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The Inverted Classroom

Classroom Chairs 2

Check out the recent post by Shafeen Charania, on his blog Synthesis. He talks about the innovative work of our own MDC Steering Committee member, Glenn Platt. Back in 2000, Glenn and his colleague Maureen Lage, published work describing the the concept of the inverted classroom, where students view video lectures on their own time, and during valuable class time they engage in application activities. Quoting from Shafeen’s post:

“Have you heard of Professor Glenn Platt at Miami University? He along with Prof. Maureen Lage invented the concept of “The Inverted Classroom.” This is Einstein-like (so simple and yet no-one’s ever thought of it before) brilliance.

From the students’ point of view (and let’s face it, they’re the customers!), the lecture is the least interactive part of a learning experience; the assignments/homework are the most interactive.

So why not flip things around and make the lectures homework, and the assignments class work? The teachers should actively facilitate the interactive experience, and expect the students to “attend” the static part out of class.

The lecture is information with some insight (students sit, listen, take notes). The homework and assignments are where you’re meant to internalize the concepts, be able to extend them to related areas, and demonstrate your knowledge by submitting solutions to problems you’ve been assigned (student reviews, infers, works, and documents understanding).

Think back to when you were doing homework – did you collaborate with your peers to solve a particularly difficult problem? If so, you had to arrange for an “out of class” meeting, to connect and then brainstorm, argue, share, and hopefully solve. There are many studies that show that the best way to know is to teach – getting together with your mates was the first step in teaching (or co-teaching), and understanding.

Platt/Lage published this idea nine years ago (in 2000) – shocking that this hasn’t been more broadly explored.”

Read the entire post at http://interacc.typepad.com/synthesis/2009/09/inversions.html

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