Sunday, December 14, 2014

Flipping the Classroom of Association Education

AP Photo from The Wall Street Journal

A week ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote a football story that offers ideas for association education programming.

Headlined Taking the Buckeyes to School outlines some of the innovative coaching methods of Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.
  • The theory behind it is that introducing students to new material through short video lectures, screencasts or online slideshows outside of class time allows for the lower levels of cognitive work—gaining knowledge and comprehension—to be performed outside the classroom on their own schedule and at their own pace. Class time can then be repurposed into workshops where students can inquire about the material and interact with hands-on activities. These methods help accomplish the harder task of assimilating knowledge.
  • "The whole idea is that if you can get players thinking about it and doing the mental work prior to being in the football facility, your time in the classroom will be that much more productive," said Keith Grabowski, a former college assistant and founder of Coaches Edge Technologies, an online aid for coaches.
Some definitions from The Flipped Class: Myths vs Reality

The Flipped Classroom is NOT:
  • A synonym for online videos. When most people hear about the flipped class all they think about are the videos. It’s the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important.
  • About replacing teachers with videos.
  • An online course.
  • Students working without structure.
  • Students spending the entire class staring at a computer screen.
  • Students working in isolation. 
The Flipped Classroom IS:
  • A means to INCREASE interaction and personalized contact time between students and teachers.
  • An environment where students take responsibility for their own learning. 
  • A classroom where the teacher is not the "sage on the stage", but the "guide on the side".
  • A blending of direct instruction with constructivist learning.
  • A classroom where students who are absent due to illness or extra-curricular activities such as athletics or field-trips, don't get left behind.
  • A class where content is permanently archived for review or remediation.
  • A class where all students are engaged in their learning.
  • A place where all students can get a personalized education.
Challenges for Associations

In a blog post headlined Your Conference Needs To Offer Transformational Learning Not Informational Learning, Jeff Hurt stated:
  • Conferences that offer transformational learning opportunities are those where adults actually experience brain-based developmental principles as they learn about a specific topic or solutions.
  • These types of conference sessions are more difficult to plan. They require more time, effort and intention than the traditional informational lecture.
I experienced the bias toward the traditional lecture format last summer. A month before I was scheduled to speak, I suggested to the client that we share the basic information from my research and presentation to the audience before the talk; noting that it would allow more time for discussion.

The client’s response: no sense in sending information before the meeting, they won’t read it!

What is your association doing? Have you experimented in “flipping the classroom?” Has it been successful? What can you share for others interested in this approach?

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