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Flipping the syllabus

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Given at SIM University Faculty Learning Day (July 25 - 28, 2012)
Most courses are implicitly built upon a system of minimizing point losses, thereby placing an emphasis on what students do NOT know. Envision a system that instead puts the focus on demonstrated mastery of what students DO know. This presentation will share a positive point accrual system that has evolved into a very successful pedagogical approach adopted in various-sized classrooms. It is a particularly effective approach for very large classrooms (1000+) where individual student needs and scheduling can make a one-size-fits-all syllabus very impractical. This presentation shares a broad range of ideas for student demonstrations of mastery and work with participants to explore how this approach can be adapted to their particular domain and course characteristics.

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Flipping the syllabus

  1. 1. 3.Flipping the Syllabus Most courses are implicitly built upon a system of minimizing point losses, thereby placing an emphasis on what students do NOT know. Envision asystem that instead puts the focus on demonstrated mastery of what studentsDO know. Professor John Boyer and his technical assistant Katie Pritchard willshare their positive point accrual system that has evolved into a very successful pedagogical approach adopted in various sized classrooms. It is a particularly effective approach for very large classrooms (1000+) where individual studentneeds and scheduling can make a one-size-fits-all syllabus very impractical. They will share a broad range of ideas for student demonstrations of mastery and work with participants to explore how this approach can be adapted to their particular domain and course characteristics.
  2. 2. Flipping the SyllabusJohn Boyer (joboyer@vt.edu) Katie Pritchard (kpritcha@vt.edu)       Dept. of Geography Dept. of Geography Virginia Tech, United States Virginia Tech, United States
  3. 3. Flipping the SyllabusJohn Boyer (joboyer@vt.edu) Katie Pritchard (kpritcha@vt.edu)       Dept. of Geography Dept. of Geography Virginia Tech, United States Virginia Tech, United States
  4. 4. Job description:
  5. 5. Job description:-Core curriculum course
  6. 6. Job description:-Core curriculum course-Introductory subject of your choice
  7. 7. Job description:-Core curriculum course-Introductory subject of your choice-Freshman-oriented but open to all academic levels
  8. 8. Job description:-Core curriculum course-Introductory subject of your choice-Freshman-oriented but open to all academic levels-Enrollment will also contain students with a diversity ofacademic majors, motivations, and backgrounds
  9. 9. Job description:-Core curriculum course-Introductory subject of your choice-Freshman-oriented but open to all academic levels-Enrollment will also contain students with a diversity ofacademic majors, motivations, and backgrounds-You will be provided with some Teaching Assistant andTechnical Assistant support
  10. 10. Job description:-Core curriculum course-Introductory subject of your choice-Freshman-oriented but open to all academic levels-Enrollment will also contain students with a diversity ofacademic majors, motivations, and backgrounds-You will be provided with some Teaching Assistant andTechnical Assistant support...oh, and just one more detail...
  11. 11. ISSUES???
  12. 12. About our courseTitle: World Regions (Geography 1014)Students: 2750(of diverse origins, academic levels, and knowledge levels)Live Lecture: Monday 7pm-9:45pmOptional class movies show Tuesday or Wednesday at 7pm2 large screens set up - one with lecture and other withrotating regional slides
  13. 13. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy
  14. 14. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates
  15. 15. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates-We have adopted the opposite approach:
  16. 16. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates-We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments
  17. 17. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates-We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications
  18. 18. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates-We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all players
  19. 19. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates-We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all playersIn essence....
  20. 20. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates-We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all playersIn essence.... To evolve from a rigid, top-down, and highly structured format to a more decentralized, user- defined, and personalized experience for the learners.
  21. 21. Thus...
  22. 22. Thus...+Is learner-centered to allow students to engage andlearn in ways best suited for them
  23. 23. Thus...+Is learner-centered to allow students to engage andlearn in ways best suited for them +Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership,” and create class synergy beyond walls of classroom
  24. 24. Thus...+Is learner-centered to allow students to engage andlearn in ways best suited for them +Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership,” and create class synergy beyond walls of classroom +Incorporates social networking technologies to build community, engagement, and social presence in and out of the classroom.
  25. 25. Thus...+Is learner-centered to allow students to engage andlearn in ways best suited for them +Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership,” and create class synergy beyond walls of classroom +Incorporates social networking technologies to build community, engagement, and social presence in and out of the classroom. *Creates a positive feedback loop to empower students when it comes to assessment
  26. 26. Thus...+Is learner-centered to allow students to engage andlearn in ways best suited for them +Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership,” and create class synergy beyond walls of classroom +Incorporates social networking technologies to build community, engagement, and social presence in and out of the classroom. *Creates a positive feedback loop to empower students when it comes to assessment How?
  27. 27. Thus...+Is learner-centered to allow students to engage andlearn in ways best suited for them +Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership,” and create class synergy beyond walls of classroom +Incorporates social networking technologies to build community, engagement, and social presence in and out of the classroom. *Creates a positive feedback loop to empower students when it comes to assessment How? Flipping the Syllabus ....a reference to shifting the paradigm of coursework from the instructor to the student, in both options and ownership.
  28. 28. First, “Flipping the Classroom” concept A reversed teaching model that delivers instruction at homethrough interactive, teacher-created videos and moves “homework” to the classroom. Moving lectures outside of the classroom allows teachers to spend more 1:1 timewith each student. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and work through problems with the guidance of their teachers and the support of their peers - creating acollaborative learning environment.
  29. 29. www.plaidavenger.com
  30. 30. www.plaidavenger.com
  31. 31. Lectures also available on iTunes
  32. 32. Now, Flipping the Syllabus Development of multiple avenues of opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and performance, while accumulating points. At the end ofthe semester, the students’ points are tallied, based uponthe works completed, and a final grade is assigned based upon a predetermined, criterion-referenced scale.
  33. 33. Now, Flipping the Syllabus Development of multiple avenues of opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and performance, while accumulating points. At the end ofthe semester, the students’ points are tallied, based uponthe works completed, and a final grade is assigned based upon a predetermined, criterion-referenced scale.1)Logistically more feasible for large groups, workingprofessional students, and on-line classes that inevitably will bein multiple time zones
  34. 34. Now, Flipping the Syllabus Development of multiple avenues of opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and performance, while accumulating points. At the end ofthe semester, the students’ points are tallied, based uponthe works completed, and a final grade is assigned based upon a predetermined, criterion-referenced scale.1)Logistically more feasible for large groups, workingprofessional students, and on-line classes that inevitably will bein multiple time zones2)Focus on point accumulation rather than point deduction;positive versus negative reinforcement
  35. 35. Now, Flipping the Syllabus Development of multiple avenues of opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and performance, while accumulating points. At the end ofthe semester, the students’ points are tallied, based uponthe works completed, and a final grade is assigned based upon a predetermined, criterion-referenced scale.1)Logistically more feasible for large groups, workingprofessional students, and on-line classes that inevitably will bein multiple time zones2)Focus on point accumulation rather than point deduction;positive versus negative reinforcement3)Encourages individual expression/creativity and empowers theuser with choice
  36. 36. Our Flipped Syllabus Example
  37. 37. Diversity of student assessment options1)13 weekly quizzes x 30pts=400 (+10 for doing all 13)2)Midterm Exam=1253)Final Exam=1254)World Leaders Exam 50x2 =100 (+10 for dressing up)5)Films 10x15pts=150 (15pts each up to 150)6)Non-class events paper=25/each7)Atlas quizzes (11)=1108)Twitter Assignment=2009)Forum Commenting (14wks) =21010)Geographic Film Review=25/each11)Flash Quizzes=???12)Random Attendance=???13)Plaid Correspondents/Artists=??? Total: 1500+ ??? 1050 points = A, 950 points = B, etc.
  38. 38. The more conventional assessments: Midterm Exam Final Exam World Leader Exams
  39. 39. The more conventional assignments: International Film Viewings Geographic Film Review Write-up Outside Event Write-up
  40. 40. A word on our Film assignments.....
  41. 41. The more conventional assignments: International Film ViewingsGeographic Film Review Write-up Outside Event Write-up
  42. 42. The more flexible on-line assessments: Weekly Quizzes on readings Atlas Quizzes “Flash” Quizzes on Podcasts
  43. 43. The more flexible on-line assessments: Weekly Quizzes on readings Atlas Quizzes “Flash” Quizzes on Podcasts
  44. 44. The more flexible on-line assessments: Weekly Quizzes on readings Atlas Quizzes “Flash” Quizzes on Podcasts
  45. 45. The more flexible on-line assessments: Weekly Quizzes on readings Atlas Quizzes “Flash” Quizzes on Podcasts
  46. 46. The really experimental on-lineassignments incorporating social networking technologies: Twitter Forum Commenting Delicious/Storify News Aggregation “Flash” Quizzes on Podcasts
  47. 47. A word on our Twitter assignment.....http://twitter.com/#!/list/plaidavenger/ world-leaders
  48. 48. A word on our Forums assignment.....
  49. 49. A word on our Forums assignment.....
  50. 50. A word on our newest assignment: Delicious
  51. 51. “Flash” Quiz Mania!Blogs/Podcasts
  52. 52. “Flash” Quiz Mania!Blogs/Podcasts -continued dialogue
  53. 53. “Flash” Quiz Mania!Blogs/Podcasts -continued dialogue -expanded, tag- able, content
  54. 54. “Flash” Quiz Mania!Blogs/Podcasts -continued dialogue -expanded, tag- able, content My “wild card” that I play to trick them into learning more!
  55. 55. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:
  56. 56. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative
  57. 57. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different learning styles of thestudents
  58. 58. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different learning styles of thestudents-Maximum of flexibility to allow for best assessment option forthe student
  59. 59. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different learning styles of thestudents-Maximum of flexibility to allow for best assessment option forthe student-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different schedules of thestudents
  60. 60. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different learning styles of thestudents-Maximum of flexibility to allow for best assessment option forthe student-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different schedules of thestudents-Has a much more ‘real life’ component in terms of work placeethics and self-motivation
  61. 61. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different learning styles of thestudents-Maximum of flexibility to allow for best assessment option forthe student-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different schedules of thestudents-Has a much more ‘real life’ component in terms of work placeethics and self-motivation-Students are held to a MUCH higher degree ofaccountability...even more so than in their other ‘hard’ classes
  62. 62. PROS The benefits of using the flipped syllabus:-Positive reinforcement instead of negative-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different learning styles of thestudents-Maximum of flexibility to allow for best assessment option forthe student-Maximum of flexibility to facilitate different schedules of thestudents-Has a much more ‘real life’ component in terms of work placeethics and self-motivation-Students are held to a MUCH higher degree ofaccountability...even more so than in their other ‘hard’ classes-No excuses, no re-scheduling, no ‘extra credit’, no one to blame
  63. 63. CONS But it ain’t all pretty... ...the cons of using the flipped syllabus:-Cultural lag: students have been trained to behave acertain way, and change is sometimes difficult-Many students will procrastinate, and this system doesnot allow for that-Constant reminders and reinforcing are not justdesirable, but almost required (which does becometime intensive, and can irritate good students)
  64. 64. ETC What we have learned, how we are adapting-A ‘contract’ approach will be implemented at beginning ofsemester-A mandatory ‘quiz’ on the syllabus will be implemented atthe beginning of the semester-Automated reminders about due dates, assignments, andhow many points they should have by certain dates*Instructor/student interactivity is a vital component-You have to ‘fine tune’ the point values to guide students tobuild a strong and diverse portfolio-It’s a lot of work, but student response has beenoverwhelmingly positive
  65. 65. READY TO FLIP?
  66. 66. READY TO FLIP?QUESTIONS?
  67. 67. READY TO FLIP?QUESTIONS?

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