November 3, 2022
“I haven’t lectured in my class since 2007.” I said this many times over the years, and now I am back to lecturing — sorta! It all started with a conversation with Dr. Helane Marshall this summer as she shared with me her SOFLA model of online instruction (Synchronized Online Flipped Learning Approach). Her cycle of learning includes eight steps and the one that has got me back to “lecturing” is step 6: Preview and Discovery. In that step, she takes about five minutes during her online classes to give students a preview of the evening’s flipped lesson. I know that some educators don’t like the term “lecture” as it has a connotation of a power relationship between the teacher and the student. Probably a better term is “direct instruction.” But regardless of what it is called, this “preview” time has three purposes:
- To sell students on actually doing the prework. Clearly, one of the drawbacks of the flipped model is that it relies on students doing the pre-work (flipped lesson). And if we give students a short preview of the lesson, Dr. Marshall found that more students will complete the assignment. The “preview” segment of the class should be used to sell the student on the importance of what they will view (video) or read (text). So far (two weeks into the semester), I am finding that when I do the preview activity, I get more compliance.
- To decrease the cognitive load on students so that they will have at least some basic background knowledge when they interact with the flipped lesson. Probably this second point is more important because students often have difficulty accessing some content alone. If I can give them a few cognitive hooks so that when they interact with the flipped lesson, they will increase their comprehension.
- To increase social interaction during the flipped lesson. I also use the lecture time to prompt how students might interact with each other in the flipped lesson. Perusall is a social learning tool that allows students to interact with each other about a particular piece of content. Using this tool, students can comment on each other’s comments in the reading or the video. This increases both compliance and comprehension of the flipped lesson.
As of right now, here is the process…