By: Donna Metallic What perfect timing for Part II of my blog for Technology and Engaged Learning, I attended a KI sponsored event yesterday about Planning and Designing Learning Environments for the Future. How do most people learn: by actively engaging in the material rather than sitting in a classroom and writing down the words said by the professor, recent studies have shown as high as 90% retention with this style of learning. At North Carolina State they did a study and the primary goal of the Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) Project was to establish a highly collaborative, hands-on, computer-rich, interactive learning environment for large-enrollment courses. Another name for this type of environment is adaptive Pedagogy, or a flipped classroom, professors assign pre-class homework consisting of brief, recorded lectures and presentations, digital readings with collaborative annotation capabilities, and discussion board participation. This frees up classroom time to promote active learning through collaborative, project-based learning using simple display and sharing tools. “The flipped classroom has become increasingly popular because there are so many new technologies that make out-of-classroom content creation a little bit easier, and there are drop-dead-simple technologies that keep the flow of idea generation and exchange moving inside the classroom to support active learning,” indicated a student from Indiana University, my daughter Emily. While technology facilitates flipped instruction, it takes both planning and experimentation to perfect the model. Here are a few tips from classroom flippers of their best practices:
- The technology needs to support really easy creation of the material, and allow for easy access by the students;
- Lecture capture technologies support things like searching within slides, bookmarking, annotations, and collaboration within the platform, so I think that’s a really good baseline technology to support a lot of the pedagogy.
- Never take power to mobile tables- Avoid it
- In order to be more responsive to students’ specific needs, use clickers. They monitor students’ understanding of course material via the web.
- Use of large discussion boards placed strategically within the room
- The increase of square footage per student from 15 to 17 sq. ft. up to 20 to 27sq. ft. per student. Using 84” round table with 9 students per table broken up into group of three. Make sure to use the appropriate seating.
The flipped model requires students to be active agents of their own learning, rather than rely on the expertise of their professor. What is the point of college, is to learn how to teach yourself–that’s what the rest of your life is going to require, you have to know how to find your own resources, and then put them to work as best as you can! In a flipped classroom, a professor is able to teach both content and process, A professor at the University of Minnesota says,” We have to teach the ability to adapt and evolve along with the problems.” The students get excited about the environment because they feel comfortable in asking questions of their peers, getting to know the other students in their group and using the tools from the real world to learn and collaborate. Check out this website to learn what other campuses are doing around the country and how NC State started the revolution of the Flipped Classroom: http://scaleup.ncsu.edu/