Monday, August 20, 2012

Flipping my Classroom

I'll be experimenting with a "Flipped Classroom" model in my graduate computer architecture course this Fall.

I'll be recording key lectures beforehand and uploading them to YouTube.  I'll ask students to watch these lectures before class and use class time to solve problems and clarify doubts.

I buy the argument that a video (that can be paused, rewound, re-visited) is a more effective learning tool than listening to the same person speak in class.  I hope that the classroom experience will continue to be fun and interactive.  And I also hope that students have the discipline to listen to the videos before class.  If done right, this should lead to more effective and efficient learning -- more time spent outside class listening to lectures, but a lot less time spent outside class on assignments.

The videos will be in a screencast format: only showing the prepared slides and my run-time handwriting on them (no hands or face).  It won't be glitzy; I will fumble around at times.  If this model works for Khan Academy, it can't be a terrible idea :-).

If you're curious about the process: I'm using Powerpoint on my tablet-PC, combined with the Camtasia Studio Add-In.  So far, I've been willing to "accept" my videos after 4-6 takes.  I do very minor editing (cropping out the occasional cough).  Including prep time, I'm averaging about 3-4 hours of effort per video (note that I've taught this material many times).  In addition, I'll have to create new problems that I can use for discussion in class.

The videos can be found here (only the first six are ready as of today). 
The class website is here.