Wednesday, October 24, 2012


So in an effort to be more reflective and really figure out how my flipped class is working for my kids, I had them do a google form for feedback that included some quick response questions and some place for more free form feedback as well.  My questions were:

  • How has the "flipped" classroom model worked for you so far this year? (Hate it, struggling, OK, Very well)
  • What part has worked or been a struggle for your? (Free response)
  • What changes in the classroom do you feel would be helpful on a day to day basis? (free response)
  • What changes do you need to make to help you in this class on a day to day basis? (free response)
  • Other comments
I had a couple of other questions about my biweekly grade, which is mainly there as a participation type grade that they begged for after 4 weeks.

We did this at the end of the first 9 weeks, which I think is a fair point.  In the first 3 weeks they hate flipclass because it is not what they are used to.  We are at the 25% point now, enough time to make big changes if needed, but far enough in to get a fair sample.

Out of 123 students the breakdown for the "flipped" question is:
  • Hate it 7/123  (5.69%)
  • Struggling 14/123 (11.38%)
  • OK 58/123     (47.15%)
  • Very Well  44/123 (35.77%)
I was pretty encouraged since I think any time you get about 80% buy in or at least non resistance that is a plus.  Even some of the hate it responses were not totally negative as what they really hated were things that were not totally integral to the flip class process.  This response to the what changes would help was illustrative:

  • A full lecture in class with personal help. Less use of edmodo at home. Having different ways to remember the difficult things easily, like rhymes or something.
What I found ironic here of course was that the whole point of flipping is to give more personal help, there just isn't the time to do both full on lecture and all of the personal help.

A few of the positive responses were:

  • "Even though I have a 'C' in this class, I always look forward to coming here. I definitely have to work in this class, but it doesn't feel like the work is too much. I've been in advanced classes for years, but this class is the only one that equally feels challenging and doable. This is also the only one where the teacher doesn't expect some stupidly ridiculous amounts of extra work in order to prove that we know how to do the exact same thing that was on the board two days ago. I guess I'm saying that the amount of work is more reasonable and realistic than most any of the advanced classes that I've ever had.  I don't really have anything negative to say about this class. The way you teach is very inspiring and I really wish other teachers would at least try to set up a teaching style that is at least similar to yours."
  • I like the fact that you can pause or go back because I know that during traditional lectures, I can't always get everything I need down in order to stay on top of what's being said to me because they're going to fast. I also like it because if there's a concept said that takes a minute for me to really grasp, I can pause it instead of having to hurry and write stuff down without hardly even thinking about it; I can mull it over without feeling rushed.
  • I like the more openness of the classroom and how it prepares us for a college atmosphere in a way of being more independent and junk like that.
This was my first really formal attempt to get feedback other than just a conversation in class and I really enjoyed it.  It highlighted a lot of flaws in my teaching this year that I knew I needed to fix and brought up some other things to examine as well.

  • Ton of requests for more discussion of the video topics in class.  I will admit that while I intend to do a Q&A session at the beginning of teach class I often get sidetracked or just jump right in to whatever fun activity we are doing.  I have felt this lack all year long and this gives me the right kick in the pants to really refocus.
  • Organization for the students- A lot of requests for calendar/scheduling. I use edmodo, which does a lot of this, but since I post videos well in advance (for Chemsitry at least) they sometimes aren't sure which one we are doing on a given day.  I plan on syncing a google calendar with them to assist in that.
  • Groups- Always a bane.  I have systems in place for groups and tend to switch up the groups on an almost daily or lesson basis.  I actually like the kids to choose their own groups, but I don't want the outliers to get left out, which is typically they case there.  But a request that was a good one is to allow them to stay in a group for a more static time.  That's absolutely valid and will start soon.
All in all, it was a good experience and will definitely bring about some needed changes in the classroom.  At the same time, it lets me know that the fundamentals of my system are working and helping students learn and build more of an independent learner habit.  


  1. What will the google calendar do that the edmodo calendar won't? Just allow them to subscribe via google cal or ical?

  2. To be honest, I'm not sure yet. But, I think some of the student issues is with the way stuff is put into Edmodo (my end). I am going to play with it and figure out in the next week.

  3. I'll look forward to hearing. My students just aren't keeping pace (many). I've switched the way I've put things into edmodo too. I've always numbered my assignments ch1: 1a, 1b, 1c etc. then repeat for other chapters. I started out using just textbook sections for the videos/notes.

    In ch 2 that became problematic because I had multiple videos for some sections. They struggled with 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3 all for 2.1, for example.

    Then in ch 3 I jumped around, so following the text didn't work. I numbered the videos 3-1, 3-2 etc. but it wasn't clear enough to them which videos went with which assignments and they didn't get the difference between textbook section 3.1 and video 3-1 which was on 3.2 or 3.3 or something.

    Ch 4 I got it worked out. I think. I just number the video/notes to match the assignments. 4a goes with 4a. Much smoother. If I have more than 1 video, I attach a number to the end. (which still bugs me, but seems okay so far...and they're usually optional/more examples so it seems okay.)