Thursday, January 22, 2015

Flipping a Class

Strogatz is one of the best teachers in the world on nonlinear dynamics & chaos theory and he decided to "flip" his class. What is flipping? Another class has the description,
Math 1241 will use an “inverted” (or flipped) format for class instruction. The lecture material will be posted online in the form of videos and text that will be watched and read at home. Given that you will be expected to spend significant time outside of class with the lecture material, there will be less homework assigned than in a typical math course. Instead, much of the “homework” will be done in class, where you will work on problems and projects in groups.
This approach can scale too; Theoretically Strogatz isnt needed to flip his lecture, others can flip his courses for him (his video lectures have been on Youtube for some time). In beneficial to have Strogatz around to answer questions obviously, but if enough knowledge-base builds around a course, there'll be enough people / material to answer questions. Certification: star teacher approves other teachers, who can approve more, on it goes, and anyone in this chain can assign fail/pass grades to anyone. Your pass grade can always carry your distance to "the grandmaster"; "I have Strogatz-3 for nonlinear dynamics, and Strang-2 for linear algebra" meaning the chain for this class certification is 3 levels removed from the big honcho. With 6 hops you can reach a lot of people on the planet (which is very funny because this happens to be the subject of another famous Strogatz paper).