Teach as an experimental physicist
May 14, 2014
According to wikipedia and citations therein, the basic concepts of flip
- students go through raw material by themselves at home
- raw material includes videos, text books and web pages, etc.
- they do not need to be made by teachers themselves
- lengths of videos are better to be within 3 to 6 minutes
- raw material is specified by teachers, but can be extended by students
- processing raw material alone is easier than solving problems alone
- speed of processing is controlled by students themselves
- no need to take notes
- good for students who do not understand English well
- students do “homework” in class
- teachers help students to solve problems in class
- students can help each other
- interactions between students and teachers are maximized
- students must master each lesson before going to the next one
- an immediate test has to be taken after each lesson
- students have to continue taking tests until they pass
There is no obvious evidence that this method improves the performance of
students. But they are clearly better motivated.
I may do the following when teaching a new class:
- go through raw material by myself first
- take notes, make videos
- provide half baked material to students
- provide online quiz to ensure students watch videos
- design problems for “homework” and tests
- guide students to solve problems with teaching assistant
- ask students to list questions when processing raw material
- go through these questions together with students in class
- ask students to form groups to work on some projects
According to one article in edutopia, one should focus on ways to
improve his instruction before choosing to use the “flipped classroom”, because
it is the practice in class rather than the video lectures that matters.
Students may not read or watch raw material before classes at all. This post
in peer instruction explained how to evaluate the engagement of students.
Basically, students have to answer the following questions before the class:
- anything difficult to understand?
- if not, anything interesting?
And the instructor prepares a short lecture accordingly right before a class.
Those answers are used to assign credit to students’ reading/watching
assignment. An exam will be prepared after each class, which has higher weight
to assign credit if the reading assignment is skipped.