Ann Ferren Teaching Conference

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AnnFerrenConference

This past weekend I attended and presented at the Ann Ferren Teaching Conference, which is a yearly conference held every January at American University.  The last time I attended this conference was in 2010 and had gotten a lot out of it.  This year I was invited to be a co-presenter for one of the sessions, “Finding Your First Flip: Getting Started with the Flipped Classroom Model.  My co-presenters for this session were Maya Marato and Meghan Foster.  The Goal for this session is to engage faculty in the process of “flipping” their lectures by helping them identify and evaluate topics and activities that are easily adapted to the flipped classroom model.

Attendees in our flipped classroom session had the opportunity to:

1. Think about their lectures and determine a few that could be turned into a recorded video.

2. Brainstorm participatory in-class exercises that build on the recorded lecture.

3. Share interactive or experiential activities that they would like to include, but have not had time to incorporate.

The session was one of the most popular at the conference and most favorably reviewed from all the evaluations.

Download the following handouts that I made for our session

10 Content Delivery Methods for Flipped Classroom
Flipping your classroom involves providing students with the opportunity and resources to engage with lectures and other more “passive” learning experiences outside of the classroom so that face-to-face time in the classroom can be dedicated to more “active” learning with greater levels interaction, participation, and experimentation. As such, resources for flipping your classroom involve both curating media and content that has already been developed (much like the readings and articles in your course syllabus) and creating media that transforms lectures that were normally delivered in class into a format that students can experience outside of class.  Below is a list of tools and resources for content curation and creation that will enable you to flip your classroom.  Give some a try…

10 Learning Incentives for a Flipped Classroom
In a flipped classroom model students engage in the more passive learning experiences outside of the classroom – reading, watching or listening to video lectures, interviews, etc. – so that more active and participatory learning can take place face-to-face, inside the classroom.  How then can educators provide appropriate incentives so that students are intrinsically motivated to actually do the readings, watch the videos, and/or listen to the podcasts?  Below are 10 ideas that tap into intrinsic motivators, set up appropriate incentives for consuming the material, and lay the groundwork for discussion and participatory learning in the class.

10 Active Learning Techniques for a Flipped Classroom
In a flipped classroom model students engage in the more passive learning experiences outside of the classroom – reading, watching or listening to video lectures, interviews, etc. – so that more active and participatory learning can take place face-to-face, inside the classroom.  How then can educators provide appropriate incentives so that students are intrinsically motivated to actually do the readings, watch the videos, and/or listen to the podcasts?  Below are 10 ideas that tap into intrinsic motivators, set up appropriate incentives for consuming the material, and lay the groundwork for discussion and participatory learning in the class.

Prior to our session I sat in on the Online and Hybrid Teaching group we chatted about a few cool online tools and resources:

  • Join.me, which is a web-based application that lets people share their screen and actually give over control to their screens to other users.
  • Shared Google Docs, which I am using more frequently with some of my classes at AU to do collaborative note-taking.
  • Slide Cloud – micro transmitting your slides to people’s hand held devices with some interactive elements built in.  It is like using webinar tools being used in a physical location.

We also had a good conversation about the importance of developing a learning community, whether its online or in-person.

The first session I attended was Encouraging Discussion, Participation, and Enthusiasm in Class, facilitated by Professor Chris Palmer, who is not only one of the most dynamic and energetic presenters I had had the pleasure of experiencing, he was also nice enough to let me share his handout from the session, CTRL Building Student Engagement Handout(1).  Take a look at it for some great ideas.

The second session I attended was, Teaching an Online Course: Using Social Media for Better Student Engagement, presented by Scott Talan, Jim Quirk, and Stef Woods.

The presentation on building your own website on WordPress.com was led by
Jim Quirk who teaches Government 396 – Politics of Nation Building. Since I already use WordPress.com and have for several semesters now, this part of the session was not particularly useful to me

Using Facebook for an Online Course presentation was led by Scott Talan who teaches in the School of Communication. One of Scott’s former students shared what he felt were some of the benefits of using Facebook in the course. (1) Its a more visually appealing experience than nothing at all or other alternatives. (2) The students already know the system of delivery, since the vast majority of millenials are already on FB and familiar with its interface. (3) They were asked to explain why are you posting an article, video, or link and how is it relevant to the class. Using Facebook created an immediate sense of community and safety when teaching a course online. FB also made way for, what Talan called “class-sourcing” = crowd sourcing with your class.

Using Twitter in Online Courses was presented by Stef Woods (@citygirlblogs). She introducec Twitter to her students by following the instructions below:

  • Set up a profile
    • safety concerns
    • learning the twitter language
  • Follow the class and 50 others in fields related to that class
  • Engage with followers
  • Article assignment
  • Promote project
  • Participate in a Twitter chat

When she facilitates an hour long Twitter chat she first drafts up 12 questions that she intends to address for 5 minute intervals. Since she has written out questions in Word first she just cuts and pastes them into the chat and has already checked to make sure they stay within the Twitter word count.

Some of the benefits of Twitter chats that she shared were that they encourages students to do the readings and synthesize the info with brevity.  It improves interaction between students, between students and the professors, and between the students and the larger community. It teaches a marketable skill.

She also spoke about the benefits of Storify in curating the best info from the web.  It also benefits Twitter chat in that it summarizes what happened for the students, they get a “gold star” experience, it increases interaction and there are then transcripts for future classes.

I used Twitter and Storify during one of the semesters teaching Education for International Development.  It was a fun experience.  Check out the post about it.

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