Flipped classes teach from different perspective

If presented with a virtual way of being educated, would you embrace the new age method or would you revert to the traditional way?

Pierce College is participating in flipped classrooms, which is teaching that “inverts the traditional classroom by delivering instruction online, outside of class, and moving ‘homework’ into the classroom,” according to Pierce chairman of mathematics Robert Martinez.

Martinez is currently teaching calculus 2 entirely flipped. He has also taught calculus 1 flipped for three-to-four semesters.

“What I do is make a video, or I can direct you to a video, which you would have to watch and provide proof that you watched it the next day, and that would be the instruction outside of class. Then the in-class would be to do the homework, so it’s flipped,” Martinez said.

Besides Martinez, other Pierce instructors that have used the flipped-class method such as mathematics professor Edouard Tchertchian.

Tchertchian helped Martinez create the detailed powerpoint “Do a Flip!” used to thoroughly explain the new method to students.

Included in the powerpoint are instructions on how a professor can prepare themselves for the flip method and how they can create and upload videos that their future students will watch.

For his calculus courses, Martinez has recorded over 270 videos that he has uploaded to Youtube that also include links to other videos, demos and notes that can be found online.

These links add to the amount of information and level of education that Martinez’s students are receiving, resulting in positive feedback from some of his students.

Pierce sophomore and economics major Daniel Cordoba is in his second semester of calculus with Martinez. He took calculus 1 flipped and is currently in Martinez’ calculus 2 course.

“I’ve struggled with math my whole life and I never thought I’d make it calc 2. I never even thought I’d make it to calc 1,” Cordoba said. “So having this flip style, and the oversight of the professor giving you one-on-one help in class, really helps you engage in the material and understand it more, and also get a different approach to it.”

Cordoba’s first-time experience with the flipped-class method was difficult at first, but he picked up on it, and thinks that all math classes should be taught flipped.

“Specifically for math, I think all math classes should be taught like this,” Cordoba said. “I took his [Martinez] class, the flip method, for two semesters and I can say for calc 1, the first semester, I had a lot of trouble adapting to it at first, just because it was so strange to me. But I think mid-way through the semester, I was able to really identify what was going on, and how I was supposed to use it.”

Cordoba isn’t the only student that favors the flip method. Freshman and mathematics major Jesse Franckowiak described the method and think that the flip style is great.

“Really it’s like a normal class, but you get a lot more flexibility. The benefits are pretty obvious, I really don’t understand why more classes don’t do it,” Franckowiak said.

Martinez is currently the only professor at Pierce that is teaching his classes entirely flipped, with the exception of a few other professors who have taught some lessons flipped, according to Martinez.

Because the teaching style takes so much preparation from the professors, like recording videos and preparing lectures that are seen online, Martinez thinks that is the reason it hasn’t been adopted by more instructors.

“It is a style of teaching, you can do one lesson or you can do the entire class that way,” Martinez said.

But Franckowiak is believer in the flip method.

“Flip style is the way to go,” Franckowiak said.