Flipped learning is a different way of teaching, which involves the order that concepts are presented and tested being flipped on its head. Typically, the lecture material is presented to students before a contact session, so that ‘lectures’ are conducted outside of the classroom and the timetabled contact time is instead used for dealing with putting the concepts into practice and overcoming any problems that students encountered with the material.
David Nutt has been using learning capture for physical chemistry modules. To record his lectures, David uses a laptop with built-in webcam, an external microphone and software called Camtasia which links to Powerpoint. When using flipped learning, an hour-long lecture can be condensed into 20-40 minute equivalent bites. Students are asked to watch the video before the contact session. A significant advantage of using this approach is that students can watch, pause and replay material as and when they need to.
Alongside the video, slides used are available for students, and there is a short non-assessed online test, where the last question is open for students to voice any problems they experienced with the material. The online test can then inform the timetabled lecture, which is used to clear up those areas identified by the students themselves.
The flipped learning approach is currently being used in two modules, one 2nd year and one 4th year. The videos produced are re-recorded for each new academic year.
Stuart Morris is a lecturer in the Henley Business School who teaches entrepreneurship both at part 2 and part 4. His modules have been taught successfully using flipped learning for three years.
His course – practice of entrepreneurship – is a dynamic and interactive module, aimed at inspiring students and providing them with the entrepreneurial skill and confidence needed to put plans into action. Using the flipped classroom, Stuart notes that timetabled contact time can be turned into a workshop, allowing students to put new knowledge into practice and eradicate any potential problems they might be having.
Stuart records his lectures using a video camera and tripod in his office, and uses large sheets of paper posted up behind him to present the information, drawings, diagrams, etc. If any information is on the computer then Stuart simply records the screen and imparts his message, rather than using screen casting software. The lectures which are recorded in this manner are typically 15 to 20 minutes long. He says that if they lasted any longer, students’ attention would start to wane. This same limit has also been incorporated into the lectures that Stuart has not flipped .
As a large proportion of Stuart’s students have a learning difficulty or are non-native English speakers, he is looking to enhance the videos further by introducing subtitles. In addition Stuart is recording module introductions which are updated for each academic year alongside the core lectures.
Jane Setter is a lecturer in English language and applied linguistics. For the first time in 2013/4, she decided to flip her part two phonology module, which looks at phonetic and phonological patterning of speech sounds and suprasegmentals in English. This module in particular lends itself to the flipped classroom as it is scientific and factual in the information presented: theory can be easily presented outside of the lecture theatre and condensed into video segments, allowing physical contact time to be used for problem-solving sessions.
When Jane films the flipped lectures she uses a webcam, microphone and software called Camtasia, which links with Powerpoint. Each lecture is 15-20 minutes long and is uploaded to blackboard for students to access.
Jane notes that the flipped classroom was very successful, and students enjoyed the module. The undergraduate test results – which on average rose by 11% – have convinced her to continue t0 use the approach in subsequent years.
Although she may not immediately have time to develop the casts for the next academic year, Jane is thinking about producing supporting video material on basic phonetics for the module. These videos would be located on YouTube.