Monday, July 18, 2016

Flipping the Classroom

My thanks to Dr. Barbi Hunnicutt for visiting our campus for our in-service session. She modeled the idea of a flipped classroom quite nicely, using that teaching strategy in her presentation to us. In the flipped classroom, students do work outside of class, preparing for the activities that will take place inside the classroom. And the system is adaptable to classroom or clinical setting; oine needs only to look for opportunity.

In her presentation, she made a few points. First, she noted that flipped classrooms are messy. Students in the classroom are involved in a project or process wherein they work to solve problems, and this occurs without a strict guiding principle or without full instructor supervision of what is taking place. This can create some challenges. For one, you have to give up a bit of control. And you also need to ensure, as much as possible, that your students are indeed engaging.
She recommends that you ask effective questions. This makes sure you remain a “guide on the side” in the learning process, rather than the “sage on the stage.” What you should do is not use questions that can be quickly answered with a yes or no response. She suggests moving up the Bloom’s taxonomy scale, beginning with a posing questions that may ask students to list some attributes, but then which moves to asking students higher-level questions related to the list. And then you need to step out of the way.

Which leads to her third recommendation, which is to be quiet. We are all content experts; we know our subject area quite well, and we love sharing our knowledge with others. But here, we need to let things develop at their own pace, let students work out issues and challenges, and listen, rather than always intervene.
Dr. Hunnicutt calls this being “actively passive.” It’s hard to know, and I know it. But it does lead to higher-level learning, which is all to the good.