Flipped classroom doubt…

A couple of days ago we had a panel discussion with leaders in massive online education. Many question were touched upon, many themes: unbundle, innovate, free-up.

A mention that students take increasingly poorer notes and increasingly fall asleep during classes. We need to flip [the classrooms]. Well. This is exactly what made me doubt. If the students increasingly disengage in the classroom, what makes us think that the students will engage with the online streaming lectures? Those of us who has taken classes online might have falling asleep experience, regardless of how important the content was. My own strategy was to take notes (stop and rewind, until everything is captured), a proven method against falling asleep.

In other words, how much audience’s attention we are capturing in the flipped content v. a traditional lecture, is yet to be found.

Another questions is this: striving for efficiency and “massivity” in education, are we not compromising the quality of education?

Food for thought indeed.



  1. Devon

    October 26, 2014 @ 11:35 pm


    I think you may be right that the level of engagement with a lecture may not change dramatically whether ‘live’ or watched separately. But your point about stopping and rewinding is exactly what strikes me as a key benefit. A great way to help students set their own pace. Check out this link https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7081.pdf I think your points culminate in number 5 – it has to be done with careful preparation!

  2. athgse

    October 27, 2014 @ 1:34 am


    Thank you for the comment and for the source. Careful preparation indeed.
    Somehow I am not wholeheartedly sold on the flipped classroom concept. I guess if it is “recorded lecture or nothing”, then yes, the content is there, the effort depends on the student, etc. It may work.
    However, putting an emphasize on “flipping” like the ardent supporters seem to, in terms of efficiency and “betterness”, I am not sure. Are we not becoming disengaged, “un-connected”, “un-communicated by this sort of an experience?
    Now, having a lecture recorded is a whole different story: there is an option of having it all. I believe it is called “hybrid” courses or something similar and there is an option to engage on campus or remotely. Having participated in such classes I personally liked this option and was happy to rewind back what I’ve learned in class. I was sure nothing will get missed or misunderstood, as I have a backup to my notes – the video of each lecture.
    Going back to our guest’ point: some educators (professors, teachers) might never have asked themselves whether their teaching style is adequate to their audiences learning goals.
    It is likely that we have all encountered the fascinating professors, whose lectures, classes and seminars are so engaging and so interesting that falling asleep would be impossible. I believe flipping this kind of an experience to a pre-recorded lecture would not reach no lesser effect, as students might get as energized by the engaging faculty and enjoy their homework and assignments (the traditional classroom) than the flipped style classroom.
    I could be totally wrong and might change my opinion in the future, but as of right now the “flippness” associates with efficiency, mass production of education, attempt to outsource, rather than “hand crafted” high quality.
    Time will show, I guess.
    Thank you again for the comment.

  3. Lindsey Bailey

    October 27, 2014 @ 11:52 am


    Good things to think about! My mind always defaults to the K-12 setting (and more specifically, elementary school). From that vantage point, the “hand-crafted” aspect is really important. I know our panel and most of the reading was focused on higher ed, but it makes me wonder what it is that changes that we want to (or feel that we can) go from personal learning to massive learning (however “personalized” it might claim to be). When is this point in an educational trajectory, and why does it occur? Is it related to responsibility? Class size? I’m not entirely sure. It does seem strange, though, to think about college, a time of specialization, as a time of “massive” education.


    More food for thought. 🙂

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