Magazine article Distance Learning

Flipping, Single Concepts, and Video: So Many New Ideas-Or Are They?

Magazine article Distance Learning

Flipping, Single Concepts, and Video: So Many New Ideas-Or Are They?

Article excerpt

Flipping a classroom refers to recording a class lecture so students watch and listen at home to free up time in the classroom for discussions. What a popular idea (a silly one, too); teachers have always assigned homework, and then used class time instructor for explanation, review, amplification, and questions.

Of course some instructors still lecture. And, lecturing is okay, probably more so for traditional teachers than for distance educators. Today, it would be unheard of for a distance teacher to have a 50-minute presentation with little or no student interaction, yet flipped classroom advocates seem to promote recording lectures.

The next old idea with a new level of popularity is the single-concept lesson; this approach, although classic, is a great one. Single-concept teaching is a product of the mastery learning movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and is a technique of teaching that uses the single concept as the building block of instruction. Generally a singleconcept lesson is a relatively short 3-5 minute mediated presentation of an idea with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

The epitome of the single-concept lesson of the mastery learning generation was the film loop, a 3-4 minute motion picture showing a key idea such as mitosis in biology or the definition of median in statistics. Today, Youtube and Vimeo are loaded with single-concept lessons. When singleconcept lessons are part of a series and can be distributed or pushed to interested viewers as a series they are called podcasts.

One commonality between classroom flipping and single-concept teaching is the use of motion media. …

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