3 Tips on Holding Students Accountable in a Flipped Classroom

If you’ve ever taught in a flipped classroom, chances are you’ve been asked how you persuaded your students to do the pre-class work. As Dr. Barbi Honeycutt explains in her post, all instructors have had to find ways to motivate students to do homework, no matter the course structure. Since it’s so especially important for students to do the work outside of class when the structure is flipped, she put together three ideas to hold these students accountable:

  1. Make the pre-class work a “ticket” to get into class – An assignment can ask students to write down specific comments or questions after watching a video or reading a chapter. Students should then turn this paper in to get access into the class.
  2. Start a debate – Ask students to take a side on an issue outside of class. They must come prepared to explain their choice and listen to others’ arguments. Plus, Dr. Honeycutt suggests they can write down their names on a sticky note and place them on the wall that’s labeled with the side they agreed on, which will help you take attendance.
  3. Ask students to create cheat sheets – Assign a problem in class for which students can only use one “cheat sheet” they created beforehand. In the Pass the Problem scenario, students end up working together to create a master cheat sheet that builds off other groups’ work and holds students accountable as team members.

Check out the original Faculty Focus blog post here.

Honeycutt, Barbi. “Ready to Flip: Three Ways to Hold Students Accountable for Pre-Class Work.” Blended and Flipped Learning. Faculty Focus, 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

The last banana: A thought experiment in probability

We love TEDEd’s original videos, which make learning concepts in mathematics a little more fun and relatable. In the video below, we imagine a game played with two players and two dice. If the biggest number rolled is one, two, three, or four, Player 1 wins. If the biggest number rolled is five or six, Player 2 wins. Who has the best probability of winning the game? Leonardo Barichello explains how probability holds the answer to this seemingly counterintuitive puzzle.

Check Out More TEDEd Math Videos.

Ted-Ed. “The last banana: A thought experiment in probability – Leonardo Barichello.” Ted-Ed. YouTube, 23 Feb. 2015. Web. 10 June 2015.

The Facts of Flipping: 4 Common Misconceptions Debunked

It’s one of the most discussed topics in higher education today: the flipped classroom, which reverses the typical lecture and practice components of a course. We examine four commonly held misconceptions to set the record straight:

  1. The flipped classroom means getting rid of lectures entirely.
    A common misconception about the flipped classroom is that it completely eliminates the in-class lecture and relocates all instruction to occur online. While it’s true that the instructor will be recording and sharing lecture content to be viewed ahead of class time, in-class discussion remains equally important.

    In fact, modified lectures during class time become less of a one-way street and more of an active discussion under the flipped approach. During this time, the instructor can answer questions that students have about the material, reinforce key points, and make real-world connections with current events before moving on to hands-on activities and group work.

  2. The flipped classroom is all about videos.
    The conversation surrounding flipped classrooms tends to focus on the creation or use of instructional videos. However, there is a wide variety of ways to present materials outside of the classroom thanks to modern technology, such as podcasts, interactive practice problems, photo libraries, guided readings, case studies, slideshows, simulations, and educational games.

    What students are assigned outside of the classroom is only half of the story; devoting class time to the application of concepts through practice, collaborative discussion, and projects is central to the flipped learning philosophy.

  3. Flipped classrooms replace instructors with computers.
    The role of the instructor under the flipped classroom can often become even more essential than under a traditional approach. Content coverage becomes a responsibility shared with the student, allowing the instructor to become more of a coach, expert resource, and discussion leader while continuing to assess student progress and achievement. By repurposing class time to act as a workshop rather than a lecture period, instructors are more able to identify errors in thinking and correct them before test time.

  4. Flipping requires the instructor to have both advanced technical knowledge and a great deal of time to invest.
    While a significant up-front time investment may be necessary to create or find new formats for presentations of material and design new in-class experiences, flipping the classroom can actually reduce prep work in the long term.

    Once materials are created, they can be reused across multiple sections and semesters, and even minor updates to content likely won’t require starting from scratch. Further, the Internet offers a vast and diverse array of free and high-quality resources, such as Kahn Academy’s video library, that can be utilized in a flipped course to deliver content.

    Recording lectures can be as simple as using a USB microphone and speaking over a presentation, such as a PowerPoint previously created for in-class use. Many computers and laptops have built-in webcams, which can easily record video content. Online apps, such as Blendspace, provide a simple, interactive platform to create and publish content.

Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, developed a flipped approach to developmental mathematics by utilizing a variety of teaching methods, including video lessons, one-on-one lab tutoring, and both electronic and pencil-and-paper assignments and quizzes. Watch the recorded webinar!