Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Angry Students

As we wind down from the first semester classes and prep for finals week I decided to fully incorporate the idea of the flipped class as a way for my students to prepare for the final exam. I posted some video lectures to a website that I created and gave all my students access to it (for the tech aspect of it see below). The videos were basically the key concepts that I thought were most essential for them to have success on the final. In class I gave students a practice final exam to work through as a refresher of the concepts covered throughout the year. As I thought would happen, students struggled with practice items from units that we covered much earlier in the year. To remedy this I gave students free-reign to use cell phones (possibly against school rules - don't tell) as well as the four desktop computers that we have in the back of my class to review any of the concept videos that I posted on the site. After viewing the videos students went back to working through practice as I basically bounced from student to student checking in and guiding them as they worked.

To make a long story short, my students were not very pleased with me. They were actually quite irate. They could not believe that it was the end of the semester and I had just decided to structure class like this.  They made comments like "this is not fair"... "the students you have next semester are going to do so much better than we did". They really loved the idea. 

As of now it is Sunday afternoon and I have heard from 8 of my students via text message that they are going to rock the final. Checking the website I also saw that the videos have been watched about 60 times each. I would have to say that indicates a pretty big success rate so far! I am interested to hear from all of them on Tuesday when we get back to school to see what they think. 

I hope their excitement is not due to a little honeymoon phase of the new idea. I am planning on starting my next semester classes (two weeks away) on the flip idea from the beginning, but I am struggling with how to introduce the concept. Part of me thinks my students took so well to the idea because of the relationships that we built up and the trust they had in me to try something new. I wonder if students that do not really know me will take to it the same way. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I will post some test scores to compare the classes as a whole when those scores from second semester start coming in.


I have been using posterous as a host site for my video blog that students access. It is a very user friendly setup to post videos for students to view. To make the videos I have been using a combination of Doceri (iPad App) and ActivInspire (Promethian board software). I have been using the screen recorder (free) in active inspire while I am using the desktop annotation tools in Doceri. It is not a perfect method but the videos created are avi. files so I pretty much can do what I please with them which is nice. It sure beats having to stand at the board with a flip cam like many of the youtube things I have seen.  

1 comment:

  1. Go for it! We impose class structure on students every year and they adapt. When you start this new class structure they will not only adapt, but they will love it. You already have proof! Good luck!