Flipping over lynda.com

by Catherine Hillman on November 20, 2013


As you are no doubt aware by now, Information Services has purchased a site license for all faculty and staff to freely use lynda.com. This wonderful training video site has a vast library of topics for you to choose from, and we encourage everyone to find out how to log in, and check it out. 

I have been in the Flipped Classroom mode for a while, having just worked (along with Dr. Luanne Fose and Tonia Malone) with two wonderful groups of faculty over the summer who are engaged with flipping their own classes, and I was curious to see if the lynda.com video library:

a) included anything about Flipping the classroom;
b) presented the concept accurately as there are a lot of flippin’ myths out there about the topic; and
c) presented the concept in an interesting and practical format.

I did a quick search and found that the site does indeed offer a course on the Flipped method of teaching, and I started to watch the series. The videos I did glance at were great, from first glance. Not quite as good as our workshops, mind you, but not bad. I believe I watched three of them before my phone rang and I was asked to step in and help out in a quasi-emergency (I’m sure it was that urgent) situation. I got distracted from my task, but meant to come back to it.

That was three weeks ago…

Since then, I have accomplished quite a bit of work – don’t get me wrong – and much of that work has to do with events we launched in the CTLT,  upcoming workshops, project planning, meetings, choosing furniture for the new CTLT center (opening early next year on the 3rd floor of the library) and taking an extra day off to help my son visit CSU campuses. Very important stuff, really.

But today I received an alert on my calendar that resisted the Snooze button approach:

 “Blog Post Due” 

Actually, it was referring to this blog post. The blog post where I was supposed to review all ten wonderful videos on Flipping the Classroom before writing up my reflective review of the videos so you could read about it. 

Now… many faculty describe the scenario in the Flipped classroom where the student is given a task of watching a video or interacting with online materials prior to coming to class (giving the student the lecture as a type of preparation homework) so they are prepared to do the hands-on portion of application work in class, thus fully utilizing the face-to-face time in active learning. In essence, one is flipping the lecture to occur prior to class, and assigning the homework as an in-class activity to the presumably prepared students. Many faculty have asked me, “What if they don’t watch the videos beforehand?” which usually results in a discussion about intrinsic VS extrinsic motivation, proper assessment against purposeful learning objectives, and engaging peer pressure in group assignments during class.

And yes, here I am, cringing in irony, painfully aware that I did not watch all of the Flipped Class videos before sitting down to write this.

In resignation, I logged back into lynda.com looking to pick up that lost thread of video viewing…  and there it was:  the video I have needed to watch for a long, long time. There was Brenda Bailey-Hughes, the kind, attractive brunette with the gentle, forgiving voice, asking me if I just might be a procrastinator.

The fact that her series is less than half the length of the Flipped Classroom series was compelling in itself – “I’ll just watch this first,” I told myself. “Then, I’ll finish up Flipped.”

As she challenged me to define my time management habits, I realized I may not be a procrastinator so much as a prioritizer. On the surface, these can look like the same thing, but the results are different. Brenda warned me about “Procrastination pickup lines” and how we fool ourselves with these charming little lies. She challenged me to create a list of the things I’m putting off (I wrote “watch all of the flipping videos” at the top of the list), and then evaluate my stalling techniques. After some introspection on the reasons why I might be procrastinating, she asked me to create an action plan to overcome my concerns and get to the work at hand.

So, you’ll have to excuse me now. I’m excited about watching the Flipping the Classroom videos on lynda.com now that I’ve worked through my procrastination issues!  


Image above by liebeslakritze

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