Now is the Autumn of Their Discontent
It was bound to happen. A small group of students has approached me and asked me not to flip anymore. When I asked why, they said that they liked asking me questions while I was lecturing, so that they understood what I was doing before I moved on to the next step. I understand this completely. I would want to know the purpose and meaning of each step so that I could confidently transfer the knowledge to new questions of higher difficulty.
How do I respond to this? Since I was completely surprised by this, I reminded them that they can always email questions to me, or send me a message through Facebook. Both of these options are anonymous so they shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking questions. I check email and Facebook frequently enough that I can respond fairly quickly.
I also reminded them that, as seniors, they will be graduating and going to college next year, and they will be expected to have at least read something before attending the lectures. Also, if the class size is large, like most college freshman classes are, they won’t be able to ask questions during the lecture. So, in a way, I’m preparing them for this situation.
I’m thinking of starting a Facebook group with each group so that they can discuss the lectures with each other, since it seems likely that several students will have the same questions. I’m not sure about using Twitter in this situation, since it is less anonymous.
Has anyone else experienced resistance to the flip? If so, what have you done about it? I have no intention of going back to traditional lectures after the success I’ve had so far this year, but I also don’t want to lose these troubled students, since they are among the most diligent and most principled students I have.