Pre-Class: The Video Lecture
Probably the most time and effort in preparation for the flipped course from the instructor's point of view is the video lecture. For some reason, we as instructors fall into this trap of needing to perfect the video through numerous takes, cuts, scripts.. easily spending 8-10 hours at a time on one video lecture. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received in regards to the video lecture was at the recent BCCE conference at Grand Valley State University from Dr. Gregory Muth of St. Olaf College. He said to just make the video, one take, get it done and move on; and that is advice I have followed since day one. I spend no more than 8-10 hours preparing and working on a video lecture, including time spent on preparation of the power point presentation and treat it much like I would a traditional live lecture. To record my lectures, I use the app Recordable on my Samsung Note tablet and upload to YouTube. The videos allow students to pause, rewind, and replay as often as they like, and so far have been well received by my class.
During Class: Group Learning
After Class : Homework
In addition to online homework, I also utilize current media or interesting studies related to the current unit's material to spur online discussions. And I have to say, these students do exceptionally well discussing topics such as the increased rate of the ebola virus genetic mutations, and the effect of climate change on specific ecosystems at the cellular level.
Some other bits of advice... don't be so hard on yourself, even in traditional lectures, the class doesn't always run as according to plan. You may run out of time, an activity may not have worked as well as you hoped, or you may finish waaaay to early and didn't prepare. So first, keep a teaching journal and immediately following class go back and right down what worked and what you could change for next year. If you finish early, never under estimate the power of classroom discussions, keep a few think-pair share questions on hand, a good one is to have students jot down 3 things they already know about the next unit's material, or have them come up with 3 possible exam questions. And always remember, if your students watched the lecture videos and read their assignments, then even if the day's group activity fail short of expectations, it was still above and beyond what they would have gotten from a traditional course.