A colleague in a liberal arts discipline once asked me how my flipped teaching is different from him asking students to read the book before coming to class. My responses are:
1) Expectation. Students in flipped classes must know the majority of the material. They study a lot more than doing a preview level of reading.
2) Accountability. In my flipped classes, various measures are created to help students learn and to also prevent them from not learning. I can effectively weed out "pretenders" or "free-riders".
Here is how I raise expectation and enforce accountability in flipped teaching:
Video lessons and/or reading guides. For advanced classes like Real Analysis or Modern Geometry, I use a detailed reading guide. But for most classes I teach, I use video lessons (up to Calculus III.) Each video lesson is 8 to 15 minutes long. (A recent research claims that 8 minutes are optimal for student attention but one sometimes simply has more to say.) If you have a lot of material, break it up into smaller chunks.
Guided notes. These notes are based on the video lessons, and students must use them while watching the videos. My guided notes require students to write down important information, answer/solve basic questions, and self-assess their understanding. The notes are spot-checked in class for grades.
Check-in Quizzes. Students also take a short online quiz, 5 multiple-choice questions or so, based on the video lessons and guided notes. The questions are rather straightforward Students must complete the quiz before the class begins.
The better the instructor holds students responsible for learning before class, the more effective the flipped teaching would be.
Next: (3) In-Depth Learning in the Classroom
Dr. Ben Weng