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Academic Technology Services blog

Fair warning for flipped classrooms

Professor Steven Neshyba at the University of Puget Sound sent a warning to his students that they really needed to view the short videos before they came to class.

“I couldn’t help noticing that some of you came to last week’s Thursday/Friday session with little or no preparation and consequently did not benefit very much from the exercise. This observation is consistent with the fact that about a third of you didn’t watch the video, ‘Computational video 1 Preparation for the MO computation.’ It is your education, of course, and you are free to manage your time as you see fit; I just want to be sure you understand that putting class preparation at the low end of your priority list in the hope of making up that time later is a suboptimal strategy.”

Mortified, Sam fired back, “Is that a general e-mail or is it just for me? Because if it’s just for me, I take great offense at the accusation.”

I personally think that students who don’t prepare for class are wasting their own time and the professor’s time. Yes, things come up, but one should also plan ahead. One way to help ensure students plan ahead and view the videos before class would be to have the them take a low-stakes online quiz. If the quiz were graded automatically or simply emailed to the teacher before class, the students could receive points for watching the video or taking the quiz and the teacher could have a better idea of where the students needed help.

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