The Biggest Lesson From the Flipped Classroom

In a blog located on The Chronicle for Higher Education, Robert Talbert has been documenting his experiences with flipping his Calculus 1 class. After a somewhat rough start becoming accustomed to the new style of teacher for the class, he has stumbled upon a rather startling take away from this “audacious project.”

By far the biggest difficulty the students in the course have had so far has not been with mathematical content or even with the idea of flipped instruction – it’s with time and task management.

Students aren’t writing down the tasks and their deadlines for the course, they are attempting to simply remember what it is they need to do. This leads to students misremembering due dates, or forgetting assignments entirely.

In an attempt to help, Dr. Talbert has discussed how the students need to set up a schedule and get things done without procrastinating. He has even had talks with some students on how they can set up a calendar with due dates, something they had never done before. Which has lead Dr. Talbert to believe that a good co-requisite for a flipped classroom is a mini-workshop, to train students on how to schedule and manage projects and tasks.

This is why Dr. Talbert feels that the flipped classroom is an audacious project; it rejects the idea that procrastination in college is fun, and that you can just get by in the nick of time. Instead the flipped classroom promotes staying on top of things and getting things done, which is a form of self-regulated learning, something students have to master at some point.