New Year’s Flip

5 tips to flip your classroom in 2014.

GUEST COLUMN | by Sean Brown

CREDIT Sonic FoundryThe flipped classroom model has been a mainstay at some of the best institutions over the past decade, and adoption is rising rapidly. At Sonic Foundry we’re seeing more and more people use Mediasite to flip their classrooms with video, like Ralph Welsh of Clemson University and Eugene Rutz of University of Cincinnati College of Engineering. Is flipping your classrooms on your New Year’s resolution list? Here are five tips from professors all over the country to help you follow through: 

  1. Do it gradually  Most people don’t jump in a head-first and teachers shouldn’t have to either. Teacher can implement it in one class or subject area and as the students and teachers become more comfortable, the model can be expanded. The important thing is that students have anytime access to on-demand course material, so students feel their learning is flexible. Doing the process at the pace of the students will give them a sense of security and allow them to succeed.
  2. Watch the first few lectures ahead of time – Doing this will make the process less daunting to teachers and the students. Teachers can see if they’re presenting the material in a way that’s easy to grasp but also comprehensive. They can also switch it up to keep the lecture interesting and feeling conversational.
  3. Take advantages of resources – Teachers need to look at what’s available to them on every level to make changes in the classroom. Ensure that the technology is in place, that the administration is behind the model, and decide when it will be implemented.
  4. Get feedback constantly – As teachers start to implement the model, they should be asking for feedback from students. Ask them how they’re feeling and if it’s working for them. The teacher may find the transition process could be sped up if students are responding positively.
  5. Make expectations clear – Flipped classrooms aren’t throwing out all the rules of a teacher’s handbook, it’s just modifying the way the message gets out. As it is with any classroom, the teacher needs to make the standards clear and follow through. This could mean pop quizzes to ensure students are watching the lecture or keeping an attendance policy. Simply having discussions based around the lecture students watched will also give teachers an idea of who’s engaging.

Learn more about our flipped study:

  • Watch our webinar, The Upside of Upside Down: Center for Digital Education and Sonic Foundry Study Shows Flipped Classrooms Are on the Rise, and view the results
  • Read Ralph’s story

Sean Brown is Senior Vice President of Sonic Foundry, the maker of the webcasting platform Mediasite. He has 23 years of product management and education business development experience at IBM, Apple and Oracle and is the past president and board member of the Hopkins Foundation for Innovation in Education.

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