How to create a ‘flipped’ video lecture for at-home study

Math teacher Stacey Roshan creates video lectures that her students watch at home or on mobile devices. Photo by Mike Fritz/ PBS NewsHour

Stacey Roshan, a math teacher at the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., does it at her dining room table and sometimes on the sofa. Andy Kastl and his colleagues at suburban Detroit’s Clintondale High School do it in a sparse room in a corner of their school.

What are they doing? Recording lectures for students to watch at home or on their mobile phones as part of the flipped classroom approach to teaching.

Clintondale High School teacher Andy Kastl explains how he puts together his videos.

Clintondale is believed to be the only high school in the nation to “flip” completely, meaning lectures are watched outside of regular class time and traditional homework is done during class with teachers available to help.

“First when we did it, I was paranoid that it had to be perfect,” said Kastl, a social studies teacher.

“My first videos took 10 takes because I was worried I coughed or someone did something. But the more that I did it I realized, that’s genuine, that’s authentic. The kids actually kind of get a kick out of hearing me stammer over something or have to go back. Now when I do these (lectures) I intentionally make a mistake or two and part of the assignment is for them to catch my mistake. That’s how I know that they are really listening.”

Kastl, his colleagues and Stacey Roshan use screen capture editing software to put their video lectures together, and later upload the content to the Internet for students to view.

“I really think about what I want to cover in the lesson,” Roshan said. “Flow is really important to me, so I like them to flow from one to the other and really build up to the concept, the big idea that I’m trying to teach.”

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This story is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.