Blended Learning Final Blog Week 3 - Needs Assessment

            This week I wanted to start digging into the Needs assessment for my final. The goal of encouraging teachers to try flipping their classrooms is to improve student interest and engagement. If we want to cultivate students’ interest in learning, it's vital we encourage their participation in the learning process. It's also imperative that our students not only understand the content they are learning but also the reason why they are learning it. How can this information be applied?  

            Assessing student engagement can be difficult. A common way to asses student engagement is though class discussion. The famous question "Who can tell me..'fill in the blank'.." The issue that commonly arises from this method of assessment is usually only a few of the same student’s volunteer to answer. This creates a false assessment. Pérsida and Bill Himmele have a great alternative they talk about in their Edutopia article called " 3 Ways to Ask Questions That Engage the Whole Class." One activity that sparked my interest is Chalk board Splash. "Chalk board Splash - Unlike a verbal question, the Chalkboard Splash guides all students to process and share their responses to an important question at the same time—they can’t just wait for that one student who always raises their hand. In our experience, even students who are disengaged will actively think about the content and make connections as required by the higher-order prompt." (https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-ask-questions-engage-whole-class) The steps for this activity are as follows: 

  • The teacher should prepare a higher-order prompt that captures a major element of the lesson.
  • In class, the teacher asks students to write down their responses in their notes or on a separate sheet of paper.
  • To make sure that this activity doesn’t take up too much time, students then pare their responses down to 15 words or less. They then grab a piece of chalk or a whiteboard marker and write that short response on a designated area of the board.

      I love this activity because it requires all students to be engaged at once. It's important all teachers assess their classes frequently for student engagement. If engagements is low flipping the classroom is a wonderful solution for improving it.