Saturday, December 20, 2014

Flipping it

This past term I made a decision to "flip" my classroom.

I wasn't thinking about "flipping" when I did it. It was something I simply fell into.

A day or two before the term started, I was daydreaming about how my grammar lessons could be delivered more effectively. Between the cognitive psych research I read and my own experience of giving in-class introductions to grammar concepts, introductions that didn't seem all that useful anyway, I thought there must be a better way.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I had both Moodle and Blackboard at my disposal. I had Google Drive/Docs, which I was already using for in-class activities. I knew how to shoot videos from my laptop and Moto X, which I'd already been using to create materials for Listening/Speaking class. Everything I needed was quite literally at my fingertips.

What if I made short videos of the grammar lessons and hosted them on Drive? What if I posted all of these in Moodle or Blackboard? What if I wrote online quizzes to both (a) ensure students were interacting with the materials and (b) assess which points students were having difficulty with before ever entering the classroom? What if I focused in-class attention on those points? What if in-class grammar lesson time was focused completely on students' questions, practice, and quizzing? What if I never lectured at all?

It's not my personality to do something little-by-little. I'm not one to say "If I have time, then...".
No, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it.

This was a busy term. If I wasn't prepping materials or marking homework or grading assessments, I was writing and shooting videos and writing hundreds of quiz questions. In the end, however, I had a course that excited me, excited (most) students, and left me satisfied. Over this winter break, I will be reshooting some vids and I'll be revising some materials, but as a whole it was a great experience.

Coming Soon: Reactions, both my students' and my own.

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