The University of Stavanger started using itslearning thirteen years ago. Christina Finne has been working as a lecturer there for the past two years. She works in the Institute for Sports, Special Education & Teacher Education. She is also the Coordinator for Bachelor theses in Science & Methodology.
Christina finds that the traditional class setting – teachers lecturing to a room full of students – doesn’t do much to activate her pupils. Therefore, she uses a method called ‘flipping the classroom’. This entails providing instructional videos that students can watch online for homework.
She is currently using the flipped method in her class ‘The Study of Practice, Understanding & Action in the Face of Diversity’. She records her lectures, uploads them to Vimeo and links to them from her itslearning site.
Christina assigns tasks for students to perform on itslearning after they watch the videos, for example, joining online discussions and taking surveys. Christina reads the discussions and survey results and adjusts her teaching accordingly.
The students know they’ll be working in groups when they get back to class, so they have to prepare in advance. Christina explains, “This activates them and forces them to take more responsibility for their studies. It also allows me to function as a guide in the classroom, giving me time to provide one-on-one feedback.”
I asked Christina if flipping the classroom helps students who are struggling with the material. “Yes, very much,” she replied, “Many of the texts we deal with in this master’s course can be difficult to grasp, and students must work hard with the material. When we flip, the students can view the material several times, at their own pace, and take notes as needed. They have access to the material wherever and whenever they want.”
Here’s what a few of Christina’s students have to say about the Flipped Classroom method:
“This semester I really had to work hard. I didn’t just sit passively and listen to lectures, which was great!”
“It was valuable to work on assignments after viewing the video lectures. The freedom of being able to see the lectures when it suited me was terrific!”
Above is a screenshot of one of Christina’s lectures, embedded into itslearning.
Have you tried flipping your classroom? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.