I just wanted to share a bit of insight to why I chose to pursue a flipped classroom model this year for my Latin 1 class, what it took to get the model up and running, and what benefits I have already seen since the close of the first semester.
First off, for those unfamiliar with the term flipped classroom, it is the idea of turning your normal, instructive lectures into the class’ homework and using time in class to facilitate practice activities, thus allowing more one-on-one contact. Here is an example of one of the videos that I created for my Latin 1s.
I created this video with a program called Camtasia in conjunction with the use of Power Point. I found Camtasia very easy to use and was up in running after an hour or so of tinkering.
There are many reasons why I chose to run a flipped classroom model this year. One that sticks out immediately is my belief that this type of online lecture allows the student to learn at his/her own pace. They can pause the lecture, rewind and re-listen as many times as they want without the fear or awkwardness some feel from halting a class in progress, and best of all, they can revisit the lecture in the future if they want to review. In fact, I’ve had students in my upper level Latin courses ask me to share the videos with them for quick refreshers. Yet for me the most significant change has been how I now use class time. The day after students watch one of my videos, we immediately jump into small group activities that work with the previous night’s grammar topic. I allow students (in groups of 3-4) to ask each other questions while completing the activity. They then help each other come to a better understanding of the material while I facilitate or assist students who need that extra push.
Now I’ve always weaved group work into my teaching repertoire, but the following article (with special focus on Eric Mazur’s words and thoughts) truly resonated with me and has pushed me to increase my use of this method while teaching. I’ve found the flipped classroom compliments group work incredibly well and for me the two are intertwined.
I’ll end by saying the benefits I have seen from this method have already inspired me to continue work beyond my Latin 1 class. It has been a very exciting year (yes, I am using the word exciting in reference to Latin grammar!) and I look forward to sharing more about my flipped classroom model with all of you during my presentation on the 31st.
Language Dept. Chair, Ethel Walker