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Flipping the Instructional Focus - Presentation

More important than flipping in-person lectures for online lectures, professors need to consider how they can flip the instructional focus and emphasis learning ahead of teaching.

Key Recommendations

1. Use video of less than 10 minutes in duration to chunk content and maintain a high level of student engagement

Videos are a widely-used kind of resource for online learning. This paper presents an empirical study of how video production decisions affect student engagement in online educational videos. To our knowledge, ours is the largest-scale study of video engagement to date, using data from 6.9 million video watching sessions across four courses on the edX MOOC platform. We measure engagement by how long students are watching each video, and whether they attempt to answer post-video assessment problems.
Our main findings are that shorter videos are much more engaging, that informal talking-head videos are more engaging, that Khan-style tablet drawings are more engaging, that even high-quality pre-recorded classroom lectures might not make for engaging online videos, and that students engage differently with lecture and tutorial videos.

2. Use frequent quizzes or polls as formative assessment tools to support student learning

How Tests Make Us Smarter
Tests have a bad reputation in education circles these days: They take time, the critics say, put students under pressure and, in the case of standardized testing, crowd out other educational priorities. But the truth is that, used properly, testing as part of an educational routine provides an important tool not just to measure learning, but to promote it.

Grading college students on quizzes given at the beginning of every class, rather than on midterms or a final exam, increases both attendance and overall performance, scientists reported Wednesday.

3. Consider a flipped learning approach to enhance student engagement 

What's an inverted classroom? Just ask students in some University of Toronto computer science courses.
The teaching method flips traditional notions of classwork and homework so that students learn some of the course material through videos and readings at home and do what used to be homework in class with the help of their professor.

Get the lecture before you even arrive in class

Instead of a traditional three-hour lecture, the professor prepares online video lectures, slide shows of core content and quizzes for students to work on before class – hence the flip. Once in class, the professor reviews knowledge gaps revealed by the quizzes, leaves time for students to work together on problems and delivers the occasional short lecture to reinforce a concept.

Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too, Study Finds

Are your lectures droning on? Change it up every 10 minutes with more active teaching techniques and more students will succeed, researchers say. A new study finds that undergraduate students in classes with traditional stand-and-deliver lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes that use more stimulating, so-called active learning methods.

Flipped learning skepticism: Is flipped learning just self-teaching?

The flipped classroom does not automatically provide those sorts of outstanding learning experiences. What it provides is space and time for instructors to design learning activities and then carry them out, by relocating the transfer of information to outside the classroom. But then the instructor has the responsibility of using that space and time effectively.

A significantly greater number of students fail science, engineering and math courses that are taught lecture-style than fail in classes incorporating so-called active learning, according to the largest and most comprehensive analysis ever published of studies comparing lecturing to active learning in undergraduate education.

The Classroom Comes Alive
There’s growing awareness that post-secondary classrooms need to get with the times — and the march of technology — by embracing more interactive teaching methods that include a variety of learning styles.
Interactive learning, peer instruction and online educational tools are being hailed as methods for increasing retention rates and even bumping up grades by encouraging students to not only memorize new information but apply it.

Penn State University: Flipping the Classroom - Simply Speaking 

4. Don't fear MOOC's, focus on what we can learn from them

10 lessons learned from MOOCs
Fast-forward two years, and the predictions about the disruptive effect MOOCs would have on traditional colleges and universities have, so far, been overblown. But with two years of experience under their belts, MOOC providers and users are adjusting both their perceptions about online learning and the courses themselves. Here are 10 lessons they’ve learned.

Contact North. (2014). How to Make the Most of Blended Learning
Blended learning is a fast (if not the fastest) growing delivery and instructional design method in colleges and universities. As faculty, you can use blended learning to encourage more engaged and interactive learning for your students. After defining and outlining some of the benefits and challenges of blended learning, we offer examples of ways blended learning has been used effectively in colleges and universities in Ontario.

5. Use Bloom's Taxonomy when planning course activities to determine the degree to which students are engaged in higher-order thinking skills

Bloom's Taxonomy
Remembering: can the student recall or remember the information?
Define, duplicate, list, memorize, recall, repeat, reproduce state
Understanding: can the student explain ideas or concepts?
Classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase
Applying: can the student use the information in a new way?
Choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.
Analyzing: can the student distinguish between the different parts?
Appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
Evaluating: can the student justify a stand or decision?
Appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate
Creating: can the student create new product or point of view?
Assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, write.