Day 110 Flip Flops in the classroom?


This is the last weekend before College of DuPage students end the semester, graduate and start thinking about their next steps.  Some students have already registered for both summer and fall courses, others will go on to graduate school or professional programs and many have secured jobs.  I have received kind hearted thank you notes from students via e-mail.  One student in my English 0492 online course stopped by with a bouquet of flowers — a totally unexpected, but welcome surprise.

I will not be teaching this summer, but have placed my textbook order for the Fall 2016 semester and will be teaching multiple sections of English 0492 Developmental Writing in a face-to-face classroom for the first time. I usually teach English 0482 Developmental Reading for half of my full-time teaching assignment, but this year I’ll be trying something new. Or, maybe it’s not new after all.  According to John Dewey, learning is centered around the student, not the teacher; learning allows students to show their mastery of content the way they prefer. As I started accumulating supplemental materials and planning activities, I thought about the flipped classroom model where the traditional lecture and homework assignments are reversed. According to Educause:

The notion of a flipped classroom draws on such concepts as active learning, student engagement, hybrid course design, and course podcasting. The value of a flipped class is in the repurposing of class time into a workshop where students can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying knowledge, and interact with one another in hands-on activities. During class sessions, instructors function as coaches or advisors, encouraging students in individual inquiry and collaborative effort.

As the flipped class becomes more popular, new tools may emerge to support the out-of-class portion of the curriculum. In particular, the ongoing development of powerful mobile devices will put a wider range of rich, educational resources into the hands of students, at times and places that are most convenient for them. Greater numbers of courses will likely employ elements of the flipped classroom, supplementing traditional out-of-class work with video presentations and supporting project-based and lab- style efforts during regular class times. At a certain level of adoption, colleges and universities may need to take a hard look at class spaces to ensure they support the kinds of active and collaborative work common in flipped classes.



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