Monday, 1 July 2013

Flipping with Doddle

The idea of the flipped classroom, and how Doddle can make it a reality

If there's one buzz phrase that buzzed a little louder than all others in 2012, it was “flipping the classroom.” It’s a term I first heard in the US, but the idea is old – indeed many of us have used it in our own teaching to a greater or lesser extent. 
Inverting the traditional idea of setting tasks for homework, in the flipped classroom model, teachers assign introductory material like videos or presentations as homework. This means that the teacher can spend more time in lessons overseeing group work and working with specific examples.
If put into practice effectively, it seems to me that the advantages of the model are clear: teachers spend less time presenting ideas and more time giving targeted feedback, while students spend more time actively learning and putting ideas into practice. If done successfully, it leads to greater ownership, engagement and motivation – in short, it’s just better.
But it also clearly has limitations. When you set homework introducing a concept to students and are greeted by half-a-class of blank faces, it can feel as though you’ve made a rod for your own back. Without proper materials, students can struggle to grasp ideas, meaning lessons can be held back and differences in student understanding can grow wider. And without the right monitoring tools, you can’t tell which student is familiar with a new idea, and who is totally new to it.
So while I very much believed in the concept, I found that the extent to which it was practical was held back by the resources and tools that I had. And this is where Doddle comes in. You can use Doddle to assign presentations and let your students discover ideas independently:
  -  Presentations set out all the key concepts in a clear, reliable and intuitive way;
  -  Assigning a mini quiz along with a presentation gives students a quick recap of what they've just seen, provides instant feedback and allows the teacher to see who’s understood it; 
  -  Students can rate their confidence after completing revision, so you know who needs extra help; 
  -  In the markbook, you can see who's read the presentations you assigned (including when they read it), and the breakdown of results by question lets you see which ideas need to be reviewed in class. 

Or, (with apologies to the pun-phobic), as one of our Educational Consultants put it, “we make it a flippin’ Doddle”. 

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