Every classroom teacher should go ahead and flip it. At least try it out for a week of the school year. Of course, few succeed at climbing the Everest without supplemental oxygen. So for now, the best you can do is train your body, mind, and get deeply acquainted with the tools provided by your Learning Management System (LMS). Over the coming weeks, you will find out how much greater your teaching can be. You will also hit a few plateaus, some more bitter than others. Those are the single, unequivocal traits of progress.
Effective flipped strategies put into consideration as much as they can about the student’s habits and environment outside of the classroom. Interactivity will prove valuable in the transition to this New Normal, but hardly without a considerable amount of thoughtful tweaking. It’s the bread and butter of the open educational technologist, after all.
Gamification will be useful as long as it helps to make personal time spent with the LMS as productive as possible. In turn, the quality of live time can increase considerably. Use it to get to know students better and gain valuable insight into their learning, their environments and their personality. Connect with them. Or at the very least, make it an opportunity to sharpen technology-assisted educational competencies, for personal and professional progress.
When designers need to combine the form and the function for an utilitarian product, they first start by listing the “affordances“: What does it allow for you to do? Think of the things students are capable of when you are around, and think of the technologies that you can offer to sufficiently supply their needs.
- Do they ask questions during class? If so, enable the Chat or Forum activity in your LMS.
- Do you ask them questions in the middle of the class? Then The Lesson is the optimal way to include activities between bits of content. You can also try adding in end-of-session feedback.
- Do they interact with each other? They probably do already outside of class. while some LMS offer messaging inside their mobile apps, it is daunting and therefore unrealistic to expect users to replace the many widely popular messaging apps that are already available.
The gamification layer
A healthy dose of friendly cues will help prepare you and your to enter a new territory. At the beginning, using basic gamification can help to encourage habits early on: Give points or stars for completing activities, or apply bonuses for early completion. After that, your options are rather endless.
- If you’re using Moodle LMS:
- You should not be seen in public without Level Up!, Quizventure, Stash
- For a premium experience that takes gamification into fully fledged Motivation Design territory, Motrain is the way to go.
- Check out the full set of Gamification plugins at the official Moodle Directory.
- If you are into gamification’s broader potential: Think about strategies first, before technical aspects. Brush up on your Psychology of Play as it applies to learning, or even pick up a few journal articles.
Initial testing and strengthening
Surprises are okay as long as they are properly framed in the context of learning. Otherwise, they can create unnecessary and void responses. Ease your students into the new method with plenty of excitement. However, it is expected that most students will find flipped practice beneficial and enjoyable, as they reap the benefits of their own autonomy.
- Use some in-person time to discuss events that have happened online. The key is to focus on what happens on their own time as they explore.
- Touch practical and technical issues as well. Did anyone found new resources, apps, or techniques to enhance their learning? If so, embrace it! Flipped learning is probably the most clear example of a setting in which the teacher is more of a facilitator and less of the owner of knowledge.
- Don’t be afraid to revise and adapt the gaming layer. Adopt suggestions, and introduce new surprising rules (gently, of course)