Flipping progress for Julia

Well, I am finally making some progress on product, rather than just ruminating about what I should do!

I did get feedback from my Psychteach colleagues on what they considered the more or most difficult topics to teach in Intro to Psychology.  I collected responses from about 20 contributors, and put them in rank order of mention, and reposted that to the listserv as a thankyou.  In addition to their topics, a few offered me additional resources, links to other papers, links to digital materials that might be helpful.  I do love being a part of such a helpful group of committed teachers!

The topics they listed will serve as a guide for what I do in class, in terms of activities, clarifications, extra materials.

I have started making audio recordings of ‘mini’ lectures, to accompany the powerpoints for each chapter.  Using the powerpoints, I find, keeps me on track and more closely tied to the organization of the text.  I have added slides to the powerpoints, as I find them somewhat overly wordy.  So my steps to making these recordings are as follows:

First, procrastinate like crazy, find almost anything else to do.  When that fails, go to step 2.

2. Review the book chapter for content, stories, examples in order to avoid duplication, but also to connect for clarification.

3. Divide the chapter into chunks.  I find it easy to upload about 15-17 minutes of talking time onto moodle.  And I am guessing that is about what any student can stand at a shot.  I am teaching two days, for 75 minutes, and am preparing roughly 60 minutes of talking per class.  Four chunks per class, 8 chunks per chapter.  All very approximate.

4. Review the powerpoint slides, and add content where appropriate.  I find myself reaching for other content when I can imagine myself writing on the board in addition to the powerpoint.

5. Now sit yourself down and talk.  This is the hard part.  I have learned several things about this process.  It is harder to feel excited and inspired, talking to yourself.  It is impossible to talk to yourself enthusiastically in the presence of unintended or uninterested others.  Do not try to do this in the presence of a quietly reading partner.  Do not try to do this with the windows open.  Watch out for your phone.  Dogs. Chirping birds.  I have read that students find it more enjoyable/relatable/acceptable when the audio is not overproduced, cleaned up, and don’t mind interruptions.  I sure hope so!

6. Unless you extremely facile with tech, I recommend immediately loading your audio chunks to where ever you want them to end up, Moodle for my course, in this case.  It keeps me from getting anxious about deleting a lot of hard talking!

My next step is to figure out my syllabus, and how to assign points for listening to these audios.  I will also be compiling a list of activities for class, a larger obligation for class preparation than I have had in the past, now that I am taking lecture out of the picture!

I hope moodle has meta data or some way for me to monitor who has at least opened the file. 

Onward to more talking to myself!


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2 Responses to Flipping progress for Julia

  1. Julia, I’m so glad to have happened upon your blog related to flipping the classroom. I teach 5 sections of AP Psychology and 1 high school level Psychology course. I’m ready to jump in with both feet, but I’m not at all sure about what I’m doing. Do you have any resources to recommend that you are using to create classroom activities? I have multiple Instructors Resource Manuals, and I plan to start there. I’m hoping to find some lectures or videos on topics that have already been created so I’m not always reinventing the wheel with my own video lectures. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. avanderbur@zcs.k12.in.us Thanks! Amanda

    • jheberle says:

      Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for your interest! You sound like you have your hands full, and with five sections, anything you do is multiplied by a lot. I am making my own audio tapes of what would have been lecture in class, and those I post to our course management system Moodle site for the class. I do them in 10-15 minute segments, no longer, as that makes it take less time to upload (my job) and download/open (their job). These are tied to the powerpoints I would use in class, specific to the textbook (Laura King’s Science of Psychology), and the powerpoints are also posted to Moodle for them to read along. It is a lot of work, but I will be able to use them as long as I use this book.
      For in class activities, I draw on a lot of different resources. I have found several helpful sites. The Psych files http://www.thepsychfiles.com/ has tons of different useful and friendly stuff, including a specific focus on AP psychology. Christopher Green has a podcast series for the history of Psych http://www.yorku.ca/christo/podcasts/ . Neuroscience for kids sounds like it would below level, but it really works even for my college students. Lots of fun activities! http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html
      Finally, I found this series of AP course focused videos, which you might find helpful, http://education-portal.com/academy/course/ap-psychology.html
      In general, you can find a world of help and trouble just by googling Psychology videos!
      I hope this is helpful, and again, thanks for your interest! Sincerely, Julia

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