Last time I checked in, I talked about the research and feedback from my students’ flipped classroom experience. A lot of their experiences hinged on their parents’ ability to access the information/videos needed for the flipped classroom experience.
For this reason, I asked the parents of my students to help me with this research. The following are the responses to a questionnaire I asked them to complete.
- Question 1 and 4 had optional boxes to expand in writing on their answers.
At the end, I gave the parents an opportunity to expand on any points they wanted to make about the flipped classroom experience from their point of view.
- The questionnaire was optional. Of the 23 families given one 16 handed were handed back.
- From the results, I believe the students who had challenges viewing the videos did not hand in the questionnaire. The majority that were returned were kept anonymous.
Here are the questions:
1) Was it easy to access the homework videos?
If ‘No’, please explain what was challenging.
All 16 parents said it was easy to access the video.
2) Did your child grasp the concepts without assistance from you or another member of your family?
– All of the time
– Some of the time
– None of the time
8 answered, ‘All of the time’ and 8 answered, ‘Some of the time’.
3) Did a member of the family sit with the L4A student while the videos were watched?
– All of the time
– Some of the time
– None of the time
3 answered all of the time, 9 answered some of the time, and 4 answered some of the time.
4) Do you feel that “flipped homework” (where students watch videos investigating new concepts instead of work reinforcing the day’s lessons) is a productive use of homework time?
15 said yes and 1 created a third category and wrote, “undecided.”
8 questionnaires came back with comments further extrapolating on their yes answers. The survey that wrote “undecided” did not comment. Here are the comments:
1) The explanations in the video were well presented, in a simplified way and well organized.
2) I believe it is very productive as they learn the concept with no distractions. They can repeat the video if they don’t understand part of the concept. It works very well for those who are “visual”.
3) I think it is helpful to watch the video, but they are more effective if followed up by a hands-on practice activity.
4) It is nice that the child can watch the video, pause and/or replay as he/she wishes, therefore, learning at his/her own pace.
I do believe that once the child has been exposed to the concept, it will make learning in a group environment the next day more meaningful.
5) My son was pretty much willing to follow always follow up with a “part 2” if it was available. I would say that most kids are comfortable using this tool and the pace at which the video lesson is shown is very easy to work with.
6) My son gravitates to electronics. Computers makes him think it isn’t really homework. He was more likely to do it. However, once he was done learning, if I didn’t sit next to him, he would surf the net or do something else.
7) After doing the flipped homework, students can easily master the concepts in the day’s lessons.
8) Watching videos to reinforce the day’s lessons with this method is great. However, I’m not sure how this would work to investigate new concepts. A lot would depend on the quality of the videos and their consistency with the mathematical strategies. For example, they (the video homework) teach and that what is being taught in class. Otherwise, the videos may run the risk of confusing the child rather than clarifying.
5) Would you like to see more flipped homework?
15 of the 16 said, ‘Yes’, and one wrote, “not sure”.
6) Do you think the flipped homework activities were better when there were some actual questions for the students to practice after watching the homework video?
15 of the 16 questionnaires replied “Yes”. One did not put an answer. This was the same questionnaire that wrote undecided and not sure for questions 4 and 5 respectively.
Here are the comments at the end of the questionnaires. 7 questionnaires had responses:
1) I believe the flipped homework will be more effective if they have some related questions or homework to do right after watching the video.
This method works very well for kids who get distracted easily, who are active and have problems focusing or even shy to ask questions.
I hope to see more flipped homework in the future.
2) Some of the teachers (in the videos) were more effective than others: the children seemed to follow instructions better if the teacher sounded fun and upbeat.
3) Definitely yes to question #6. When my son tells me that he understood the concept presented in the video after watching it, it is difficult for me to determine whether he is telling the truth. He may understand that specific example being introduced in the video, but may have trouble applying this skill to a different scenario. Therefore, having practice questions afterwards would definitely help determining if a concept has been truly grasped.
4) Perhaps if you gave a “Parent Guide Manual” to use with it, would greatly help prepare the parents for what they are about to watch and learn.
5) We really like the “flipped homework” on math units. It would be great if you can continue this process in the whole school, specifically at the higher grade levels.
This activity can strengthen student’s knowledge and confidence on learning new things!
6) I feel that the flipped homework strategy works great as a reinforcement technique. If used solely on their own without for e.g. questions to practice afterwards, the students often takes a more ‘relaxed’ approach to watching these videos. In my opinion, the videos work only when the student knows that some questions will come after that they might be answering using these videos or the will be questioned about them in class. Otherwise, students watch them with less ‘alertness’, often paying very little attention to them—basically not taking them seriously. I have also heard, “Yeah, yeah, I don’t really need to watch this. We’ve done this in school already.”
7) I’m not sure I like the entire concept of curriculum being explained this way. IT DOES NOT ALLOW FOR IMMEDIATE QUESTIONS. Especially in a private schhol- I would expect the teacher to explain the curriculum in person/in class. I can understand using this technique in addition to… to reinforce the lesson and method…BUT NOT to replace the curriculum target in class.
As an educator, this is really interesting stuff. I will dedicate the next blog entry to dealing with the comments sections of this questionnaire.
Here are some basic conclusions:
- Parents, whose children had challenges accessing the homework, didn’t bring back the survey.
- All who returned the survey found it easy to access.
- The overwhelming majority of those surveyed would like to see more of this type of homework—most with follow up activities to do at home.
This also left me with a few questions:
- Did those who didn’t return the questionnaire not do so because they didn’t like the type of homework?
- If I put an “undecided” option on questions 4 and 5, would it have changed the results more?
- If I hadn’t explained what ‘flipped homework’ was before presenting it, and providing websites for parents to learn more about it, would the results have been as positive?
All in all, I am very thankful to my very committed families in our class. I will ponder a lot on this information in combination with my own experience and the students’ response.
Like I said earlier; I will dedicate another blog to the written-out component of the parents’ responses.
That is all for now.
See you on the flipside!
I love the idea that you involved parents in the data gathering. I have found that students and parents both need to be educated “along the way” as to the merits of flipping the classroom. For some the merits are not immediately visible. By involving them through the survey there is a sense of participation in the improvements process. I wonder how they would have felt had you made all the videos yourself? Would that have connected them more?
Jesse, enormous kudos to you for all the time you have put into introducing your students and parents to the flipped classroom educational paradigm. It is a privilege for me to have a birds eye view of the challenges, progress and checkpoints you are documenting for the benefit of your colleagues, school community and our cohort. I am convinced this type of learning/teaching will become more prominent in the 21st century classroom provided the resources and technology are readily available to teachers and students. Some of the parent comments are very interesting (especially the one about private schools). Overall, it would appear that several parents are concerned about new curriculum being disseminated this way and prefer the flipped classroom to be used to reinforce concepts that have been introduced in the more traditional way by their child’s teacher. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss this further f2f at our last gathering. Bravo Jesse!
I think parents will appreciate flip teaching to reinforce and consolidate concepts. There is nothing better than to have a student go home and look forward to doing the homework and parents to clearly understand what is being taught. I agree we will need to educate parents along the way! I think what would be beneficial to our school is learning ‘how to’ make a good video, when to use it and where to store flipped lessons to share with other teachers. I would love it if you would save some of your videos in Atlas to see how that works for faculty sharing!