Jump Starting Class Time by Flipping it!

This week’s #flipblogs topic asks “How has flipped learning improved you use of class time?”

For me, one huge win that comes from leveraging flipped learning techniques has been starting class ready to roll on a topic. We are prepared with questions and interesting ideas to explore, based on a topic that the students started learning about prior to class through a “WSQ” assignment*.

When students complete a WSQ assignment, they have written about the learning content that they engaged with (typically a video), and they have been required to ask a question related to it. The summaries often help to demonstrate their understanding (or not) of the topic. The question, however, is the real gold. 

The questions students ask as part of their WSQ assignments often reveal different things, many of which can be helpful as we kick off the next class by digging into the topic. 

Some of the questions reveal a misunderstanding of the content or some aspect of it. 

Some of the questions open up entirely new angles and ideas related to the topic.

Some of the questions force us to dig deeper and better illuminate and explore the topic.

Some of the questions lend an element of humor or fun to the topic.

Some of the questions totally surprise me.

So, we hit the ground running and jump right into the topic, picking up where they left off after they watched the video on the topic and engaged with it enough to write a summary and ask a question.

Compare this to the “old” model of starting class by lecturing about a topic while many students may ‘zone out’, and then trying to get a conversation going to dig deeper into the topic. Not only have we saved time, but we can use that time in a much richer way, clearing up misconceptions, scaffolding on the topic to build a deeper understanding of it, and applying this new knowledge in conversation and active class work. Talk about a “win-win”! 

*For those not familiar with the WSQ, this is a concept popularized by Crystal Kirch and it stands for “Watch, Summarize, Question”. Explore the WSQ further in this article by Crystal.

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