Tackling Potential Pitfalls of Flipped Teaching
Inevitably, there are some hurdles ahead as you make the transition to a flipped or hybrid model of teaching. As most any flipped teaching will tell you, there are always a percentage of students for whom flipped learning isn't as successful. However, this is generally a very few students, and there are some things you can do to combat issues that tend to arise.
- Lack of Internet access at home. My school has an 82% free and reduced price lunch rate; even then, most of my students have Internet access at home or via a smartphone. Still, there are a few who do not have connectivity outside of school. It is wise to open your classroom a few times a week for those students to be able to complete their online assignments. Find out the library or media center hours and publicize them. Keep parents informed and don't be afraid to make parent phone calls when kids slack off.
- Give flexible due dates. When implementing flipped learning, it's important to give students a block of time (preferably over the course of several days or even a week) to complete assignments. I have my students complete lessons a week ahead of time; I assign online lessons on Monday and give them until Friday to complete them. We begin using that content in class on the following Monday, and students are given new assignments to complete online at home. I find that giving a generous window accounts for students who spend time in more than one home with inconsistent homework routines/access.
- Build accountability into your lessons and increase student participation. It's not enough to just ask students to watch a video; there needs to be some lesson component for which students are held accountable. I have my students complete tasks in their Social Studies Interactive Notebooks, plus I give a quiz each Friday. It's important that some of the quiz questions are based on details students could only know from watching the video. For example, "What color flower did Mrs. Pack wear in her hair at the beginning of the video?" or "What did Mrs. Pack say she orders at Starbucks?" I make these quizzes worth only nominal points (though I don't tell the students that), and I allow them to use their notes which increases their desire to watch the videos carefully. It's a win-win situation because I get proof they've participated in the lessons and they feel like they've won the lottery because they are using notes on a quiz.