Fully Embracing the Flipped Classroom

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Robert Talbert, author and Professor at Grand Valley State University, joined the podcast to discuss why now is the perfect time for higher ed to embrace the flipped classroom.

But it's time to come to grips with thefact that that's not only a feature, it's the whole purpose of being incollege at all is to be able to teach yourself things when it's done: You're, listening to enrolment growth,university from helic education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to an Roman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWilson with heales education and we're here today with Doctor Robert Talbert,professor, at Grand Batley State University and author of the book,flipped learning a Guide for Higher Education Faculty Robert Welcome to theshow Hi Eric thanks for for her having me on today. Sucks. I did have you andto talk with you about. Why now is the perfect time for higher ed to embracethe flipped classroom more fully, but before we dig into that, can you go helisteners a little bit of background on both Grand Valley, State University andyour role there sure grandval State University is a twenty six thousandstudent Public University and Michigan were in Allendale Michigan over on thewest side of the state near grand rapids. We have a main campus inAllendale and a satellite campus and grand rapids Michigan. We are aprimarily teaching focus institution, although we do have research programsgoing on and graduate programs, and so it's been a good incubator for a lot ofinnovation and teaching, and my role there is currently I am a professor inthe mathematics department. I serve as the online and hybrid coursecoordinator for the math department were a fairly large department withover forty faculty, two hundred majors three thousand students and at agrowing portfolio of online and hybrid courses I mean all of them are on oneand hybrid now because of the pandemic, but we're going to stick with some ofthat moving forward. So it's a quite a bit of a job and I serve and variousother capacities to and faculty senate and that sort of thing like a lot offaculty members, do well you're a great person to present this concept and giveus some. Some re excitement for those of us who might have have gottenexcited about the flip model five years ago, but it helps understand why ithasn't caught on yet and why now might be the right time so Robert? Why do youbelieve that now, specifically as we're rolling out of the end of the pandemic,as we know it at least, is the best time for hired to move further toward aflip to classroom model? Well Eric. I think you look at what we learnedthrough the pandemic. I think back to March of last year, when the pandemicreally rolled over us and we shut down our campus like a lot of like everybodyelse did- and I was department share at the time- and I noticed, as we all kindof just sort of went forward into the dark into this great unknown- that thefaculty in our department who have been practicing flip learning on some degreeor another. Some people are like me and...

...their way off on one end of thespectrum, and some people are not doing it at all, so m. we're kind of in themiddle about twelve, maybe faculty or but identify, is using flip learning.Out of about forty those folks, I mean everybody had a difficult time,transitioning in this emergency, remote pivot, that we did. It was not easy foranybody, but I will say that the people who did flip learning prior to thepandemic had a much easier time adjusting to a remote, an emergencyremote situation than those who have been using traditional models ofteaching those who are using traditional models. Although I'm filled,I M in a department, that's absolutely filled without standing world classteachers, they still really struggled, I mean they felt like they were havingto start all over again in their careers. I heard that comment more thanonce and I started wondering like what is it about the flip learning modelthat seems to be giving some people an easier time than others, and it wasround about this time too. I started getting a lot of inquiries from outsidethe campus asking me to give talks and wemine and so forth and flop learning,and I was thinking. Why are you asking me about flip learning wish? Should yoube asking about online learning, hybrid learning technology, enhancedinstruction, that kind of thing it's relevant, but the more I dug into thatthe more it seemed to me that flip learning was like a very good match forthe shift that we encountered a number of basic assumptions about the way thatwe do higher education in general were just completely blown up by thepandemic in the in the traditional frame of mind. When youlook at how classes are traditionally set up, we assume a scarcity ofinformation. We assume that technology is something to be left outside theclassroom. We assume that students come to their learning with no knowledgewhatsoever, and we assume that students don't have the capacity to teachthemselves things or to regulate themselves, and this is all four ofthese assumptions drive what the traditional model holds for us, andthat is S. students arrive in class with nothing in their brains and theyget their first contact with new ideas through lecturing and then in a singleclass. You know the lecture goes and it stops and then we're sort of push themout on to their own, to finish the job, to do the hard part and that model didnot fare well in the pandemic, because students needed a lot of help, theywere, we were all forced to use a tremendous amount of technology. We hadto come to grips with the idea that students could pick up any informationthey wanted anywhere. I mean we all kind of ran straight into the to thelot of the online answer. Sort of the chegs tack, overflow idea that, if Iput it, if I give students a time test to do, there's a pretty good chance,they're going to find all the answers on Shag within hours, and so all theseassumptions, like, even just the fact that we can co locate with students onwhenever we want to alwyn completely out the window. But on the other hand,if you look at the assumptions that the flip learning model makes they'reexactly the opposite of those that we,...

...we basically assume and flip learning.That information is abundant. It's everywhere it's easily accessed. Wekeep a flexible environment in the flip learning model, and so we usetechnology as a tool for learning. We assume that students have some sort ofidea about what they're learning and, most importantly, we assume in fliplearning that students are capable of teaching themselves things basic things,not necessarily the entire subject. But if I give students a list of basicthings to get done, that involved teaching themselves things by watchinga Yutu, video or reading a book that we assume they can get it done and theycan come to class and do higher level tasks. These assumptions match upalmost exactly with what the pandemic forced on us. We had students. We werenot able to meet for the vast majority of cases. We were not able to meetstudents in a room. At the same time, all the time for all online. We had allthis technology and the students have the capability of getting informationabout anything and they had to teach themselves a lot of things. I mean itwas just a fact of life, and so instructors who have been using fliplearning had already had the foundations for everything they neededall the tools, all the course structures. All the course designs toreally do well, eventually, with the remote online model of instruction.Professors who have who were still in the traditional frame of mind had tocompletely start over and it was demoralizing and it was hard and it wasexhausting, and so that's why I'm thinking like now is like a perfecttime to really take seriously the flip learning model it's been takenseriously. For for many years I mean it's been round as an organized concept.For almost two decades, with hundreds and hundreds of previewed articlesresearch articles supporting its effectiveness, it hasn't really goneanywhere. It's not a fad. It hasn't even faded into the background. Ifanything, it's become so normal that we don't even think about it any more likethe air conditioning in our house, and only we only notice that if it's bustedthis is a teaching model a course design model that has been gainingconsistently in acceptance over the last twenty years, and now it appearslike it's pointing in exactly the direction that Higher Ed's taking postpandemic post pandemic. We're not going to be able to assume things like we cankeep a lid on information and technology or that we're even able tobe in the same room with students. At the same time, we have students in asituation now where there need to be able to teach themselves things weunderstand more than ever, the importance of self regulation, selfteaching, and so what we really need right now to help students advance inthe world. The rein which is still complex and getting harder tocomprehend every day is a model that teaches them how to be learners anddoesn't just feed them information and ask them to give it back to us andthat's what flip larning provides for us. I love the reminder of the promiseof flip learning. Robert. Does the flipped classroom model over estimate,not our students capability, but their...

...self motivation to do the work ahead oftime. I think that it accurately estimate students ability to do workahead of time. No self motivation is a tricky sort of thing. It places a highstandard on students. I will say that it expects a lot out of students. Itexpects that students will take a small list of basic sort of information,transfer, oriented learning objectives like be able to state the definition ofa concept or list examples of a concept. Having now gone and wash a video aboutit or read a book about it, give some examples of the thing that you'relearning that's the kind of level we're asking students to do so. I don't thinkit overestimates students ability to do those kinds of things and, in terms ofmotivation, what a well designed flip learning classroom does is provide astructure for students to build their self motivation. Okay, so we don'tnecessarily assume that students are experts, but we also don't assume thatthey come with nothing in terms of motivation. Either it's on us asinstructors to create an environment where students are going to want to dothe things we ask them to do, and so a lot of students struggle with this,because they have never necessarily been asked to teach themselves. Thingslike that has been seen as a bug, rather than a feature of their classesin the past. Like you see it on course, evaluation students will really reallycomplain if they have to teach themselves things, but it's time tocome to grips with the fact that that's not only a feature, it's the wholepurpose of being in college at all is to be able to teach yourself thingswhen it's done. Otherwise, how can you be a viable member of society if youcan't teach yourself things so it places a high bar on students. It askthem to do things that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar likeTeaching Yourself, the basics of differential equations. You know bywatching a youtte video, but it also supports that learning through the kindof structured activities we write for them and then by setting them up forsuccess during the in class portion of a flip classroom to so I like that manthat you just gave about the ability to self teach. So if a student's abilityto self teach is a requirement for success within the flipped classroommodel, how do we make sure that we teach self teaching or the studentscome to our institutions prepared to do so and that our students are trulyready and empower to succeed in this model? That is likely fairly new forthem, where, if you hit it right on the head by it, suggesting that we have toteach it, we can't just assume that students pick it up. Biosophist hasbeen the mode of traditional teaching methods forever since ten. Eighty eightsince the first university, we just assume that the quote unquote: SmartStudents will figure it out and we leave everybody else behind and there'ssort of an illusion of success in this method, because it's survivor bias onlythat you know the top. One percent seem to be able to manage it and they're theone driving the narrative. So if we really are serious about all studentsabout equity, about all students being able to learn in this, we have to teachit and how do we make sure we're doing...

...it? Well, the same way, we make surethat we're teaching anything like if I'm going to teach my discreet mathstudents about you know the binomial come efficient. For example, I willkeep the math to a minimum here, but if I want to teach them about thebinomial Cotis- and I have to do certain things, I have to first of allset up queer objectives that communicate to them what I expect ofthem, and then I have to give them opportunities to practice those things,and then I have to have some way of giving them feedback and allow them toimprove on those things: okay, whether that's calculating a binomialcoefficient or learning how to teach yourself something from a Yutu video.It's exactly the same thing, it's just another topic to teach. In some sense,I would need to lay out exactly what's expected of students. I would need togive them practice with doing it, which is what the flip learning model does onan everyday basis, because students are constantly. However, many times youmeet during the week. That's how many times per week, students get theopportunity to flex those muscles and then, if they're falling short on thoseexpectations, I give them feedback and I coach them up. I coach them toimprove, and so you just approach it from that standpoint and it's ametastic that we need to all of us, flip learning or otherwise, because Ineed to start wrapping and enveloping all of our traditional or all. Ourusual course work around this idea. We've got to teach this stuff orstudents are not going to pick it up on BIOS Moses, until like twenty yearsfrom now, we don't want that. I love this concept of survivor shop bias here,because you're right, you're so excited about it and get me re excited about it,and then I recall faculty friends who tried this five years ago and theybailed because they didn't think their students could do it. So it almostseems like the crux here is: This would be most efficient if our students werehighly motivated versus less accept the reality, the some art. What modelactually works is that the correct cruck there- and if so, when we thinkabout survivor ship by US here, is this model going to work much much betterwith institutions that are more selective that have higher academicstandards than others. Well, let me answer the first question.First about efficiency. Now, if we're going to talk about efficiency, thatinvolves measuring something. So I would ask when you talk aboutefficiency. What are we measuring here now traditional learning models thatare primarily instructors, centered and lecture based, are really reallyefficient. If all we're measuring is a pie chart of how much material we'recovering in class okay O're way more efficient than flip learning, becauseI'm flip learning it's kind of slow and you have to think about what am I goingto cut out of my Solbierg have all this time for all this active learning, mystudents are going to do yeah I mean so it's way less efficient than lecturing,but it when you start measuring, not content coverage, but actual studentcomprehension of concepts like did. Students actually learn anything or dowere we just covering con tent, then...

...the veneer begins to come off prettyquickly off traditional lecture based models, because what you find out isthat students can- and studies have been done on this and students willleave a lecture of feeling like they understand everything, but when youactually quiz em on it, it's nothing. There's nothing there or you will askthem. Did you learn more in a flipped environment or an active learningenvironment than an electro based environment and students who are inflipped environments will say? No, I didn't learn as much and students are ain active learning, environments will say or in lecture based environmentswill say I learned way more, but then, if you give them a quiz, it's exactlythe opposite, and there was a great study on this done not too long ago andproceedings a National Academy of Sciences. I believe it was the lecturebased Model Looks Great. It looks efficient until you start caring aboutstudents. Okay, I mean, let's be real here I mean we start thinking aboutwhether students actually learned anything. Then the shoe begins to moveto the other foot and the lecture stuff just doesn't look quite as good andefficiency may not be like the best metric to use. If we're talking abouttenise students today, so I would, I would just say, if you're thinkingabout efficiency, think about what you're measuring and is that the rightthing- and I hear this a lot like well- I'm just going to na be able to coveras much material. If I don't electrics like well, that's probably true, butyour students will probably remember a master more of it if you just coverless of it, interesting now as to like institutions with higher academicstandards, I'm not higher Sol activity and higher academic standards, I'm notcompletely convinced or the same thing. First of all, I don't even know whathier academic standards necessarily means unless we're talking about satscores or something like that yeah. I guess that's what I was implying yeah,so I would just say that I've seen flip learning work with great successeverywhere, whether it's in I've done some work with Yale and Harvard, and itworks great. There effects one of the primary models of flip learning werethe earliest models peer instruction, which was invented by Eric Missouricame out of Harvard University, and it's been wildly successful. There allthe way to institutions like my own public institutions that are not toppedhere, but have hard working students and they know how to put their theirbacks into it and they learn a lot. This way, all the way to his smallliberal arts colleges, community colleges, I've worked with two yearschools before vocational education. It's just simply a way to get moreactive involvement into the classroom, really is kind of what it boils down toa d. An that sense, all it takes is a willing students and those folks arefound everywhere, even where we don't think they are Robert, such great stuff.Finally, any next sips advice: printin listening to this going yeah all right,fine excited to try to figure out how to fully push on the flipped classroommodel at their institution. Where should they start now? That soundsreally excited by the way. Well, I would say: Don't push? Okay, ify? U E, if you're looking at this from the standpoint of an administratorpushing is the last thing you want to...

...do. What you want to do is pol rather thanpush okay, so a lot of faculty. I have found I've worked with faculty all overthe world in the United States, on flip learning and all kinds of differentinstitutions, and a lot of them are very interested that might be a littleskeptical and that's okay, a little reluctant and that's okay, but at somelevel they think that maybe there's something here that would be worthwhile, but they're a little scared to try it for a number of reasons. Forexample, there may be scared of losing face if it goes wrong. They're scaredof that that theoretical confrontation, what happens if I show up and none ofthe students, have done the work. They are a little afraid that if things gosouth on them that they're going to lose out on tenure and promotion, forexample, or they're going to spend so much time working on this, they won'thave time for grants or whatever. So there's a there's, a willingness there.But there's a lot of blockers, and so what the role of an administrator cancan be is to remove those barriers to create incentives. That poll onfaculties already existing interests and get things out of the way andprovide some some support for faculty rather than trying to push things onand pushing things on the faculty usually hands really potlike faculty are Pretty Pretty Adamant abouttheir sured governance and do not want people telling them what to do. That'sthe fastest way to get a terrible implementation of flip learning andyour institution is to make people do it. So, instead, what you want to do ismaybe isolate those faculty or already interested but might feel a blocker getwith them and figure out what their impediment is and then removing and tosay, okay, you know, look we're going to exempt you from course evaluationsfor a year or we're going to give you an alternative, will give you fiveSandolas to try it or something like that and see what they can do when insentive and then what will probably happen is a lot of success and then thesuccess breeds its breaths even more success. It breeds more interest thanyou have people who might be coming out of the wood work and sing like an I've,always wanted to give e that a shot. But I didn't want to because I didn'tknow if anybody else was doing it, and now we have a whole lot of other peoplewho are doing it as well. So the best thing institutions can do is justenable you're, already talented, already committed already dedicatedfaily members and give them the tools they need the resources they need tostep out and try this and just give them a break. Give them give them somesupport, have their backs Robert thanks. So much of your time and your thoughtstoday, what's the best place for listeners to connect with you, theyhave any follow up questions sure. Well, I have a website where I belong twice aweek. It said our Talbert Dot Org, and so it's comment section on that andthey can certainly read what I have to write about a hodge podge of things allconnected to not always about flip learning, but research and productivity and all kindsof things that might be of interest, and I love to see people take advantageof that they can email me. My email is Talbert r at g vs, Dot Edu and I'm alsoon link Don. You just have to look me up. I can't remember the URL of myprofile...

...and I'd love to connect with anybodywho's interested in talking more about those awesome, Robert thanks. So muchfor joining us today. Thank you or attracting today's new post,traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Heylockeducations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollment growth isuniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helix has just published the second edition of theirenrollment growth play book with fifty percent brand new content on howinstitutions can solve today's most pressing, enrolment growth challengesdownload it today for free at Hillocks Education Com play book, you've been listening to enrolmentgrowth university from helic education to ensure that you never missed anepisode subscribe to the show, an I tunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until next time. I.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (224)