When I named my blog, eons ago, I planned to update with the failures and successes during my adventures in flipping my statistics course. If you look back at the whopping three posts I did publish, I instead got involved in some professional learning blog challenges and accomplished a post (or two) before getting bored with the endeavor. I chose to major in math for a reason.
So, we’re back to the title… Flipping Statistics – how has this journey unfolded? If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m a advocate for the flipped classroom model. I’m going to try to think back on the failures and successes in developing my flipped class to highlight weekly during this summer. If you want to know what, why, or how to flip your class, watch my quick video below:
I know I explained the ‘why’ in my video, but I wanted to take a moment to give my impetus for doing finally taking the plunge. I was at a workshop for teaching Statistics (I think hosted by the California Acceleration Project) with Roxy Peck presenting her epic Cookie Game – if you haven’t seen it, it involves promising a cookie to a student (or in our case, teacher) picks a red card from her deck. She puts on an elaborate show of opening a new deck of cards and watches as enthusiasm to pick a card starts to wane by the 5th or 6th black card in a row. Turns out, she’s an evil mastermind who cut a slit in the bottom of the cellophane and opened the cards from the bottom to replace all the red cards with black. After a few really excellent activities were presented, I recall raising my hand to ask how people were doing these class activities AND covering their content – I think I was the lone person in the room teaching statistics in a 3-unit course (meaning 48 total contact hours) while everyone else had a 4-unit course. There was a participant who told me at the break that I needed to flip my class to be able to make room / time for these activities.
That wasn’t enough. I knew what a flipped classroom was. I knew that students at SDSU hated one professor’s attempt at a flipped classroom and I wasn’t ready to make that leap. So a few more workshops full of great activities and a year later, I ended up at a workshop with an activity being led by the same participant who told me I needed to flip my class – Ambika Silva. This was my third time running into her at a stats workshop and I stuck around after her presentation, which she ran with her husband Dustin, to ask her more about this flipped classroom idea. I expressed my concerns about students coming unprepared and hating it. She convinced me that fill in lecture notes (which I already used) were a great way to keep students accountable for watching the videos and that I’d have enough time to check those lecture notes while students worked on an activity. She also assured me that students still liked her flipped classes. Thankfully, I had already convinced my husband that I needed a Surface Pro because I had been in a large lecture hall with a document camera mounted in the ceiling that was particularly finicky about aiming at the desk, so I was finally ready to dive in and experiment with a flipped class.