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The Post-Lecture Classroom

Soulskill posted 1 year,2 days | from the learning-through-interpretive-dance dept.

Education 169

An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic reports on a study into reversing the typical lecture/homework educational method. The study had students watch lecture videos at home, then use class time to work on activities. After three years of trials, the researchers found both a student preference for the new method and a 5% increase in exam scores. 'In 2012, that flipped model looked like this: At home, before class, students watched brief lecture modules, which introduced them to the day's content. They also read a textbook — the same, introductory-level book as in 2011 — before they arrived. When they got to class, Mumper would begin by asking them "audience response" questions. He'd put a multiple-choice question about the previous night's lectures on a PowerPoint slide and ask all the students to respond via small, cheap clickers. He'd then look at their response, live, as they answered, and address any inconsistencies or incorrect beliefs revealed. Maybe 50 percent of the class got the wrong answer to one of these questions: This gave him an opportunity to lecture just enough so that students could understand what they got wrong. Then, the class would split up into pairs, and Mumper would ask them a question which required them to apply the previous night's content... The pairs would discuss an answer, then share their findings with the class. At the end of that section, Mumper would go over any points relevant to the question which he felt the class failed to bring up.'"

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Socratic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842563)

So he basically used the socratic method?

Re:Socratic (4, Funny)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842749)

Yeah, he's putting videos of the material for students up on Youtube - just like Socrates did.

Re:Socratic (-1, Troll)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842911)

You fail at knowing things. Go read a wiki. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Socratic (2)

sd4f (1891894) | 1 year,2 days | (#44844393)

I had a lecturer, last semester who did this. Put up 15 minute videos which no one watched. Not sure whether it worked out too well.

Re:Socratic (4, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842753)

Hush, you fool! Do you want to corrupt our youth?!?!

So.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842579)

So for a 3 credit hour class students normally spend 3 hours in class per week. Using this method they spend 3 hours
at home watching lectures then 3 hours in class and gain 5%. This isn't a win.

Re:So.... (2)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842679)

Uhm -- I guess if you look at education as putting in the least amount of effort possible to pass a class - sure - it doesn't do that. But then, that view of a 3 credit hour course /ignores/ the fact that you are supposed to actually do your homework and out of class reading - which is expected to take at least as much time as the time in class. So -- yeah -- your position confuses me.

Re:So.... (2)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842697)

The point is that this isn't really a win. It's just enforcing the best practices. What's more, for students that take less time this means getting short changed on lectures and for students that take longer to do the homework still don't have sufficient time to do so.

Also, test scores are a lousy way of measuring performance. Having students spending less time to master the material or mastering more material is a better place to focus.

Re:So.... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842759)

short changed on lectures

... lectures are one of the stupidest teaching methods known to man for countless reasons.

No one, anywhere, under any condition gets 'short changed' on lectures.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842831)

...for students that take less time this means getting short changed on lectures....

Maybe. I always hated how a whole lecture would get eaten by questions (and their respecive answers) from idiots. Those who took less time, the smart ones, still had to slog through the crap caused by classmates instead of getting actual new content from the teacher. So being on the ball and going to a normal class we still got shortchanged on lectures.

Re:So.... (1)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842885)

for students that take less time this means getting short changed on lectures

If you choose not to give your education priority while paying for college - that's your choice. You eat the result. If you don't take the time to do the reading and homework, you will not do as well - this is not different.

Re:So.... (3, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843241)

Exactly! I just wish this method was available when I was in school -- it took me almost 2 years to treat my courses in this way; spelling it out in advance is definitely the way to go.

My favourite course I ever took made the lecture notes available the day before; the "lecture" time was mostly spent clarifying issues, after a quick skim through the slides at the start. People who didn't pre-read the notes in the first week either dropped out or caught on really quickly. The class resulted in the entire body of students having a solid grasp of the material by the end, PLUS a great reference set of slides, with added notes from class (which I still have to this day).

It also had the benefit that students sent the prof corrections to his notes prior to class, so any typos/logic errors etc. were discussed at the start, clarifying the bugs for everyone.

Re:So.... (3, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842937)

I'm TAing a "flipped" course like this starting next week; it's an intro to CS course for people with no CS background. Our lecture slots are purely homework help and Q there's little or no attempt at lecturing except in the first week. We also allocate tutorial sessions (an additional 2 hours per week) which are mandatory for the first couple of weeks and then optional; the point of them is to give students more opportunity to get help with homework.

With this material, most students don't need huge swaths of time to do the assignments if supervision is available. It's not appropriate for all levels of instruction or all subject matter, but when there are a lot of fundamental concepts that need to be grasped, the fact that you're no longer doing the work in isolation at home is the real source of the improvement. There's still a final assignment where the students have to prove themselves, in case you're worried of overdependent students.

Its a win if lecture done specifically for video (2)

perpenso (1613749) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843067)

The point is that this isn't really a win. It's just enforcing the best practices.

No it can be a win if done right, see below. I had two graduate level economics classes (micro and macro) that followed this model. The stock lectures were videotaped and made available for download. We watched them outside of class at our convenience and usually at 1.5x speed. If you are understanding the material 1.0x and 1.5x are effectively equivalent, if not there is rewind. Sometimes a tricky concept took a couple of rewinds.This was a win but not the biggest win.

These videos were not simply a recording of a past class lecture. The professors did a lecture specifically for the video and made sure any charts, graphs and writing on the whiteboard was recognizable on video. The videos had companion slideshows with key points, charts, etc and plenty of whitespace to take notes on if you printed them out.

The biggest win was having 100% of class time for questions, discussion and debate. Not just with the professor but between students as well. The professor instigating, steering and refereeing the debate at times.

When my various classmates and I talked amongst ourselves we recognized that we had some additional work to do outside of class, mitigated by 1.5x speed, but that we got so much more out of lectures we thought the new class format was an big improvement. YMMV. If the videos were simply a recording of a previous live class lecture the new format probably would have sucked. A purpose made video with accompanying material probably makes it work.

Re:So.... (2)

firex726 (1188453) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842745)

Issue is, time is finite. You're effectively doubling the time spend per each course, thats going to mean less time for other courses, and jobs needed to buy food and pay tuition.

Also issue is the time needed to prepare, classes would need to be staggered to allow at minimum the three (or however long is needed) hours between them. I highly doubt these results would be comparable if I did the preparation at 6am and had a class at 4pm with a full schedule between that.

Re:So.... (1)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842873)

You're not doubling anything. You are already /supposed/ to be doing homework and reading assignments -- those happen between classes. If you eliminate some of the homework and replace it with the lecture - there is no change in time. This class apparently eliminated homework. So -- not a bad swap. I don't agree that you cannot remember something you heard in the morning and still effectively participate in a discussion of the same 10 hours later (6am to 4pm). How is that any different than taking an 8am class with a full schedule and the doing the homework at 6pm?

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843365)

If you can get 95% of the result without doing the homework and reading assignments (or doing those such that they take substantially less time than watching the video lesson), then you have time to take another course and achieve 95% in that too. Two times 95% is almost always better than 100%. The problem with reversing the roles of lecture and homework is that the lecture is not something you can skip, even if you're a quick learner, and now you can't skip the practice either, even if you don't need it.

Besides, I suspect that the improved result is just due to the increased test practice: When the students get to the exam, they're already used to the questions from the lectures turned practice and have a better idea of the expected answers because of the feedback they get from the professor and teaching assistants. That does not prove that they have a better or deeper understanding of the material.

Watch videos at 1.5x ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843101)

Issue is, time is finite. You're effectively doubling the time spend per each course ...

No. I've had two graduate level economics classes (micro and macro) that used this format. My classmates and I soon learned that watching at 1.5x speed works really well if you are getting the material, less likely to get bored and nod off. If not getting a particular difficult concept, rewind, slow down, repeat as necessary - which is also an improvement offered by video.

Also issue is the time needed to prepare, classes would need to be staggered to allow at minimum the three (or however long is needed) hours between them.

No, my classmates and I generally watched the videos the night before the class.

Re:So.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843027)

The general rule of thumb for lecture classes is you're intended to spend twice as much time on class material while outside of class as you spend in lecture. For lab courses it's an equal amount of time.

In this case, students are presumably still expected to spend time studying outside of class, so instead of:

3 hours in lecture + 6 hours of homework/studying

they're doing

3 hours watching out-of-class lectures + 3 hours of exercises in class + 3 hours of homework/studying

The total time commitment is not increasing, the only difference is the tasks that time is allocated to.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843119)

So next is video then coloring book activities in the classroom because that is where we are going here people. To cool for school folks

Something similar in high school ... (3, Interesting)

oneiros27 (46144) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842601)

Back in the early 1990s, I had a high school math teacher who would assign the homework *before* she taught the lesson.

You were expected to read the chapter, try to do the homework, and then she'd answer any questions that you might have the next day in class.

You then had another night to correct whatever you needed before the homework was due. (and then start your reading for the next day's class).

It was 20+ years ago, but I seem to recall she'd hit us with quizzes as least once a week ... I just can't remember if they were at the beginning of the class, or the end. (and if they were at the beginning, were they on the reading from the night before, or two nights before?)

Homework on topic due before its lecture ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843193)

Back in the early 1990s, I had a high school math teacher who would assign the homework *before* she taught the lesson. You were expected to read the chapter, try to do the homework, and then she'd answer any questions that you might have the next day in class. You then had another night to correct whatever you needed before the homework was due. (and then start your reading for the next day's class).

My second year calculus professor did something similar, except that the homework on a topic was collected before his lecture, no turn ins once the lecture begins. We had to read appropriate sections, figure it out on our own well enough to do the homework, do the homework and then in the professor's opinion we were "qualified" to hear his lecture. Needless to say when this was announced on day 1 half the class dropped. I stuck with it, my job made this my only open time slot.

As difficult as it was I have to admit that the professor's method worked. I took the rest of the series of classes with this professor. I learned more in 2nd year with him than in 1st year with more traditional professors.

Re:Something similar in high school ... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843269)

My college calculus coursed did essentially the same thing. The last half hour a each class was presenting an intro to the new topic, homework and reading were assigned, the first hour of the next class was on clarification, answering questions, going through especially difficult problems from the take home work. Then the last half hour introduced the next topic.

It worked wonderfully with my learning style, if you understood the intro well enough and could handle the work without doing the reading you didn't have to worry much about it. It's also an obvious and effective way of making sure you focus on the parts of the material that are actually difficult for the students to understand. If a 30 minute lecture and textbook reading can get people comfortable with problems 1-5 and 7-10 that they don't have questions about them it's probably better to focus most of the remaining hour on problem 6.

Just 5%? Hawthorne Effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842609)

OK so this is a more radical behavioural conditions change than Hawthorne tested, but still...

5% (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842615)

Is that 5% increase additive or multiplicative? An average of 70 going to a 75 vs an average of 70 going to 73.5.

I suppose you could argue that they are close enough not to matter, but I am still curious.

Re:5% (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842983)

Is that 5% increase additive or multiplicative?

I don't know, the dog ate my videotape.

Re:5% (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843003)

Given that exam scores are already percentages, usually percentages of them are discussed additively. The same can be said of most other surveys that incorporate comparisons between percentages, unless there's some election-trail-level obfuscation going on.

Re:5% (1)

blueg3 (192743) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843633)

If they're being correct, which they may not be, then 5% is multiplicative. Percent changes are always multiplicative. If you're talking about additive changes, the term is "percentage points".

Unfortunately, lazy speaking sometimes causes people to say "percent" when they mean "percentage points".

Re: 5% (1)

jxander (2605655) | 1 year,2 days | (#44844091)

I would guess additive. If only to make a better headline.

Given your example, they could call it a 3.5 or 5% increase and be factually accurate. Why not opt for the better-sounding one?

Sounds like law school. (4, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842647)

That's basically the socratic method (still beloved in law schools). You go read the assignments, then come in and the teacher just asks the class questions / walks them through a case. When the class is confused or stupid (we all are sometimes) the teacher lectures on the finer points. Since the text is the primary lecturer, the teacher's role is just to know then law (best if they have their own opinions which are slightly skewed from the text's view) and to plan out a series of readings in the syllabus - not too much work.

Now.. the only problem is most lawyers I know (myself included) felt like we didn't actually /learn/ much in law school - that's what the barbri courses were for - to cram the law down your throat as hard and fast as possible. Law school mostly teaches how to think like a lawyer (break down a set of facts or statements into its component parts, look for inconsistencies, apply past conclusions of law to a present set of facts, etc).

I wonder how this works for, say, history.

Re:Sounds like law school. (2)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842791)

The thing about the Socratic method is that it requires instructors to be able to understand and shape the way a class is going to move if there is a specific topic's learning to be achieved. This requires the instructor to have resources, an expansive knowledge to prevent endless lack of answers, and a body of students who actually wish to get something out of the class. Not an easy recipe in many schools.

Re:Sounds like law school. (2)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842893)

Yes - the teacher has to know what they're talking about and the students have to want to learn. Motivation and qualification are an obstacle to any system.

and business school ... (2)

perpenso (1613749) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843263)

That's basically the socratic method (still beloved in law schools) ... I wonder how this works for, say, history.

It works well in business school too, at least for micro and macro economics and some strategy classes.

As a computer science undergraduate who was also a history geek taking a history class every quarter for fun I would speculate that it would work well in history as well. The book and lectures can go into the facts and provide some background to the environment that events took place in. The lectures could focus on discussions as to why the various players made the decisions that they did, what influenced them, ... Those were the sort of discussion I really loved.

Re:Sounds like law school. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843785)

I can't say about history, but sounds an awful lot like engineering.

Start 'em young ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842653)

At home, before class, students watched brief lecture modules

Yes, we should get all of our students used to unpaid overtime now.

Instead of relying on a teacher to teach the material, we'll ask them to learn it on their own.

Really, what fraction of students are going to watch a video of a lecture (ecch, sounds horrible) outside of school hours?

Re:Start 'em young ... (2)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842741)

The key is, there's no reason to watch the video. Go to class and learn from the questions asked. What would be even more valuable is, instead of cramming 1 hour of lecture into each hour of class, take the first ten or fifteen minutes going over basics, and have the students discuss/ask/analyse what they have just been taught. Provide supplemental material for those who want to know more.

The most fatal flaw in most homework is that it assumes the student will understand the material sufficiently without someone to ask questions, and then expects them to turn it in for a grade following the push for completion without understanding.

One of my maths professors understood this, and would teach a subject, send us home with the homework, and start the next class day with the opportunity to ask questions about what was not understood. The actual homework was not due until two days later. Great method in comparison to what I have seen in most homework systems. I chose to take another maths class from him as a result of my positive experience in my first class with him.

Re:Start 'em young ... (1)

afidel (530433) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842815)

Uh, in college the expectation is 2 hours out of class for every hour in class if you want to do well, expecting to just show up for lecture and do well is a sure way to fail.

Re:Start 'em young ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842899)

I do it all the time on the Internet, occasionally skipping actual work to do so.

Re:Start 'em young ... (2)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842969)

we'll ask them to learn it on their own.

And . . .?

That's basically just admitting the truth that teachers cannot teach anything beyond a basic level of knowledge. At some point in life - before college level courses - you have to either accept that you are responsible for your own education, or put up with a hap-hazard and shoddy education. Isn't that what defines the meritocratic system - you earn your place in life by putting in the time and /effort/ to push above the rest.

This may be a philosophical difference - but I have no problem _at_all_ telling a student that they are responsible for their own education.

Re:Start 'em young ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843701)

"but I have no problem _at_all_ telling a student that they are responsible for their own education"

Then what the fuck are they paying you for? Where does their tuition go?

Professors are just providing a paid service like electricians, bankers, lawyers, etc. The students are the customer.

You have no problem telling your customers - after theyve paid thousands - to educate themselves?

Re:Start 'em young ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44844107)

This attitude is why university is now broken.

Re:Start 'em young ... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843053)

In order to get full marks in the flipped courses at my university, you have to watch the videos online (having logged into an account to do so) and answer questions that pop up at set points throughout the video to show you're paying attention. Considering that giving marks for attendance is a proven method of getting students to show up, it's safe to say any undergrad not destined to wash out by Christmas would kick themselves for failing to try.

In use now (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842663)

My son is taking Algebra II class in college that is using this method. So far, so good. He says that being able to watch the lecture, then go into class to ask the instructor questions relating to the lecture and the homework is like having a tutor.

I don't know how well it would work for more "not centric" classes, though.

Re: In use now (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843469)

What kind of college takes students that haven't mastered algebra? Don't you learn that when you're 12?

5%? (5, Insightful)

harvestsun (2948641) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842667)

I don't know what the standard deviation of exam scores is, but a 5 percent improvement over 3 data points HARDLY seems statistically significant.

Re:5%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842771)

It is significant to the poor sap going form 57% to 62%.

Or the the Asian who goes from 87% to 92%

Re:5%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843223)

not being any worse than existing methods, combined with student preference, means better engagement without losing quality.

if you want to shit all over the idea for not being better, you need to find a new angle.

Only downside, parent backlash (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842685)

In my experience, the only downside to "flipping" a classroom is parent backlash. With a flipped classroom, the kids watch 10-15 minute videos and, to the parents, this is the kid just spending more time in front of an idiot box and don't really interact with the parents.

With a normal classroom, you lecture in class and then give the kids problems to do at home. Even if the parent has no idea what they are doing and "helps" the kids by making mistakes, undermines your lesson, etc., they still feel like they are spending "quality" time with their kids. This anecdote persists even though studies show kids spend either almost zero time on the work to get to the fun stuff OR they spend twice as long trying to do it because their support system doesn't know either and has to teach themselves first.

The funny thing is, with attentive parents, this actually helps because the parents can watch the videos with the kids and, when a big project comes, they actually can help them at home because they learned the basics when the kid did or are able to go back and watch the pertinent lecture.

Re: Only downside, parent backlash (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842955)

Hear that? That's right, it's the sound of none of the parents of Pharm.D. students backlashing.

Re: Only downside, parent backlash (1)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843037)

That's mostly because they didn't start getting the sweet sweet medications they expected to flow immediately.

Re:Only downside, parent backlash (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843077)

The lectures are a whole hour long and take up the same amount of time that would normally be spent doing homework at home. By undergrad most students either live on their own or are preparing to, and they generally aren't so tied to their parents. Keep in mind these students are considered legal adults in most jurisdictions. You describe a crazy, strange world of high school and elementary school norms, not college.

Re:Only downside, parent backlash (1)

EvanED (569694) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843117)

To be fair, you get some student backlash too. Incorporating active learning techniques -- where the student has to do some work in the classroom as opposed to just listening -- into the classroom has been shown time and time again to improve long-term retention of materials, and yet if you do it as a teacher your student ratings will drop.

Why? Because "you're not teaching me" and "I had to do everything myself!", as if teachers have a magic hammer with which to pound the knowledge into students' brains.

Re:Only downside, parent backlash (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843311)

For what it's worth, from TFA:

While 75 percent of students in 2012 said, before Mumper’s class, that they preferred lectures, almost 90 percent of students said they preferred the flipped model after the class.

So it looks like the backlash is relatively minor.

Re:Only downside, parent backlash (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843605)

I understand that I am describing the norms of younger kids, but that is the point. My wife and I are both educators (at the 4-6 and collegiate level, respectively) who both use flipping. And, as I said, the only downside is parent backlash. She gets parents yelling about eating into their "quality time" with the students; I get helicopters calling or coming into my office telling me that I am wasting their or their kid's money. Yeah, like we are going to ignore evidence-based educational principles to instead listen to parents who couldn't even give me a 101 definition of my field or, in my wife's case, literally can't divide or spell "education."

Re:Only downside, parent backlash (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843829)

It's a university class... if there is parent backlash... well, fuck, who cares? They're adults. Is there cousin backlash as well? Or pet dog backlash?

welcome to different but the same (2)

holophrastic (221104) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842713)

sure it's a 5% improvement. having one class that's fundamentally different than all the others is a memory aid. of course.

but honestly, if all of your courses -- I had 7 at a time -- had an hour lecture for me to watch at home, would you watch 7 hours of lecture videos on your own? with no ability to interupt and ask for a clarification?

this just totally removes any concept of humans teaching humans. now it's about students learning on their own, and being corrected by teachers. sure it'll work, that's how business management and supervision works. it requires dedicated devotion. it's not something that students have any interest in doing.

if you're not going to teach me, I was always able to learn on my own. I never needed you to supervise the learning process.

Re:welcome to different but the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843543)

Nope. You're wholly incorrect. 1) That's not how it works - if you're given a 1hr flipped lecture than that professor failed. 2) The teacher is putting A LOT more work into teaching you. Those videos take a long time to make. They are tailored to your specific class and they are updated regularly. 3) They check if you watch them, so you will or there will be consequences. 4) Your teacher will be helping you to do the actual learning part. It's not just an information dump. A lecture is often just a dump of information. Active and participatory learning works better as shown in many many studies.

Re:welcome to different but the same (1)

holophrastic (221104) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843759)

Again, it works better BECAUSE it's not common. It falls apart when it becomes common. It's like left-handed athletes -- the dominant minority effect.

I don't care how much work they are doing to create the videos. If they aren't around when I'm working with it, then they aren't the one teaching me. It's that simple.

I don't need to pay whatever tuition (plus general taxes), to learn from a recording. The value in those funds is to have the human being there so I can interupt at any moment. Otherwise, I'm comparing the value of the recordings to the value of me just learning alone in a library. When it's me alone, I'm not willing to pay nearly as much. And that's the case here. I simply don't value learning alone. It's not fun. I pay for fun.

Re:welcome to different but the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843603)

If they are just videotaping the lecture they are doing it wrong! The lecture should be broken up into segments based on a single topic per video (anywhere from 3-10 minutes) or it should be a longer video broken up by questions the students have to answer. This leads to *much* better retention. The class time should be spent asking questions, having discussions, and working hands-on whenever possible with the teacher as the guide.

Re:welcome to different but the same (1)

holophrastic (221104) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843783)

Doesn't make any different to the value calculation. If I'm alone in a room, it's not fun. I'm not willing to pay for not fun. I can learn in a library all by myself at any time. It's worth the same dollar-fifty that it always was. I don't want to ask questions three days later. I want to ask questions when the question presents itself. You expect me to keep a list of questions for tomorrow's class? And then what, run through them one-by-one? And then, re-watch the video again?

Value isn't determined by results. That's what most people don't understand. Value is determined by the ease with which the results are attainable. That's very different.

Twice as much work for instructor, 5% benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842751)

The class format sounds interesting, but posting weekly video lectures means a ton of preparation time for the instructor. Add to that the in-class preparation time, and it looks like a lot more work.

Re:Twice as much work for instructor, 5% benefit? (1)

Sky-217 (44374) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842949)

posting weekly video lectures means a ton of preparation time for the instructor.

Hopefully they can reuse the videos for multiple classes.

Re:Twice as much work for instructor, 5% benefit? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843091)

That's the key. Make 'em once, and afterwards it's just quizzing and homework help. It's generally less work for the profs and TAs, especially since the students can re-watch parts of the videos at will. (You might be surprised at how many professors still won't let students record their lectures.)

Different learning styles (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44842757)

It's like the pair programming debate. Some thrive under that setup, others will change companies to avoid it.

It should be noted... (5, Interesting)

Alomex (148003) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842783)

It should be noted that studies have consistently shown that pretty much any change in methodology leads to higher marks the first time is tested, as students place extra effort on the face of an unknown teaching technique. The challenge is to produce gains that are lasting, once the students have gotten used to taking classes this way.

Re:It should be noted... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,2 days | (#44844263)

Well test score will never improve overall, as they are all bell curved to be the same year after year.

What about the post theory classroom (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842785)

where you learn more hands on with skills that you need to do your job.

Case method (2)

quarterbuck (1268694) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842811)

This is exactly how the case method used in many business schools (notably Harvard) works.
There is a case assigned for each class and students read/watch videos related to the class. They formulate a solution to the problem. In class the group discusses it or listens to a lecture from someone who actually worked in the company in the case or is involved directly with the issue.
Often the class arrives at a solution together which is very different from what they had thought before they came to the class.Some stick to their original opinion. etc.
This works great for problems in business or in engineering design where there is no single ideal solution. If you have to design a sailboat to race , you have multiple choices, catamaran, windsails, mutiple sails etc. If each student designs his/her own ideal boat and an actual boat designer who actually built a boat for racing tells you why this would/ would not work, it approximates on the job training.

Ugh (5, Informative)

tambo (310170) | 1 year,2 days | (#44842877)

I'm currently three weeks into a Physics class that's modeled on this concept. Let me tell you what it's like.

In theory: Students review the lecture material on their own time. In class, the instructor presents some Physics problems on the topic. The students work through them together in teams and learn from each other, and the instructor reviews each team's work to help them get past sticking points.

In practice: I review the lecture material on my own time. My classmates do not. They show up largely unprepared, and when presented with a basic problem, simply stare at it until someone else explains the entire problem to them. Typically, that means that I end up teaching my classmates Physics, and then showing them how I solved each of the problems. I need to do that, because a significant part of my grade is based on the performance of my team - i.e., the average of individual quiz scores of the members of my team.

The instructor routinely harangues students to come to class prepared, and is assigning increasing amounts of busywork to be performed outside of class to ensure that work is being done.

So for me - a very reliable self-starter and independent studier - this class model means that in addition to learning all of the material on my own, I also have to (1) spend several hours in class teaching the material to my classmates, (2) have my grade dragged down by my team members' poor performance, and (3) have to complete additional work outside of class to prove that I'm keeping up. In other words, of the 10+ hours a week that this class is requiring, LESS THAN HALF is spent learning the material and honing skills; the rest (including the 4+ hours of class time) is simply wasted, thanks to this poorly implemented learning model.

Re:Ugh (2)

penguinbroker (1000903) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843057)

Flipping the classroom and making you work in teams are completely different things.

Re:Ugh (1)

g01d4 (888748) | 1 year,2 days | (#44844363)

That's true, but if the his team members don't cover the material it still means that flipping isn't working whether he's instructing them the next day or wasting his time while the instructor goes over the basics they were suppose to cover.

Re:Ugh (2)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843103)

Sounds like a job to me. Good motivation for being picky about your employer down the road - what you describe is the dominant condition in the workplace. The hard workers support the rest - management gets in the way - and you pay for everyone else's mistakes. See also, Congress of the United States.

Re:Ugh (3, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843165)

It seems to me you have only learned half the lesson this method of pedagogy is meant to teach. Why don't you find the other well-prepared and conscientious students in your class, work with them, and shut out the losers?

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843429)

What makes you think you're allowed to choose your own group in such classes? Having been through several such classes not one professor allowed self-selected groups.

Re:Ugh (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843719)

I know college has dumbed down a lot since I went (meaning no offense to the hard-working students who suffer as a result), but it is still not high school. A reasonable professor will listen to you if you request students be allowed to self-organize. Especially if the five or ten best students in class make the request at once. A reasonable professor is probably looking for ways to motivate the leeches to do their own work, and may welcome my suggestion.

If the professor does not listen, and cannot justify why the hard-working students are better off under the current system, then it's time to talk to the dean and/or transfer to a university where excellence is promoted rather than mediocrity.

In the professional world, I have found that competent employees are always willing to help mentor someone who pulls his own weight, but will leave a leech to fail alone.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843251)

You are ready for the real world. Where you go out, get a job, pay taxes, spend all day away from home and your family while your neighbor gets the EBT card, cell phone assistance, subsidised housing, free bus passes, and everything else they could possibly need given to them while they spend all day watching TV. Then you get home at the end of the day to see news stories about how evil you are for being able to take care of yourself and you should be paying more in taxes because your neighbor is in poverty because of the evil corporation you work at.

Not only are you learning physics, you are learning how it works in the real world. Hint: Don't complain about it too much or people will start calling you a racist or right wing extremist.

Re:Ugh (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843349)

You could try moving out of the ghetto so your neighbor has a job, too.

Re:Ugh (1)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843767)

He'd have to get a job somewhere other than Walmart for that - which would require more education - which is evil, natch.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843331)

Q: How many cooperative learning students does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: One, but four get credit.

(Learned that many years ago in High School when grouped together with less competent students in required common classes)

Re:Ugh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843335)

The easy solution to that problem is to have quizes at the start of class. The quizes can be extremely easy, and they don't have to be every day, but they'll get everyone to start watching. I've seen a class go from no one reading to 90% reading when the teacher instituted quizes like that half-way through.

Re:Ugh (4, Insightful)

mrvan (973822) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843399)

You should actually be very happy with this situation (except maybe the grading part - I'm an assistant prof. myself and I detest group-based grades, but for budgetary/policy reasons cannot always avoid them).

The absolutely best way to learn about a topic is to instruct people. By teaching your teammates the subject matter you are engaging with it in a much more intensive way than if you just learn and practice yourself. Explaining something requires a deeper and more complete understanding and responding to questions, even questions that seem stupid to you, forces you to express (and hence explicate) thoughts and connections that you understood already, but probably mainly implicitly. Add the nearby professor for the cases where you can't explain it and you are receiving an excellent education. As a professor, getting the top-tier students to explain the material to the rest is a job very well done.

(That said, I sympathize with your frustration at other students not putting enough effort into it, and I don't want to say that it is a good thing, just that it will also have good effects...)

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843425)

This is the standard case for most colleges. However, West Point has been using this approach for about 200 years, just no videos - or at least there didn't used to be - only the textbook to work from. Still remember walking into Math class, and wondering whether it was going to be "Take boards" or "Stagger desks" for a quiz to show what you learned.

The reason it actually works at West Point is that unlike other colleges, students have different choices about whether to study or not. Instead of "study" or "beer" the choice is "study for an hour or so" or "march around the area for 4 hours for coming to class unprepared". Once everyone can motivate that way, the method will work well.

Re:Ugh (1)

BForrester (946915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843477)

You're being prepped for the real world.

In all seriousness, your impressions of the flipped/inverted model as a student are the same as mine as a professor. There are classes in which this can be very effective, but it relies very strongly on the motivation, work ethic, and time management skills of the students involved.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843731)

Another alternative is to have the quizzes before class - on Blackboard, Moodle, etc - and for the quizzes to constitute a significant part of the grade ...

A side effect of your difficulties, however, is that you will probably ace the course - "tutoring" someone really cements ones own knowledge ...

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843777)

It sounds like you are well prepared to enter the working world. It operates the same way.

Re:Ugh (2)

AmericaRunsOnDunkin (1838512) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843899)

Count your blessings. You never understand the material half as well as you think you do until you have to explain it to someone else. And yes, I've been through the exact same thing.

You have to reevaluate your goals (3, Insightful)

prefec2 (875483) | 1 year,2 days | (#44844235)

Like other pointed out, group learning and flipped classroom are two different things. But now to my point. You think, you could learn material just by consuming and memorizing them. This is often thought by students just out of high school, sometime even with older students. However, this is bullshit. Learning anything is not to memorize the stuff, but to understand it. One very effective method is to teach other people. Their questions, question your knowledge and your grasp of the topic. By that you have to think about it in different angles. In most cases you learn a lot from that process.

In your special university, the material to learn and the homework might only designed to test your ability to memorize the stuff. In that case, you might think that the extra work does not add up, but for any later work as a scientist or in industry, true understanding is necessary. In short a book cannot solve problems only an educated person can.

No homework (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843015)

I grew up in Houston and Corpus Christi. They never gave homework, said they didn't believe in it. When I moved to Dallas, we always got homework. I couldn't believe it! Here we had been in school for 8 hours and now we were supposed to spend several more hours doing homework? Most people were only required to work 8 hours a day is the way I used to look at it. I guess you can tell what kind of student I was. Barely got through lower schools, went to college 4 years, didn't graduate. But ended up a software engineer, thanks to a real opportunity company - Southland Corp.
And didn't I read recently an article recently showing how homework is worthless?

Re:No homework (1)

GodInHell (258915) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843781)

Cite your source? Or would that be homework?

Re:No homework (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44844117)

I was the same way in high school. No fucking way would I do homework. That was for the idiots who were too stupid to be able to finish during class. I had classes that would deliberately assign work just to do at home - that went in the trash and rightfully so.

College was different - I was paying to be there, not being forced by law to be there. But even so, most of college is just figuring out what the prof/TA wants to hear and telling them that so you can get the piece of paper and get the fuck out and finally be amongst adults. Learning is something I had to do on my own time between work and school.

I must be old (1)

cowdung (702933) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843181)

I much prefer just listening to a lecture in class, and then doing the work at home. Working in class is a pain.. and I certainly don't find much benefit in working with classmates usually.

We tried this... (2)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843201)

And the problem was that a few lazy/slow students would end up stalling the entire class. So for example, if the material covered eigenvectors in linear algebra, and the student was supposed to know what they are and try the homework before the class. There were always a few bad apples that would come in, claim they couldn't understand any of the material, and force the instructor to walk them through the lecture again. And you couldn't just tell the students to RTFM.

So it basically became a case where the good students were hearing the same thing twice over, and couldn't get help with the tougher material (because the easy questions were taking a lot of time to cover). If the teacher skipped the easy problems, the lazy students would complain and whine.

In the typical scenario, all students heard the same material once (in class), and the lazy students would struggle with the homework (or mooch off the better students) while the good students would do well. In the end, it basically came down to the smart students helping the slower ones with the easy problems, so that the class could focus on the tough problems.

Exceptional teachers. (1)

chalsall (185) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843405)

In mid-grade school I had a particularly exceptional and progressive teacher who ran experiments like this (Canada)...

Rather than the regular curriculum delivery, each student had a filing box where the entire year's assignments where defined on cards (with references to what pages in what textbooks should be read). The students were allowed to do them as quickly they wished. Once an assignment was completed the card (and the results) were placed back in the box for the teacher to review, grade, and comment on (if needed).

There were almost no "lectures" (read: the teacher standing in front of the classroom talking to the utter boredom of most of the students). In fact, the classroom was broken up into various different areas with partitions upon which the students could stick things -- drawings, notes, etc. There wasn't even line-of-sight from most of the classroom to the blackboard!

Instead, each morning there was a "class meeting" in a common area (with a blackboard) where everyone got to share where they were in their "program", and ask questions or make comments (if they were comfortable doing so). Once a week each student would have a one-on-one "meeting" with the teacher to review progress.

Any student could request additional meetings with the teacher at any time if they were having difficulty with a subject. Often the teacher would then ask a stronger student in a subject to help a weaker student. I was often asked to help in (simple) Maths and (simple) Science. I was often helped in just about all other subjects, like English, Social Studies, etc...

It is interesting how memory works... I had largely forgotten about this exceptional learning environment and experience until this article jogged my memory.

I must try to thank the teacher. He was clearly ahead of his time....

Arrogance (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843541)

Only the arrogant idiot who thinks that he is smarter than the instructors believe that lectures are worthless. Or maybe I just went to a school where people actually took classes because they were challenging, not because they were easy A's. University is probably the only opportunity that most of us will have to try to glean some of the brilliance of the top researchers in their fields. Why would you want to throw away any minute of lecture?

Flipping the paradigm rubrics (1)

supercrisp (936036) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843567)

So, let me get this straight: you assign students some homework and then have them discuss the material in class? Holy cow, these folks really are standing education on its head!

More Time = Better Grades (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44843585)

If a student actually follows through with this then they usually end up spending more time with the material. (Out of class lectures + in class work + out of class work). So maybe the increase in grades is not that amazing.

...but on a computer! (2)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843721)

In almost all of my university courses there was an expectation that the student would come to lecture having already read the relevant chapters of the textbook. Generally the professor did not rely on the students actually having done so, but this is essentially the same thing just using a different medium.

Atlantic and the Kaplan Test Prep (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | 1 year,2 days | (#44843895)

Atlantic's article has some big flaws. The issue with what you want out of a classroom depends on the criteria. If your goal is to charge as much as possible for students who will fail to obtain degrees, while increasing the size and salaries of administrations, then yes, having minimum wage adjuncts teaching everything and reducing tenured teachers is great.

If your goal is to have the maximum percentage of your students actually finish their degrees, then it's a very bad plan. And The Atlantic is hardly an objective party in this discussion. They have a vested interest in online, for-profit education replacing the model of universities as centers of academic excellence and research. It's basically the "school reform" argument transferred to higher education.

Think about the professors that had the greatest impact on you as a person and professionally. How many of them were tenured and how many were harried adjuncts teaching 8 courses per semester just to be able to afford to live?

The enormous growth in the cost of higher education has not been because professors are making too much money or because they've got too much job security.

Re:Atlantic and the Kaplan Test Prep (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44844281)

First and foremost - universities exist to teach students. Thats why they exist. "Research" is a secondary priority, the ultimate purpose of which is to get money for the university so that more students can be taught. It is not in any way the purpose of universities. As for "centers of academic excellence" - WTF is that exactly if not some weird social pretension?

not rocket science--unless you teach that... (1)

Jaegs (645749) | 1 year,2 days | (#44844373)

As an instructional designer, I don't know why so many people are surprised with this. If you spend more time interacting with your students, instead of teaching at them, they are bound to achieve more in the course.

I cannot find the article at the moment, but earlier this week I was reading about an instructor who, instead of lecturing, used edX's circuits MOOC in his course. He then goes on to state that instead of spending his time lecturing, he significantly increased the amount of time he spend corresponding with the students--in other words, he flipped the classroom. The result was a significant improvement in exam scores

As stated here before, this goes back to Socrates. Instead of lecturing at your students, telling them what to think, interact with them, question them, get to know them, etc.

Good teaching transcends modality and fad.

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