It was the age of flipped classrooms, it was the age of active learning. Here’s my story…
The week before, I asked my students to watch a video and take a test so that they could prepare for next class. My plan was to do a quick review of the material. Then, the students would work in teams on problems on the whiteboards with my supervision. Well, it did not go that way!
Half an hour before class, I logged into Moodle to see who did the tests. About 10 % of my students had actually given it a try! When I came into the classroom, I was ready to get mad at them but, you know, I’m getting old! I calmed down and then… I had a great idea.
I proposed two activities to the students. Those who felt able to solve the problems would form teams and work on the whiteboards while I give them feedback. The others would use their smartphone, their laptops or the computers available in the classroom to watch the videos and do the test afterwards. If they had questions, I would answer them. That’s exactly what happened. The students worked at their pace on a task of their choice. My role was simply to guide them and to give them feedback, whatever was necessary. I finally realized I was using the In-Class Flipped Classroom Model.
Of course, with this model, you lose one great advantage of the Flipped Classroom: you don’t gain time in class anymore! Though, the In-Class Flipped Classroom Model makes it easier to differentiate instruction. The students make a choice to solve problems or to watch a direct instruction video according to their needs. They can also choose what they will work on at home. May be I’m on to something! If I can propose different activities that meet the course objectives, with my help, the students can choose whatever fits their needs. That is why videos are so useful.
Every semester now, I do the same thing for this particular class. I assign the same work and I get the same result. For once, I am happy when the students don’t do as I ask!