The experiment with the flipped classroom has been successful thus far in the semester. The biggest issue that we have had to contend with is watching the videos when they are posted. To help with this problem the students asked if I could text them when I post a new video to be watched. Although I didn’t like the idea of the students having my phone number we managed to find a happy third option, a free to use third party texting program. There are many options out there, but one of my teaching peers, Ms. Lowe, turned me onto to remind101.com. This is a free service that allows me to send out reminders at scheduled times and is completely anonymous; I don’t know their numbers and they don’t know mine. This has helped in the number of views of students prior to discussion of the topic in class.
The other noticeable issue that I have had to contend with is absent make up work. This is an issue that is difficult to deal with in the regular set up but with the flipped approach it can be especially tricky due to the fact that we spend our class time doing group work and practice instead of more individualized assignments. Unfortunately this is where I have seen the most missed assignments manifest themselves. The best option that I have been able to develop is to offer alternative assessment. One example would be when a student missed out on a group presentation and I had him make up what was lost with a narrated PowerPoint.
My flipped class has taken an added dimension in the last couple of weeks with the introduction of an iPad being placed in the hands of every student. The idea seems to be taking off and many students have commented that they wish all of their classes were taught this way. One thing has become abundantly clear throughout this process, students love technology and are eager to apply what they know with technology to learning new material.