So despite what I wrote last about being hesitant about “flipping”, I decided to dive right in, starting in Summer 2015. I have now taught three full semesters, so I can report some of my experiences
In anonymous informal surveys, about 60% of students report that they prefer (to varying degrees) video lectures over traditional lectures. Further, many of the students who prefer traditional lectures find the activities in class useful to their learning (not realizing perhaps that traditional lectures and additional activities are mutually exclusive).
About the videos themselves, students prefer being able to pause/rewind, being able to review lectures at any time, having more interaction with me in class and being able to do things like practice exams, case studies and problem sets in class. These were all expected, and among the reasons I decided to flip in the first place.
Initially I had used some existing Youtube videos (Crash Course) in place of creating my own. I figured these taught the same material just as well as I could, but were better videos (I am inexperienced and have limited technology). Students in the first semester strongly preferred my own videos, so I have replaced those with my own.
Students also commented on the length of videos and internet access being obstacles to watching them. I will work with students who identify themselves as having limited internet access. I am also working to reduce the length of certain videos, largely by speaking faster and in some cases reserving subtopics to introduce in class.
Overall, I am thrilled with the number of students who prefer the flipped classroom. For almost all students, this is their first experience with the format and I was expecting more resistance to what is a big change for them. I am very open to adjustments and especially ways to improve viewership (the number of students who view videos prior to class).