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Academic Technology Services blog

Student perceptions of the flipped classroom

Among the challenges that arise when one is thinking of inverting (or “flipping”) one’s classroom, developing materials such as screencasts and quizzes that will be used outside of class is one of the most commonly mentioned. Equally important, however, is the reaction of students to this radical change in their educational model. In his blog Casting Out Nines, Robert Talbert talks about the reactions of students in his linear algebra class to his “inverting” (or “flipping”) their class. He says that many students were resistant to this model because they believed they couldn’t possibly learn the material the professor lectured on it first. Why does this attitude exist? He blames it on a highly structured K12 environment where students “have so few experiences where they pursue and construct their own knowledge that they simply come to believe that they are incapable of doing so.” He then goes on to say that employing the inverted (or “flipped”) model can help “reverse students’ negative ways of thinking about how they learn.” This point is one of the things that make the flipped model so appealing to me. In a well-implemented flip, not only are students learning a particular subject, they are also learning how to learn. And that may be one of the most valuable skills we can impart to our students.

Robert Talbert’s full blog post is at http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/01/11/the-inverted-classroom-and-student-self-image/ – I’d encourage you to check it out.

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