One of the areas that is problematic for people who want to try flipping their classroom is the common idea that all you have to do is record your lecture and ask students to watch it ahead of time or as part of an online course. BIG MISTAKE promoted by lecture capture companies! Recorded lectures are not interactive, they are too long to meet peoples’ attention needs and they often focus on talking heads which is very poor input (unless your head illustrates the topic being discussed.) Cognitive overload is very common in this type of flipping and retention of content is poor.
Look at the beginning of this Behavioural Genetics lecture capture video of 1 hr 38 minutes. Three minutes in the instructor explains the basic concept using his voice only, combined with an image of the speaker pacing back and forth (a useful technique for engaging your live audience but distracting in a video). How much of the basic concept would the novice retain by lecture end? For the auditory learners in the class, he was probably a very entertaining speaker, but his brief use of the whiteboard is poorly shown by the capture technology. This lecture would have been better captured in a podcast without the visual distractions of his image.
Here are some tips for flipping videos to help people memorize:
- Keep them short -under 15 min.- and focused on one key concept (Attention)
- Chunk videos into no more than seven concepts per session (Cognitive Overload)
- Start with a story (Relevance)
- Use a graphic organizer at either beginning or end if there are important interconnections (Scaffolding)
- Use images of presenter at beginning and end if instructor presence is needed.
- Use clear, simple visual illustrations of all key concepts (input).
If you are teaching a skill:
- Demonstrate the complete procedure, including patient and team interaction
- Repeat the actual procedure progress by chunking videos into numbered steps (Cognitive overload and Scaffolding)
- Use still photos in the video to illustrate complex movements (Scaffolding).