I suppose I should have seen it coming, but, with just four weeks left in the semester, I have reached the point of being completely burnt out. I honestly can’t stand the thought of recording one more lecture video. I spend so much time on the darn things, but I’m not sure that its worth it. I’m still not completely satisfied with the way they turn out. I also have not seen the substantial improvement in student performance that I hoped for. I’m not giving up yet. I will be spending my summer term working on improving my videos and refining my in-class activities. Like anything new, I should not expect to be awesome the first time I try it. I know that I need to continue to work at it.
So work on it I do. We have an exam tomorrow. I made some adjustments (again) to my study guides for this unit. I am trying an outline based study guide that reinforces the material covered during the lectures. For each slide in the presentation I have given them a list of questions or terms to answer. The idea is that it will help the students to actively listen rather than passively sit in front of their computer during the lecture. I’m hoping that it will help my students to grasp the material a little better, but sometimes I feel like I am making it too easy.
And there lies the eternal problem. How do we make it easy for our students to learn the material, without them becoming mindless automatons that simply regurgitate terms and facts? There are two parts of every science course, rote memorization of complex terms and facts, and application/critical thinking. You cannot have one without the other. It is my hope that by using the flipping model I can use the videos and online content to help my students build a framework of rote knowledge and then, once they enter the classroom or laboratory I can engage them in activities that help them to integrate that knowledge into problem solving. I am not giving up on flipping, but I need to take the time this summer to analyze what went right this term, what failed miserably, and develop a plan of attack for the next go around.