Thursday, July 14, 2011

LabSim Allows Instructors to “Flip Class”

ZDNet’s Christopher Dawson reported last week on “flipped classrooms,” a hot topic at the recent conference of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) in Philadelphia. Flipped classrooms, Dawson explained, are when an instructor assigns class lectures as homework, usually recorded on video, and uses class time instead for hands-on learning, group work, or labs.

On ISTE’s blog, the conference’s presenters on flipped classrooms make the case that flipping a class “engages students to be independent learners.” In a flipped classroom, students are able to work at their own pace, and instructors have class time to work one-on-one with students and give individual help where needed.

As I read about flipped classrooms, I thought immediately of LabSim, a tool for teaching IT that gives instructors the flexibility to flip their classroom or arrange class time in many different ways to meet the individual needs of students. Many instructors who utilize LabSim courseware assign LabSim videos as homework. The videos, with recordings of industry experts teaching and demonstrating technology concepts, function as class lecture for many classes. As students watch the videos, they can pause, skip backward and forward, or rewatch the videos as many times as they need to fully grasp the content. Many students also utilize the Closed Captioning feature of LabSim videos to read and listen to the instruction at the same time.

When students come to class having watched the video already, they are prepared to take part in hands-on labs where they can practice the concepts they were taught in the video. Sometimes the lab completed in class is also from LabSim, and students work individually on the virtual lab while the instructor answers questions and gives one-on-one help. Other times instructors offer physical labs during class.

Instructors, how do you utilize the components of LabSim courseware to meet the individual needs of your students?

No comments:

Post a Comment