I have just finished an ICT course with almost 500 students. To make this work smoothly I’ve decided to jump on a (relatively) new trend in education called Flipped classroom (External link). The idea is simple, you let the students absorb the knowledge at home (or wherever they are), and when they come to class you do the real work to understand and apply the newly acquired knowledge. In my case, I recorded all ‘lectures’ and upload it on Youtube, and in class we only focused on exercises. To make this work I nicely ask the student to watch the videos and read the study materials before they attend the classroom exercises.
After every course I let the students take part of a short survey to check what was good and what need to be improved in the course. This year (2014) 185 students answered the survey.
So, how did they like the idea of flipped classroom? As you can see in the first chart above almost everyone are, more or less, positive to flipped classroom. When you read the comments you could see that the students liked the idea that they could watch the videos when, and as many times as they wanted. They could also rewind and pause the lectures. According to many students, the video was a great help to understand difficult tasks.
However, when you asked the students if they watched the lectures before they attended the classroom exercises, the answer was different (see chart 2 above). Very few student took time watching the videos before they came to the class. This doesn’t mean that they never watched the videos and maybe they focused on the other study materials. But the deep flawless idea of flipped classroom didn’t come into its own.
The reasons can be many. Maybe the students are not used to this kind of self-directed studies, or they didn’t see the benefits of watching the videos (maybe the reader have more reasons they could write down in my blog :). Whatever it is, I’m sure we’ll see more of flipped classroom and blended learning in the future.