In Science 10 this semester as a department we decided to flip the Science 10 classroom for the naming portion of the chemistry unit. Students were given videos to watch from home to learn how to name various ionic compounds and molecular compounds, then in class stations were set up to allow students to practice the concepts and ask questions.
We have come to a close on this activity. Reflecting on it, I can see there are many positives and drawbacks to this teaching strategy.
- Gave students the entire period in class to ask questions and engage in activities to master the previous nights concept.
- Gives students a 24/7 resource they can consult now and into CHEM 20/30, SCI 20/30, etc.
- Students did not always come prepared to class, thus they would waste time in class watching the video
- Not all students are self motivated to learn from a movie and practice in class
- There was a fair amount of resistance to this new method, making it difficult to get students to “buy into” it’s benefits for their learning
Having never taught Science 10 before this semester, I think in order to form a truly educated opinion I would need to teach the course again without the flipped classroom. This would allow me to make a far more thorough analysis of how well it worked. Unfortunately, in education as we all know there are many extraneous factors that must be considered as well. It is possible that for one group of students flipping the classroom would be a fantastic teaching strategy to reach a majority of the students and with another group it’s just cannot be part of the game plan.
This is one of the most important lessons I have learned from this experience – just because it works for one does not mean it works for the other. By this I mean:
- It may work for one teacher, but not another
- It may work for one class, but not another
Next time I get the opportunity to teach Science 10, I will seriously reflect on the group of students I have and whether this teaching strategy will provide them the greatest opportunity for success, or not. Regardless, I now have videos that can be used in the future as an additional resource or tool for my students, regardless of whether I choose to flip the class again or not.
If I end up flipping the class again the biggest change that I would make is having a portion of direct instruction at the beginning. I found that students felt lost going from the video directly into the stations.