There has been a lot of buzz over the past few years, but also a lot of debate, about the so-called flipped classroom. The idea of flipping a class—meaning that students learn content outside the classroom, and then actively engage with that same material during class time—appeals to many people in academe. Supporters of the flipped classroom see it as a way to replace a mass-produced education system that has emphasized rote memorization, while those who teach in a more traditional way may find it intimidating.
But in practice, the flipped classroom often feels like an all-or-nothing endeavor that does not serve students as well as it could. Instructors typically either invest in flipping classes—using social media, video-editing software, or other bells and whistles of educational technology—or they don’t. What if, instead, we used a partially flipped classroom—the “microflipped” classroom—that combined the best of the old and new teaching approaches?
From my experience in teaching new faculty members how to infuse technology into the classroom, I have observed a few things. Some faculty members and students are apprehensive about adopting new technologies, while others are eager. Whatever their views, technology in the classroom is not a solution to age-old educational problems. Some students still come to class ill-prepared or unmotivated. Requiring work to be completed outside of class may not solve that problem. <Read more.>