The flipped class model can help us design more interactive online learning experiences

flip-online-classWe recently asked a group of teaching assistants, “How do you think today’s college class is different than when you were an undergraduate student? What is the most significant change you’ve noticed?”

The number one answer? Technology. This is not a surprise. What’s most interesting is that many of these graduate students were undergraduates just a few years ago, yet they still see technology as the most significant change in the college class. Why?

Shouldn’t our students be used to it by now? Shouldn’t we? Either technology is changing so rapidly that we always see it as “new,” or we’re still struggling to integrate technology effectively and seamlessly into the learning experience.

Or maybe it’s both. Many have argued that education seems to be “the last frontier” for technological disruption (Blin & Munro, 2008; Christensen, C., Aaron, & Clark, 2002; Christensen, 2002; Magid, L., 2013). Is it because the culture of education is resistant to change? Are we waiting for research to show how this change influences learning? Are we receiving the support we need to implement technology effectively?

Are we concerned about the automatization of education? Do we struggle to use today’s technology because most of it wasn’t available when we were students? Are we seeing technology as a barrier between the students and us?

(Next page: Applying a new approach to the online class)


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