January 25, 2011

P.R. campaign for the classroom?

I came across the following post by Robert Talbert:

The inverted classroom and student self-image | Casting Out Nines

It's interesting stuff. I experimented a bit with using videos last year. Actually, I used all videos in Fall 2009 and no lecturing in the intro physics class I taught. I think there was a large chunk that didn't buy into the system. I kept using my system last winter, but I abandoned that approach last Fall. This quarter, I've reintroduced the videos, but I'm using more of a hybrid approach to class: videos posted before class starts and some mini-lectures during class.

What sticks out with me from Robert's post was the following:

"Let’s just say that you had better not use the inverted classroom model if you aren’t prepared to put out a constant P.R. effort to convince students of the positive benefits of the model and constantly to assuage student concerns."
He may be on to something here. Last Winter quarter I posted a video to the class website of Eric Mazur explaining his peer instruction method to other physics instructors. I told the class they should check it out if they would like to know more about why our class works the way it does. Exactly one student watched even a part of the video. This year, I've posted a few links to the website, but I'm not sure how many students have checked it out.

I'm agreeing with Robert on his message about the "P.R. effort" but I'm not sure about the best way to go about it.

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