Used as a starter (Boarding Card) and plenary (Departure Pass)
I saw this idea on Twitter originally and like most of our resources it was amended to our students. The concept is simple the ‘Boarding Pass’ is given to students as they enter the classroom and are instructed to fill in their name and ‘One fact from last lesson’ the teacher then goes through some of the answers with students writing them on the board. G&T students and students that finish early are encouraged to write down a ‘key word’ from last lesson too. Again these are reviewed and shared on the board. This is a great way to link previous learning.
Lesson objectives/todays outcomes are then presented to the class by the teacher. Students are asked to digest this information and fill in an individual ‘target for todays lesson’ and ‘what level I aim to achieve’ these are kept by the student throughout the lesson.
At the end of the lesson students are asked to fill in the ‘Departure Card’ (which is eventually torn off via a perforate edge). Students write ‘One thing they have learnt’ and ‘What level did you achieve’ based on the learning in todays lesson. Students then love tearing off the Departure Card with the perforated edge and handing it to the teacher as they leave the lesson. The ‘Departure Card’ can then be used at the beginning of the next lesson again linking prior learning/showing progression and/or stuck in a work book. Questions can be changed to suit the lesson/subject I imagine it could be used in all subject areas it has worked particularly well in our schools MFL lessons too. This shows fantastic knowledge and understanding of a topic in an engaging yet simple method!
There are lots of different ideas about Flipping your classroom, see this TED talk for more. But essentially you provide your learners with resources and videos to allow them to ‘learn’ the material as homework and then build on this with skills in your classroom. Starting in September 2013, and as part of my MSc research, I have implemented my own interpretation of a flipped classroom with really interesting results. This post is a brief into to the research behind the flipped classroom and then I discuss how I have implemented it and the power of blogging to engage students outside of the classroom.
Flipped learning? Flipping mad?
Flipped learning is “…a form of blended learning that encompasses any use of technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing” where the instructor provides “an opportunity for academics to provide more personal feedback and assistance to students, but also to receive feedback from their students about the activities that they are undertaking and what they don’t yet understand.” (Wiley and Gardner, 2013).
Several papers have reported on the impact of ‘flipped learning’ on undergraduate psychology courses and suggested that there is a positive impact of this on students’ attitudes toward the class and instructors as well as on students’ performance in the class (Wilson, 2013). There are far too many technological changes to how we are teaching and learning to list here, but they all suggest that same fundamental question: How do students learn best? (Halpern, 2013) and the possibility the flipped learning could be a step forward should be considered.
Using videos to support students’ learning has attracted the attention of a large number of researchers (Young and Asensio, 2002) and a key concept within the idea of flipped learning is the use of new technologies to support learning; or as some would label: blended learning (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). To successfully implement the flipped classroom approach, a change is needed to the existing traditional teaching approach. These changes have been conceptualised by Hamdan et.al. (2013) into four important elements referred to as four Pillars of F-L-I-P. These four pillars stand for Flexible Environment, Learning Culture, Intentional Content, and Professional Educator.
An interesting comment from Wilson’s (2013) action research where she attempted to flip her classroom is that she suggests that what she implemented was not totally a flipped classroom:
Although I have attempted to ‘‘flip’’ my classroom, what I have achieved is really a half- or three-quarters flip. I have removed much, but not all, lecture content from the course. (pg. 197)
This raises the idea that a flipped classroom is a binary entity – it is either flipped with no teacher delivery of knowledge or it is not. This I disagree with. Flipped teaching is just another tool which teachers should embed into their lessons when and where appropriate. Especially at post-16 level it would be difficult (impossible?) to completely flip ones lessons and expect all learners to assimilate all of the knowledge of A Level outside of the class.
The Power of Blogging
For the best part of a decade I have been using blogs to stretch my students and have given several lectures, INSETS or workshops on the topic. This started with PsychBLOG in 2007 where I hoped to provide wider reading and current research for my students – now a site getting ~25,000 views a month. Moving on our department has had a blog and posted notes and extra tasks for the last four years with great success.
Blogging software is becoming more advanced with each day and now it takes nothing more than a few clicks to create your own part of the internet. There are really an infinite number of uses for blogs within the field of education: writing and collating new and relevant news for your students, giving students a summary of what was covered in that past week, leaving homework assignments, and so many others. Not only can you write your blog posts but students, other teachers and colleagues can comment on your writing and start discussions about what was raised.
There are many kinds of blogging software but the two most popular ones are WordPress and google’s Blogger. Both of these sites allow you to set up your own blog online and post articles or general musings through a web-based interface allowing access wherever you have the Internet. If used well blogs can provide to be a central part of teaching and independent learning, however, general rules of web etiquette still apply and all users need to be aware of this.
With this in mind, I decided that a blog would make an excellent platform for my flipped classroom…
My approach to flipped learning involved giving students a ‘task’ each week to compete which introduced the topic for the next week. This flipped task involved reading a chapter (a few pages) from their course reader, watching a video clip and completing a quick multiple-choice quiz (see the gallery for screenshots).
One reason the flipped experiment was so successful was the addition of the quiz each week. This ensured that I could monitor the completion of the tasks. It is also good to stand by the classroom door and know before the students arrive who has not completed their homework task. After a few weeks the students knew there was no escaping it.
Weekly flipped task to be completed before session.
Quiz that is attached to each weekly flipped task to monitor progress (and to monitor completion of task)
Flipped video attached to each weekly task to enrich and save time in class.
Resources for the following week published each week.
As well as the flipped tasks, each week I would publish the work that was going to be completed in class, the powerpoint and extension tasks on Jamie’s Flipped. I was surprised how many students actually read the articles, watched the videos or completed the extra tasks. Many commenting that they would do them on the bus on the way into college or while sat watching television.
At the first consultation evening of the year I canvased opinion as to my new approach and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive with students stating that they liked the format of the tasks, it was more ‘fun’ than usual homework, and that they found the lessons easier as they had an underlying knowledge about what was going to be covered. More than this it gave me more time in class to complete tasks and develop my students understanding of the content and experiment with other activities that I would not usually have had time for.
My experience of ‘flipping’ my classroom this year has been a really positive one and it is something that I will continue to develop and use in future years. As well as all the benefits of the flipped classroom my students know that all of their resources, homework and guidance is going to be ‘on flipped’. They know where to go if they miss a lesson to get the resources, and where to get extension exercises from when revising. It has required an investment of time – but nothing horrific – and now that I have the lessons for this year, as with everything in teaching, I can adapt and reuse these next year.
I have had loads of emails and tweets from people that would like to flip their classroom but don’t know where to start.
Here is a short (~15 minute) video that I have made that will take you from nothing to having a blog with your first flipped task containing text for your students to read, a document for them to download, a video for them to watch from youtube and a quiz to check their progress.
Here are links that I mention in the screen-cast:
resourcd.com – teacher resource sharing site resourcdblogs.com – where it all takes place wordpress.com / blogger.com / edublogs.com – other sites you can set up a blog
If you are considering flipped learning or just giving your students a different type of homework once in a while then this could be an excellent opportunity to experiment.
I could have spent hours talking about wordpress and all the ins-and-outs of it – so it might feel a little rushed. The best thing you can do it set yourself up a blog and spend an hour experimenting and seeing what you can achieve.
Although I have come across online text polls in the past, I hadn’t used them myself until last week in one of my lessons and came to the conclusion that they are more time and effort than they are worth – let me explain why…
The group of learners I used this with were Entry Level 3 and in a nutshell the objective of the session was to identify and demonstrate skills, qualities and values required when assisting at a sport and active leisure event.
So after providing learners with their personalised targets for the session I asked them to place their mobile phones on their desks. Out of the 12 learners in attendance, only 10 had a phone…already the task was not going to plan!..so, I paired the learners without phones with somebody with one.
I then provided the text number and opening question…”what skills are needed when helping to lead a sports event?”… Learners were allowed open ended answers and the premise was that the answers that were text to the number would appear on the smart board…what I didn’t realise until the time was that learners who didn’t have phone credit, could not participate…another two learners out of the task and requiring a partner. Those that did have credit began to text their answers and they started to appear on the board – great!
However, it soon became apparent that it wasn’t clear who was texting what answers (thus making it difficult to target questions to the learner concerned and also ensuring that all learners answered). Moreover the answers that came through were not just skills, but also qualities and values… Not such a bad thing, but in order to differentiate between the three areas I had to write everything on the white board (almost defeating the purpose of this e learning tool) and ask learners to dissect the information into the relevant categories.
So after almost 20 minutes and the disengagement of those without a phone/credit, I came to the conclusion that I could have provided the learners with a much more effective learning environment had I used ‘post-its’ or any other traditional strategy which allows all to be involved, whilst allowing me to see who answers.
Despite believing that there is room for e-learning in the classroom, I do feel that we need to ensure that whatever is chosen as a strategy is effective and not just used because the school/college has an e-learning agenda.
On the other hand, perhaps I approached text polls in the wrong fashion, so if you have used them with success, please share your comments.
I am only occasionally these days in front of a class and feel very lucky when I am because there’s technology involved and fun is instantly on the agenda. This week I was working with a class of P5/6 pupils on the topic of Olympic athletes. They had previously done some research on the internet and each had produced a word document with some facts and had added in a photo. This had been printed out and put up on the wall.
That made me a bit despondent. Part of my remit as Education ICT Officer is to help teachers embed ICT into all areas of the curriculum, to raise awareness of online, educational tools and resources as well as ensuring existing software on the school build is used to full effect. Looking at the word documents brought it home to me….I am not getting the message out to enough teachers and the pupils are missing out on the chance to build up much needed ICT skills.
We used ActivInpsire to create some flipcharts on the Olympic athlete they had previously selected. The first 20 minutes were spent practising using the tool box and discussing which tools would be useful when presenting their work to the class. (spotlight, screen, ticker tape, transluceny slide) I set them a test task to check their understanding of object layering and each pupil had to move round the class adding in something to everyone else’s flipchart. If someone was strugggling, the pupil who showed up to add to their flipchart could then help. I was part of the rotating group and so one of the stations ended was doing it on the interactive whiteboard.
By the end of the 90 minutes they had created great flipcharts with photos – (using the freehand camera tool), facts, quiz questions with answers hidden behind shapes/flags, embedded You Tube videos of the athletes using a TV image as the backdrop so you had to click on the On button to play the clip.
I lost 3 children at one point. They disappeared out the class to go show the next class what they were doing. I had forgotten how alert teachers have to be 100% of the time!
By saving to their own area of the server, I was able to use the teacher’s log in to bring up the flipcharts and share with the whole class from the teacher’s laptop. This was not a known option. It was an important thing for peer review, discussion and to practise presentation skills.
Summer rethink on sharing information with school staff especially those less confident with ICT…..
Recently I came across the whole idea of flipping the classroom. Like everything else in education although this idea has been around for a little while it is only now that I am hearing about it. I am pretty sure though that I am not alone in this! So time to share what I have found out about flipping the classroom.
A nice couple of videos will it explain it a lot better than I could ever do:
When I first came across this idea it was a bit of an EUREKA! moment. It seems to make perfect sense. Time for me to be with the kids in my higher group during class time on those difficult end of exercise questions that I would normally set for homework. However as ever the little warning bells start to ring and I started asking myself where is the evidence of it working. So started another search.
“Ultimately, in teaching, there is no one size fits all. You, as a teacher, must do what is best for YOUR set of students.“
So do I have the nerve to flip my classroom? Well not this year or next as I am away from the classroom out in secondment. I would love to give it a try though. I am attempting to incorporate some of the ideas into my role as an “Online Study Support” development officer but thats not really flipping more adapting. I would be really interested to know if anyone has attempted the flip or any further thoughts on this
Here is the latest film in the Technologies for Creative Learning series.
Animoto is a great web based application that produces videos from photos, video clips and music. For me it has excellent learning potential, and although this film uses mainly literary texts, I think that pupils creating their own films in almost any subject brings literacy alive – be it scientific, cultural, mathematical or indeed any other form of literacy. The point is that creating something new out of something learned is a powerful step towards deep understanding … I’ll let the film speak for itself …
Here are a couple of examples created during my own teaching …
A Case of Murder by Vernon Scannell
The Sick Rose by William Blake
The full collection of Technologies for Learning is on the Pedagoo blog here –
Over the last few weeks, I have been creating a series of films for Scottish Book Trust around emerging technologies for teaching and learning. Although unable to attend, or contribute to, the recent #edupic11 discussions, I hope the films below will add something to the debate: how to engage teachers in the creative uses of technologies in their every day teaching practice. The films are designed to give confidence, the sine qua non of any education revolution. The deeper the engagement, the more profound the change. I hope the Pedagoo community will appreciate having these films together in one place here. They can also be found on Vimeo and on YouTube.