work independently, which I loved.
  5. I love the flipped classroom it's very interesting. You do all the work at home and when you come back to class bring all the questions you need answered.
  6. Everything was good about the flipped classroom. It gave me ample time to work on my papers and ask questions when I had to
A learning-centered classroom: An active classroom appears to have many educational benefits. Student writers appear to benefit from working on their documents and with the course content in the company of colleagues and instructors. Especially after I moved my flipped classes to a computer lab, my students benefitted from having most all necessary resources close to hand.
  1. The flipped class allowed us more time to understand what we were doing in class. It worked out great for me and helped me understand what I needed to write and how to improve my writing. 
  2. We applied what we did on the net and incorporated into the class to discuss it. Very new, I think you should stress more and possible get the university to look into having flipped classes.
  3. How we could learn and read things at home, and anything we needed helped with or was confused about, we could just come the next class and ask. Having the flipped classroom help students to do work at home, so they won't be lost the next class.
  4. Keep them i think we learn more when we do more hands on lectures [hands on lectures is a new term for me, but I like it. I may use it soon in a blog post.]
  5. the flipped classroom was great because we learned the subject at home and let it marinate in our heads. then being in class, we can actually put it into work with fellow classmates, while having access to you for any and every questions. also i would suggest for you to request a classroom with computers just so we wouldn't have to separate from the class and you be in another room , not being able to walk us through right then and there.. a lot of people are more of a hands on tactile learner. to me would seem much easier and more comfortable learning experience with the computer lab.
  6. The flipped class is good. It enables and ensures that we are prepared for the class and if there are questions , we address them in class.
  7. keep the flipped class because it give us more time in class to understand the materials and ask question.
  8. I liked the flipped classroom. I like how by doing this in the classroom setting it left the classroom open to work on things we really need help with, I never [felt] as if i was just home doing homework and I was lost, because most of the core work was done in the classroom
  9. It was GREAT!! If I was home and didn't understand, I was able to ask the next time we met for class.
  10. I enjoyed the flipped classroom. I do wish we had more time for class discussions, as I previously mentioned. Overall, I think the flipped classroom did help me improve my writing.
  11. almost the best part of the class, this is my first time experiencing the flip class and I fell in love with it.gave class time more of a discussion then learning session
  12. Time management is huge when attending school and any extra time to do work is needed. The flipped class technique gives students a chance to ask questions and receive direct assistance when doing their assignment. Often students find themselves lost at home trying to figure out the topic and staying focused. With the flipped class technique, homework can be done at the best time possible.
Practical learning: An active, flipped classroom is less theoretical and more practical, which many of my students appreciate. Lectures and even demonstrations can be too abstract for many, but when they are working on their own documents to craft a deductive argument, then tips from a colleague or from the instructor can be immediately handy and concrete.
  1. It not only allowed for information-based learning, but also practical learning.
  2. I liked to be able to do my work in class.  It gets pretty chaotic trying to find time for all your homework is due in a week.
  3. the flipped classrooms are great because we intake the new teachings on our level of comfort and then get to come into class and elaborate and question what we don't understand. The only thing i think is a little weak is the interaction between teacher and students. For example, i wish that the subject that was difficult for most of the students be elaborated more for better understanding, compared to grouping the students that are questioning the task at hand and losing interest on what they are suppose to learn. There is nothing wrong with a little more lecturing to students for a better understanding of a new subject compared to student to student interaction.
  4. This concreted what you wanted us to learn so I think you should keep it.  
Peer-enabled learning: An active, flipped classroom restructures the relationships among students.
  1. I liked the flipped class it was easy to work on papers and get my peers advice on how to write my paper during class.
  2. I like the class participation and conversation that took [place] during the class. We all shared ideas and bounced things off each other. I don't like to go home and write. It is hard to just say, "ok, I'm gonna do that Eng. assignment now". In reality,that rarely happens. It got my creative juices flowing.
  3. I wish all my classes were like this. I love the fact that we got help in doing our assignments in class. Best class I ever had.
  4. i liked the flipped classroom because it gave me more one on one help from my peers and instructor.
  5. I personally liked the flipped class because it gave us a chance to interact with our peers in class and do the lectures at home.
  6. very strong, assignments were done in class and helped us seek help between classmate work as team members with the teacher being present and available for help
  7. I preferred using the flipped class method because it gives you the option of completing assignments on your own schedule, before the due date. You are also able to communicate with your classmates and professors via the web if you have any questions or concerns about an assignment.
  8. I think flipped classrooms should stay because it allowed students to keep in contact even when they were not in the classroom. It also allowed them to keep up with the classwork and assignments.
  9. Although Professor Hamon was present, available to be of assistance and willing to assist at all times, relating to another student was very beneficial. The video lectures gave us the main points of the lessons and working by way of computer was a great learning tool. The only way that this type of class setting could or would be difficult to the students in the beginning is, if they are not computer literate. However by the end of the course they will be.
Instructor-enabled learning: An active, flipped classroom also restructures the relationship between students and instructor. Students overwhelmingly value the increased interaction between students and instructor, though at least a few were uncomfortable with the outside work, which often asked them to try things that they could not easily do. Students do not like failing at any task, and it took them a long time to develop the faith that I would not penalize them if they could not correctly accomplish some task outside of class. They could not quite grasp a participation grade that rewards effort rather than measures competence. Most, however, saw that they could correct in an upcoming class any issues that they identified in the out-of-class work and that they would learn better after they had identified precisely what they didn't know.
  1. The flipped class keeps the class interesting I liked it [a lot].  The idea of being able to work and ask the instructor questions the whole time while in class was great.
  2. I think you are bringing a creative way of teaching. This method could help students who are not strong learners during class time. It may work for someone who likes to be home where its quiet, no distraction. Weak point, it depends on the student and what works for them. I enjoyed flip class.
  3. I liked that we were responsible for doing the reading outside of class, it's too hard to wait for everyone in class, you were expected to show up prepared. I liked that you were here to help while we were writing as well. It was a little discouraging that the assignment due dates changed. For those of us who were always prepared it's discouraging to stress to get the work done on time and not be rewarding, especially when others in the class got a week more than I did without losing any points for being late.
  4. I think this is great because often people don't have time to work on their assignments out of class due to different issues. This flipped class strategy give us a chance to finish and do our best on our assignments. We are also able to get extra help from professor Hamon in class when we needed.
  5. The flipped class thing worked for me. I was able to do "in class" assignments on my own time. I liked it because instead of being lectured in class, we were able to get assistance on our documents.
  6. i like the fact that we can work on assignments during class while the teacher is there
  7. I think you should keep flipped classrooms because it is more easy going and it is not that much work as a regular classroom. it is actually better because you can do all your work and projects in the class and get the help you need by the teacher rather than doing it at home. the other thing i like is that you do all your lectures at home rather than in the classroom. its way better.
  8. flipped classes is good because we do the work and then we come to class to discuss it . and prof Hamon helps us a lot with our papers.
  9. I love the flipped classroom because Mr. Hamon explained everything step by step in class so you know exactly what to do and how to do it from home.
  10. If we had any questions on the lectures you helps out, explaining the subject.
  11. I enjoy watching the lectures online and if I have a question we go over the lectures on class.
  12. The flipped class keeps the class interesting I liked it a lot.  The idea of being able to work and ask the instructor questions the whole time while in class was great.
  13. I loved the fact that we watched videos and read outside of class and just discussed in class so we had more time with the professor to clear up anything we were unclear about.
  14. Flipped class should be in all classes. It was extremely helpful to do lectures at home and write down questions that I could ask the teacher next class. It also was helpful to have more of the professor's time in class to have more one on one with the students rather than waiting for class to be over or not having time to meet up with them. It was also great for the students that did not have questions it would not hold them up and their work would get done.
  15. I think this is great because often people don't have time to work on their assignments out of class due to different issues. This flipped class strategy give us a chance to finish and do our best on our assignments. We are also able to get extra help from professor Hamon in class when we needed.
  16. The flipped class allows for more learning with the professor compared to others. It allows us to accomplish more work and feel more connected to everyone. 
  17. Flipped classroom is a definitely keep,its actually fun and i don't get slammed when it come to homework. Its a great way of getting work done and if you need help i can always go right to the teacher for help.
  18. It let us understand the material before class. Take our time with it e-mail teacher with questions and then come to class to go over any remainder questions. It allowed for more in class teacher time. 
  19. I actually prefer a flip course because I have a question about an assignment you are there to answer/ help me.
  20. I loved the lectures and assignments being at home.  When you come to class and have questions while you are writing the subject matter expert was right there.  Keep the flipped class.
  21. The strong part about flip class was getting the help we need in class right away instead of just didn't understand something at home and had to wait for next class.
  22. we can ask questions and do a work at home
  23. I may seem repetitive, but i have to continue to say that it is something that i cannot believe i have not seen before.  This form of teaching is absolutely genius.  I have no problem with receiving a lecture on my own and having to then apply what was discussed in the lecture inside the classroom with the teacher.  It allows the teacher to help me if i run into any kind of trouble.  This method is great and it works.
  24. When i first started i did not like flipped class but as it went on i learned to enjoy it and realize that i learn more in that type of class setting and it much better professor to student communication
  25. I did everything at home and when I came to class I could ask the Professor anything I did [not] understand. I loved the flipped class. I worked well with me and it wasn't so stressful like my other classes. There was nothing weak about the flipped class.
  26. The great thing about flipped classroom was that you can get most of the work done at home and don't have to rush in class to do so. When you come to class, everything is done or the majority is done. At least a rough draft. the weak part about it is that the professor isn't there to help you at home like being in class, he's always there when you need him/her.
  27. STRONG: because sometime at home you don't find the time to do your work, so the fact that you get the chance to do it in school is awesome, and also the teacher is right around the corner if you need help. everything was helpful.
  28. The combination works perfectly for me. I enjoy doing work online but I definitely like face to face interaction with a professor.
  29. Being able to work on the writing assignment in class was very helpful.  Having the professor there to ask question or if we needed guidance was a great help.
  30. Strong is we get to learn on our own and come back to review with the professor.
  31. i like the fact that we can work on assignments during class while the teacher is there
  32. Having the class be flipped made us relate to you more, helped us understand how much you're really just trying to help us understand literature and not just forcing it down our throats.
Technology-enabled learning: An active, flipped classroom benefits from having networked computers. I'm not prepared to say that they are absolutely necessary. I believe that one could flip a writing class without technology, but it simply wouldn't be as elegant—at least not the way I teach writing.
  1. WAY BETTER! I like this way better because it gives you a chance to stay on top of your work especially if a student does not have their own computer.
  2. Perfect.  This was the first time I have seen the flipped class and I love it.  maybe because I like computers and have horrible handwriting so the computer takes care of all the worst parts of my writing and puts them on a level playing field with everyone else.  It even fixes my bad spelling!
  3. This was my first time being in a flipped classroom.  I enjoyed this method very much, and prefer teaching to be this way!  In other classes, when teachers are standing up there lecturing the whole time I tend to daydream.  I lose focus very easily.  With the flipped classroom, we are constantly on computers.  Technology is everything now-a-days.  When I would get done with my work for this class I could move on to any other work for other classes.  The flipped class allowed us to work independently, which I loved.
  4. The combination works perfectly for me. I enjoy doing work online but I definitely like face to face interaction with a professor. 
  5. this class was new and interesting and fun because of everything on the computer as I said before I loved everything but the blog posts.
Engaged learning: An active, flipped writing class is a more engaging class, even enjoyable. It provides way more opportunities for students to connect to colleagues, content, and instructors, and as Terry Anderson's 2003 study Getting the Mix Right Again shows, students who connect persist and succeed. Anderson says it better:
Deep and meaningful formal learning is supported as long as one of the three forms of interaction (student–teacher; student-student; student-content) is at a high level. The other two may be offered at minimal levels, or even eliminated, without degrading the educational experience. High levels of more than one of these three modes will likely provide a more satisfying educational experience, though these experiences may not be as cost or time effective as less interactive learning sequences.
My students say it this way:
  1. I really really like the idea that you have a flipped class. I also like how you give us the opportunity to work on our assignments in class. This would have been a very boring class if you just talked or lectured the whole class. Thank you for not doing that.
  2. It was more interesting, not reading from a book all day and getting lectured from our teacher.
  3. It made the class a lot easier. I enjoyed the privilege of doing homework in the classroom.
  4. If all my classrooms could be like this, i would absolutely love it. i feel like i learn more this way, [than] sitting in a class listening to a teacher talk for almost two hours. Flipped classroom definitely helps keep me concentrated and motivated to do my work.
  5. Big fan of flipped class. It keeps everybody energized and interested.
  6. I love the flipped classroom it's very interesting. You do all the work at home and when you come back to class bring all the questions you need answered.
  7. The flipped class keeps the class interesting I liked it a lot.  The idea of being able to work and ask the instructor questions the whole time while in class was great.
  8. When i first started i did not like flipped class but as it went on i learned to enjoy it and realize that i learn more in that type of class setting and it much better professor to student communication
  9. I did everything at home and when I came to class I could ask the Professor anything I did [not] understand. I loved the flipped class. I worked well with me and it wasn't so stressful like my other classes. There was nothing weak about the flipped class.
  10. The flipped class worked for me. It was a way for me to read and learn on my own and then come to class and have any issues addressed. Nowadays, the traditional way professors are teaching tends to get monotonous and boring.
  11. Flipped classroom is a definitely keep,its actually fun and i don't get slammed when it come to homework. Its a great way of getting work done and if you need help i can always go right to the teacher for help.
Prepared learning: As I've already mentioned in a previous post, a flipped class seems to prepare students for work better than a traditional class.
  1. Strong point of the flipped classroom allowed the students to be free and come to class prepared with questions. It also allowed us students to be ready for what the professor had in store.
  2. How we could learn and read things at home, and anything we needed helped with or was confused about, we could just come the next class and ask. Having the flipped classroom help students to do work at home, so they won't be lost the next class.
  3. It helps have you ready and engaged in discussing the information you already saw at home and bringing it into the classroom. You were never lost before you walked into class, you always knew what was going to be discussed in class.
Flexible learning: A flipped class appears to be more flexible and adaptive to student needs and schedules.
  1. Flipped class should be in all classes. It was extremely helpful to do lectures at home and write down questions that I could ask the teacher next class. It also was helpful to have more of the professor's time in class to have more one on one with the students rather than waiting for class to be over or not having time to meet up with them. It was also great for the students that did not have questions it would not hold them up and their work would get done.
  2. keep the flipped class because it give us more time in class to understand the materials and ask question.
  3. I think this is great because often people don't have time to work on their assignments out of class due to different issues. This flipped class strategy give us a chance to finish and do our best on our assignments. We are also able to get extra help from professor Hamon in class when we needed. 
  4. The flipped class thing worked for me. I was able to do "in class" assignments on my own time. I liked it because instead of being lectured in class, we were able to get assistance on our documents. 
  5. The flipped class allows for more learning with the professor compared to others. It allows us to accomplish more work and feel more connected to everyone. 
  6. Flipped classroom is a definitely keep,its actually fun and i don't get slammed when it come to homework. Its a great way of getting work done and if you need help i can always go right to the teacher for help.
As I hinted earlier, many seem to think that moving their lectures online is the major part flipping their classes. This is wrong. The biggest challenge is rethinking your classroom. Just what will you do with all those students when you quit talking and they start learning?