Friday, June 14, 2013

Flipping teaching in a flipped classroom

Flipping teaching is suggestive of expletives not too dissimilar to flipping the bird, and i am aware that i am writing this having become angry about the 'latest solution' to an under-resourced teaching and learning environment in higher ed.
I want to start by saying i am not adverse to many of the concepts integral to an authentic flipped classroom approach, but what i need to say first is that i am hugely averse to having smoke blown in my face.

I currently teach in higher ed where quality teaching is not sufficient for promotion but multiple journal article production is. Chasing the research dollar has become some form of a holy grail....even though the substantive part of university funding comes from student enrolment and the likelihood of gaining funding for research is very small (like chasing 1% of government funding that comes to universities for humanities research in Aus)
This shapes the pedagogy of learning and teaching that is/isn't supported and can be distilled to teach less and research more; publish or perish.
I do not deny research importance; my problem is when it erodes teaching and learning.
Back to the flipped classroom.
What i have had blown in my face: If the teaching from this semester is filmed in front of a 'live' audience, this can then be shown to classes later in the day, and becomes the resource for using for all venues in 2014 where there is not a 'live' performance.
See the problem? This is not a flipped classroom.
This is education being delivered like pizzas.
And as for the live class or the live lecturer, it actually makes no difference, dead or alive the 'performance' will go on.
Blow the smoke away. Take it out of my face. I am not convinced.
I am flipping angry.
If it is going to be flipped, it needs resourcing, it's not the panacea for having no live bodies for students to engage with.
If we havent got 5 lecturers for 5 venues for a total of 1000 students, each timetabled to a max of 2hrs a week and 6 tutorials a semester, in what universe can we have a model of 1 hr live filmed, watch it here or wherever at your own time and place, and have classes that are engaging with twice as many tutorials instead... where are the smaller class tutorials being resourced from?
Dont waste your smoke filled breath telling me i need a lesson in flipped classrooms. I know how.
See here and here I am already enamored of authentic student centred learning. I'm not resistant. I'm just not convinced. And telling me to be quiet on education just gets me riled.
Pizzas get delivered; babies get born, and education is about engagement.
I am not ready to play dead on this, so dont tell me to be quiet. Talking louder or talking over me will not make this go away. The smoke and mirrors are not working. Take your obfuscation and shove it somewhere else. When you are ready to engage realistically on this, I am more than happy to flip the learning and teaching, meantime i do not want to further enable an already suspect curriculum where students learn from the hidden agenda that faculty staff do not want to engage. Given that 'we' make our realities, 'we' do not have to accept the dark side of flipping classrooms, anymore than the dark side of moocs. There is so much more to aspire to.

1 comment:

  1. No argument here - and this is my world! Calling this 'flipped' is flippin' ignorant. To flip the classroom you have to prepare an engaging presentation (which does *not* mean just recording a lecture!) and then, as you say, working with the students in class time. We are working on several projects at the moment to do this, with lectures and also with labs in which too much time was being taken up with teaching and explanations.