The end of semester
The end of semester is around the corner and so is the Flipped Classroom project.
It's time to look back and do some reflections... We started the project aiming to develop teaching practices, and more specifically in one course (SPED4400), in which our team is teaching the math part of the course.
The kick-off for the project was a trip to Finland in May, to learn more about the method itself and to get tips for a good implementation of flipped classroom approach. After the trip we were full of new ideas and energy to start developing the course structure. It required some time to plan the new course structure and the ways of teaching, to get familiar with new technical tools, and finally to start preparing the materials (e.g., course pages on Canvas and brief videos) for the course. We ended up having two planning days in the end of the spring semester - and great team work it was!
The flipped way of teaching was a new approach for the most of the students as well. From the beginning of teaching, we were given positive feedback by our students, which was encouraging for us – we seemed to have chosen the right teaching method. The mid-way evaluation confirmed this feedback, as well as the feedback we collected now in the end of the course (see below some examples).
Based on these feedback, and our own experiences, we have decided to continue the flipped way of teaching also in the spring term, although the project will officially end. Furthermore, based on my own experiences so far, I would say that the students have been more engaged in the contact sessions than what I have experienced in typical lectures, they ask more questions, have time to discuss and think together around the topics taught, social media is not ruling the lecture time, there is increased connection between the lecturers and the students (= we know each other better), and the aim has not been just to pass the exam in the end of the semester but to learn along the way.
The project kicked our team to a new level of teaching. I would like to thank our Faculty of Educational Sciences and the Department of Special Needs Education for providing us this opportunity, all the collaborators, especially Erkko and Aino from the University of Eastern Finland for giving us such a great guidance and participating in our Flipped Classroom seminar, and of course our students who took part the course and gave us valuable feedback along the way.