The flipped classroom has gotten a lot of buzz lately but today I was thinking about other things that could be flipped to make classes better. Bear with me. I'm thinking out loud and some of these ideas might not be ready for prime time but hopefully they will spark some thoughts and discussion.
New before old
Most of us have structured sessions to start with a review of the previous session as a way to getting learners back into the topic we are teaching, but what if we started with new stuff. Science shows that we are missing some of the retention boat by reviewing first. Novelty sparks memory. Wanna read more about this idea? You can check out this or this.
Reward questions instead of answers
Answering a question can be an end point, and is usually the point of tests and assessments in learning. And that is important. We need to know if the learner "got it." But "got it" doesn't further the inquiry like a new question does. I tried to think back on classes I have attended and taught and wondered how often there was a reward (whether that was extra credit points, recognition, or even a response) for a learner asking a good question.
Much like answers, success can be the end. But failure can bring about a fresh opportunity to try again, better, more knowledgeable than before. If it is framed in a positive way. Unfortunately, failure in learning is stigmatized and leads to less motivation to continue. But clearly it doesn't have to be that way. Think of games. Players spend most, maybe as much as 80% of their time failing, but they keep going. They learn from their mistakes, they re-examine their strategies, they keep at it. But in learning, we don't have do-overs often enough. Why not let someone retake a test. If the point is that they learned the material or the skill, then so what if it took them 3 tries instead of 1?
Well, I'm all flipped out for now, but let me know what you think. How have you flipped around the usual for your learners?