Marcos Sivitanides Texas State University-San Marcos
Jennifer Krou Texas State University-San Marcos
Abstract A substantial body of recent academic literature exists that deals with the topic of delivering “flipped classes,” instead of the traditional lecture classes that have served modern education for over a century. The flipped class is a 21st century teaching concept and practice since at its core it relies on delivering content to students reliably, quickly and on time via fast Internet connections.
The existing literature consists of guidelines and suggestions of what to do and what not to do and tries to identify the merits and pitfalls of delivering flipped classrooms. In brief, it is a method that does not fit all classes and subjects. We looked for a hands-on type class in which the student could use more classroom time but where in a traditional class the instructor cannot repeat examples because of the time limitation of a class meeting. We identified our “Intro to Microcomputer Applications” class and decided to teach 2 of 10 sections as “flipped classes.” In general each flipped class has the flexibility to be set up differently as long as the basic tenants are preserved. We set up our flipped classes in such a way that: (1) the students received the lecture on their own, outside of the classroom, by reading the book, by doing the book’s online hands-on lessons and by watching instructional videos we prepared for each topic. This way, the student was not limited to coming to class for only 80 minutes and if they failed to understand anything to have to figure it out on their own, or go seek help in the lab or go to the professor’s office hours and ask for help. The student can watch the instructional videos and repeat the online lessons until they achieve mastery of the material at their own pace. (2) After they receive the lesson outside the classroom then they come to class and complete the homework that is graded. Before they start doing the homework, the professor gives a brief overview of the material, takes a few questions and lets the students begin the homework using a simulator that will grade the homework as soon as the students submit their work and return their grade before they leave the classroom. The homework has been benchmarked and used by the editor and the simulator software developer, to be completed by a prepared student in 70% to 80% of the allotted time and the professor is present to help if anyone is genuinely “stuck.”
The classes last an entire 15 week semester from mid-January to early May. During the semester the professors take notes and observe the behavior of the students during class. Behavior such as talking, surfing the web, surfing their smart phones, texting and smart phone tending is noted and documented as much as possible. The objective is to make classroom time effective and efficient.
Recommended Citation: Sivitanides, M., Krou, J., (2017). Flipping a Class with Best Intentions. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2017) n.4461, Austin, Texas