I read 2 articles about a flipped classroom–one about reflection and one about introverts and active learning. It surprised me to read the authors assumed that a flipped classroom or active learning implied a group mentality. I can see how group work factors in, for sure, but I had understood a flipped classroom to mean that in-class time was used to work through applying knowledge gained outside scheduled class time. In other words, I see no reason for in-class work to be completed by a group of people rather than individually. This makes me wonder if there are certain activities that are more appropriate for a flipped classroom than others. . .or perhaps some that work better than others.
I nosed around a bit to see what types of activities might be useful, and discovered there is no one assignment or assessment that works for all subject areas all the time. The Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo has some great teaching resources for post-secondary educators, and there was one titled ‘In-class Activities and Assessments for the Flipped Classroom‘. Exactly what I was looking for. Although it lists more group activities than individual ones, and states that individual work is best when students have difficulty with the content, it does point out that individual assignments work when students need some reflective time in order to engage with the material.
I started out thinking I was going to write about how I really buy in to the idea of leaving room for reflection in our scheduled teaching time. . .not leaving it to happen when (or if) the student gives themselves that space. This post has given me the chance to articulate that, for some students, reflection is active learning and engagement. An active learner is one who is connecting with the material, seeking a deeper understanding, and this doesn’t only look like a loud, boisterous, gregarious group of people. Although it can, too. Take your cue from the people who are doing the learning.