Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

The Flipped Class: Students Talk

CJ Westerberg, May 25, 2012 11:47 AM


Editor's Note:  This guest post is Part 2 by teacher Stacey Roshan, outlining the major feedback from her AP Calculus class students about THEIR flipped classAlong "with all the comments received, unedited" from her  Student Satisfaction Survey in this post, be sure to check out Roshan's Part 1- Reflecting on the Flipped Class through Student Feedback,  published on The Daily Riff to get a better idea of the context and intent of this initiative.
I particularly liked hearing how the students think about their own learning and her goal of building independence among her students about their own learning.   Thanks, Stacey, for sharing your findings with us  . . . and everyone out there tweeting and linking to The Daily Riff posts. 

If you are a newbie to the flipped class, more related articles at end of this post.
 - C.J. Westerberg

"There is no one-size fits all in education,
but as teachers,
we always can benefit from observing and listening to our students."
-Stacey Roshan

Students Talk about Their Flipped Class
Six Questions -
Student Feedback

By Stacey Roshan

I was impressed with how detailed and thoughtful the students were, and how seriously they took the survey. I was expecting the results to be positive, but I was pretty shocked by just how positive they were. It was pretty clear that students felt that the format of class helped them in the course.  While my class sizes are small, larger class sizes might benefit even more greatly for the same reasons suggested by the students.  (Questionnaire format was anonymous.)

Overall, the student satisfaction survey indicated that students felt very supported in this class and they reported overwhelmingly positive results about having an opportunity to get their questions answered during class time. All students reported that they preferred the format of this class and none would have preferred going back to the "normal" class format. Students felt that instruction was more individualized because the lectures were watched at home. They particularly appreciated that it was always possible to catch up on missed work when absent from class without requiring extra instruction.  Most students reported that the format of class made them less afraid of asking questions. Students agreed that it was helpful to have the video resources to re-watch in preparing for tests, though some indicated that they did not always review them often. Students also reported that they felt that the format of class helped reduce anxiety about homework, reduced homework load (in fact, over half reported that they believed the format greatly reduced homework load), and that they felt they had more of an opportunity to learn from classmates.

When students were asked what they liked most about the format of class, most pointed to the differentiated, customized learning experience. They most certainly enjoy being in control of when to "pause me" versus when their classmate needs to slow down. They also indicate feeling more supported in working through problems and many remarked feeling less stress.

Here are the results (italicized are verbatim responses):

What do you like most about the format of class?
(Photo: Roshan far l. with student)

Stacey Roshan in Class.pngThe freedom and ability to ask questions and be independent . . . just like a college class.

In previous math classes, we had to move at the pace of the slowest kids, and that's fine, but it's nice to have the lectures under your belt and then work on problems at your own pace.

The format of this class allows us to work at our own pace. If we need to pause a video and rewind, it is much simpler than interrupting a teacher during class and asking her to repeat what she said. I also love that we have class time to work with other students and ask individual questions. Another great aspect of this format is that it reduces stress because it is so easy to make up the work at home by watching the videos.

The fact that we were not as rushed with our 'homework' as we would be if we had to do it all on my own at home. "

The teacher is helpful, the students are helpful so that we can improve together.

The ability to know the amount of time you would need for calc homework.

I don't have to sit at home and struggle with math problems. It takes a lot of stress out of weeknights.
I can get help with whatever problems I need instead of struggling with hard problems at home with no help.

Being able to re-watch the videos as many times as i needed. How i felt like an independent learner.
When asked what they liked most about the video lectures, students again pointed toward the ability to customize the pace.

What do you like most about the video lectures?

I like how we did homework in class and I got to ask questions.

The ability to rewind and understand and take notes.

It's nice to be able to watch the lectures at any time of day and move quickly or slowly depending on my understanding. Also, the lectures covered everything we had to know for each topic, so there were no surprises come test time. Everything we needed to know was on paper and the lectures told us how to do them. I never really used the videos for a review tool, I liked practice problems much better.

The video lectures allow for a student to work at their own pace. And it is important to note that all students have different strengths. For instance, I watched some videos three times, and skimmed through other ones.

They were engaging and helped us learn the material easily.

That you could watch them on your own time and it was easy to access them.

The fact that you can go at your own pace.

The video lectures are great for me because I am a visual learner. It really helps me to see Ms. Roshan solve the problems and explain them step by step. Taking notes on the printout also helps to keep me engaged in the powerpoint and makes me feel as if I am solving the problems.

I can re-watch confusing sections and it is very easy to study

I can review anytime. With notes.

How they were concise yet showed many of the different problem types with each subject.

I can pause and go back if I don't understand.
I can go through them and review them at my own pace.

The clarity and pace of them.
When asked what students disliked about class and what suggestion they would have for a change next year, many reported "nothing," yet there were interesting critiques about the flipped class format and the class in general. 

What do you dislike most about this class?

It was frustrating when we did not get enough time to work on practice problems in class and we had to go over things. I was pretty dependent on getting work done in class, because I work much better in school than I do at home, and I learn best by working on problems myself rather than listening to how to do something (which is why I didn't like conventional classes). I understand we need to go over certain things, but it was annoying to be expected to do more than one thing at home when we fell behind by no fault of mine.
I disliked that it was only 45 minutes a day.
 That we could not do corrections on all test and quizzes.

Sometimes I feel as if the way the class is run causes me to take longer to understand the material than if it was being taught in class.

The grading of tests and quizzes, a small curve would be lovely.

If you fall behind because you were slacking off, it takes a lot of time to catch up.

The concepts were hard to grasp and the problems were very difficult, but it was made as easy as it could've been.

If you could offer one suggestion for a change next year,
what would it be?

More points for homework

A more consistent routine of videos at home, maybe one go-over day, and then a number of days to do a lot of problems that we can do at home, but are expected to do in class and are given ample time to do so.

Shorter videos

Watching videos every other day giving time to do homework from the previous section that night

Less video-making. Often the videos weren't all that good and took a while to make

Slight curve on tests/quizzes.

Making videos is helpful but sometimes boring.

Make more review videos as a class.

More space on the printed power points.
I'll let the next question speak for itself. A lot of awesome feedback here:

How do you think the format of class has helped you this year?

It allowed me to talk more to my teacher.

I have been able to be independent but still get my work done

Last year, it was hard to learn everything because the class was so big. This year, everything has sort of led into the next topic and being able to work on problems in class helps get at the root of issues that I may have, rather than struggling endlessly with them at home.

Work at my own pace and lower anxiety due to Ms. Roshan's extreme organization.

I was better prepared for the AP exam than in any other AP course this year.

It has helped me manage my time and become more comfortable with learning online which will help for college.

It has allowed me to all ways have the lectures at home to watch. It really helped because I am not the best note taker.

I think that the format of the class helped me to get more comfortable working with classmates and asking questions. I got so used to working on math problems at home, and it was nice to have the support of classmates.

It put more responsibility on me to get an understanding of the material

More time on class to focus on my problems.

I like that I can work on hard problems in class with the support of the teacher.

I got a lot more help with the problems in class so I had an easier time grasping how to do questions.

I suffered a concussion at the begging(sic) of the year. I missed about 2 months of school work.
Out of all my classes AP calculus was the easiest to catch up on. Also When I finally caught up I didn't feel at all disadvantaged from missing class.
Finally, I asked students how they thought the format of class has not helped. It was interesting that one student's response for what they did not like was exactly one of my aims - The whole independent learner bit :)

How do you think the format of class has NOT helped you this year?

I honestly don't know how to answer this question.

The class helped me in almost every way.

I think that over all it really just helped

I don't think it has not helped me.

It didn't help with taking notes/paying attention because if I missed something or was not very focused in watching a video, I could just re-watch the section with no real consequence.

Less time to think individually.

I've become really independent, and if I didn't keep up with work, I'd be in some trouble. Lucky I haven't.
At first I only grasped specific problems and not overarching concepts, but as the year went on I improved at both.

And on that note, I will close with a huge smile on my face and call it another very successful year of flipping my AP Calculus AB classroom! There is no one-size fits all in education, but as teachers, we always can benefit from observing and listening to our students. And that's just what the flipped classroom provides: giving students a stronger voice,
making the classroom experience about playing with ideas rather than throwing information
at them at lightning speed, allowing time to individually check in with students on a regular basis, providing the resources for them to customize pace, and giving students the peace of mind that their teacher is not more than a step away when they need you most.

Stacey Roshan is a teacher at Bullis School, an independent high school in Maryland.
Stacey Roshan's videos on Screencast
Stacey Roshan's videos in iTunes (not all videos stored)

The Flipped Class Manifest by Brian E. Bennett, Dan Spencer, Jon Bergmann, Troy Cockrum, Ramsey Musallam, Aaron Sams, Karl Fisch, Jerry Overmyer

How the Flipped Classroom is Radically Transforming Learning by Jon Bergmann, Aaron Sams

The Flipped Class: Shedding light on the confusion, critique and hype by Aaron Sams

Are you Ready to Flip? by Dan Spencer, Deb Wolf, and Aaron Sams

 "The Flipped Class:  Myths vs. Reality" by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie

 "The Flipped Class: What Does a Good One Look Like?" by Brian Bennett, Jason Kern, April Gudenrath and Philip McIntosh

Private School Math Teacher Flips Learning by Stacey Roshan

The Flipped Class:  Show Me the Data! by Stacey Roshan

Teachers "Doing the Flip" to Help Students Become Learners

  • Ryan

    Thanks for compiling this info!

    Here is a reflection I wrote after reading your post: http://ryanbanow.blogspot.ca/2012/06/student-thoughts-on-flipped-teaching.html

    Thanks again.


  • Stacey Roshan

    Great question. Here is how *I* do it... And note that I use the word "homework" even though we do most of it in class :) I've never assigned many points for homework and I'm not big on grading for correctness because homework is an opportunity to make errors and learn from them. Quizzes are my check to make sure students are doing and understanding the problems. In some classes, I even give homework quizzes, which might be made up of a couple of questions directly from the assignments in the unit. That gives me the opportunity to reward those who have worked hard to understand the assignment and gives students incentive to review assignments on their own. (I also try not to assign too many problems so there is time for this review of assignments, as I feel it is essential.) In my AP Calculus class, a student's grade is almost entirely based on quizzes, tests, and a final exam -- and I see the quizzes as an opportunity for the hard workers to grab maximum points. Hope this helps!


  • Robin Cochran Dirksen

    Just a technical question, one of your students mentioned that they wished assignments were worth more. I spent last year getting to know Camtasia better, and this year am looking forward to the full-flip and one of my worries is that students will do well on daily work because we will do it in class together, and that it may not necessarily reconcile with test grades. Was that something you encountered? And if so, how do you deal with the discrepancies between homework scores and test scores? Also, what percent of the grade do you make the daily work vs. assessment, and labs?

blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook


Cool Smart Teen: Changing the conversation about building stuff

SMW, 11.04.2013

Not just building an app to play with . . . but a test for cancer

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories

Stanford.design-thinking. innovation.jpg

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

SMW, 11.03.2013

Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose

Read Post | Comments
early education.preschool.jpg

How Much Do Early Years Lead to Student Success?

CJ Westerberg, 11.03.2013

"The idea being that wasn't necessarily to create little engineers everywhere, though that would be great for us. The idea was to take advantage of the natural learning process and curiosity that children have at that age . . ." Tamika Lang, Boeing

Read Post | Comments

NEW: Weekend Reading

SMW, 11.03.2013

Looking for Intimacy in the Age of Facebook is a higher education course (yes, you heard right). Interestingly, social media may inhibit creativity and innovation

Read Post | Comments

The New Resume

SMW, 10.31.2013

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video game-like format is worth . . .

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education

CJ Westerberg, 10.31.2013

"Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . . "

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: In the news again, this time about Twitter and High Schoolers

SMW, 10.31.2013

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, "father of linguistics", political commentator.  From bio: "Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today":               ...

Read Post | Comments

Choke: Test-taking - - - a different way to look at test-prep?

CJ Westerberg, 10.28.2013

"Most students will not find a steady diet of test-prep drills and worksheets to be particularly meaningful, and accordingly, they will not put forth optimal learning effort."

Read Post | Comments

Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, 10.27.2013

"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

Read Post | Comments