Self Regulated Learning in the Flipped Class

If self-regulated learners need to be aware of their academic strengths and weaknesses, I worry that many of my Honors students, even some of my AP students have not yet reached this level of maturity.  Students that are self-regulated learners enjoy challenges and opportunities to practice and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.  They know that this will lead them to success. They are successful because they have the skills to manage their learning environment.  Their success breeds success.  This is such an important skill for students to have.  I see this as a skill that is lacking in most high school students.  As a teacher devoted to the flipped classroom method of teaching,  I believe that the flipped class can help students to become better self-regulated learners.  The module that I am developing is built around the flipped classroom approach.

In a flipped class, students are required to learn content knowledge on their own prior to class and are then asked to work in groups to apply this knowledge during face to face class time. For the students who are new to this method of learning, they may be initially frustrated, since it requires them to learn content knowledge alone at home instead of being taught by teachers in a classroom. Because of this they may come unprepared for in-class learning activities, which can result in low performance in class.

Therefore, although the flipped classroom is useful in offering access to content knowledge and opportunities for students to self-regulate their learning process, not every student is capable of taking advantage of these opportunities. Giving students control over their learning process is necessary in the flipped classroom, and self-regulated learning becomes a crucial part of the success in flipped classroom learning. I am still struggling with how to make this work with my students.

I have found that the flipped nature of my class, tends to force students to become more independent in their learning. For students that are excited about the course, the flipped nature of the class can be very rewarding.  I make so many resources available online that interested students can really get a much deeper understanding of the material than they would have from a traditional lecture-based class.  For the students who are not as motivated, the material online does not seem to help them and they are not as successful.  As one student told me, “I don’t like all this online stuff”.   Is it because they are self-regulated learners that the flipped classroom works for them or is it because they are interested in the material that they are self-regulated learners??

The method that I use for the first exposure to a lesson is usually a video lecture that I have prepared. They need to write notes from the video lecture. The flipped class assignments that follow the video can vary; from online quizzes to worksheets to short writing assignments, but in each case the task provides a small incentive (a few points) for students to come to class prepared. The pre-class assignments that my students complete online as evidence of their preparation for class also help me to assess their understanding and tailor the class activities to focus on areas where they are struggling.

I use automatically graded quizzes that can help students pinpoint areas where they need help. This seems to be very motivating for the students that are SRL. They retake the quizzes and come in to ask about questions they missed. Furthermore, the immediate feedback that occurs in the flipped classroom also helps students recognize and think about their own growing understanding. I particularly find the short answer questions that students submit as evidence of their understanding to be effective.  I provide quick and positive feedback to each student and this seems to help them feel more confident in their learning progress. Consistent positive feedback seems to be the best way to encourage students to work harder and more independently.

In a flipped class if the students gain basic knowledge outside of class, then they need to spend class time to promote deeper learning. If the student cannot become a self-regulated learner then they will not be able to gain the basic knowledge outside of class and the flipped class will not work very well for them. If I am going to use the flipped class then I must try and help my students become better self-regulated learners.  I must design my online resources to facilitate their progress in become SRL.









5 thoughts on “Self Regulated Learning in the Flipped Class”

  1. The flipped class seems like an interesting concept. An entire class dedicated to doing what I do at the beginning of many of my lessons. I was having questions about whether or not 7th graders can accomplish SRL and I think as they get to high school, in your type of class, that is a great learning experience and forces them to use SRL (sink or swim). I like the idea of lots of feedback so the students know they are on the right track. Do the students generally get on board and get better with the process of self- monitoring and reflecting in your type of course? How do you address the ones who are not doing so well, aside from encouragement? I would like to try one of my lessons this way to see what comes out of it. It may be a good starting point for me, in my middle school class, to begin preparing and modeling srl methods and see how it goes with them.

    1. Kim,
      The students usually do finally get on board, when they figure out that I am not changing my teaching method and they are not getting the grades that they want. I have only Honors students and so the grade factor is a great motivator. I cannot be sure if they get any better at self-monitoring, but they do start to come to class better prepared. I use “clickers” to evaluate how prepared they are to move forward with the lesson. They do not like to see that they are behind other in the class and this also motivates them. I probably do not “encourage” those Honors students that are choosing to not use the online resources… I let them know that it is not acceptable to come to class unprepared and that if they are unwilling to prepare for class…. maybe Honors Chemistry is not the place for them. Not politically correct, I know. After I lay it on the line with them… I then let them know that I feel that they are very capable students and I would like to see them become successful in the class. I would say by the middle of the 2nd quarter most students are on board… but not all…. and that is their choice. Starting earlier and much kinder with your young students would certainly help to prepare them for high school and college.

  2. I love your implementation of the flipped classroom. Did you gradually implement the flipped style or did you spend like an entire summer getting your resources together? Your content is so organized on Schoology and you have each and every folder packed with everything you need to successfully implement the flipped classroom. I have tried elements of flipping the classroom but I found that using it inconsistently is not successful.

    1. Sarah,
      It has taken me a few years to get the class flipped the way I want and I am still working and struggling with it. I used moodle and My Big Campus before Schoology and making the video lectures is very time consuming. But I do think it is worth the trouble. I see a difference in how much direct instruction I need to give in class and how much faster we can move through basic material and add deeper learning activities and labs.

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