Ripe for the Flipping

I realised yesterday, whilst battling through a big pile of work (bank holiday? What’s that?) that one of my 1st year lecture courses would be far more interesting flipped. I was preparing summary slides for a revision class and it occurred to me as I was summarising the key points that those would make excellent short screencasts and then the actual sessions could be more example lead.

And doing a couple of things in the revision class this morning that way confirmed it.

So what would I need to do from this point forward to get this course (10 lectures, 2 workshops of 1 hour each, 2 hour revision session) into shape for next year assuming I wish to flip it?

I’d need to prepare and record 5 – 8 short screencasts on the key topics. What I currently have in mind wouldn’t allow me to edit down the lectures from this year, nor would I wish for the students to watch a full lecture recording before each session.  Eights short (15 minute max) screencasts.

I’d need to take all of my current in-lecture worked examples, problem class questions and revision stuff and work out how to make them ‘rich’ examples. So insights into the key principles under discussion. I’d have to write detailed answer/notes on each, drawing in the additional concepts that needed highlighted. I’d view the examples as a means of drawing in screencast concepts and introducing exceptions and the like.

Let’s say it takes about an hour per screencast, then a further two hours per lecture hour to figure out all the examples. 8 + 20 = 28 hours. Then let’s say that we still need examples and problems for the students to work through themselves, and associated class test and exam questions. Easily another 10 hours of stuff right there. So that’s around 38 hours, before I even get to contact hours. 52 in total, not including marking or laboratory classes.

Supposing I just use the course ‘off the shelf’ as it were from this year? That will be a couple of hours tweaking lectures here and there, probably about 5 hours for assessment setting, then the contact hours (14 hours). 19 hours in total, not including marking or laboratory classes.

I love the idea of flipping this course, but I struggle to see how I can find the time to do it. This, more than anything else right now, is the single greatest barrier to doing anything new in teaching: I haven’t got enough time.  I suspect I’m not alone in this, and time to innovate has got to be protected to increase the quality of contact hours.




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