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Kieran Mathieson - Textbooks for Flipped Classrooms

Kieran Mathieson - Textbooks for Flipped Classrooms

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Published by Classroom 2.0 Book
Chapter submission for the Classroom 2.0 Book Project
Chapter submission for the Classroom 2.0 Book Project

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Published by: Classroom 2.0 Book on Aug 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Textbooks for Flipped Classes
Kieran Mathieson
Creative Commons License:
Author contact:
Author Biography:
Kieran Mathieson learned toprogram in the ‘70s, when computers were steam-driven. He has been an information systemsprofessor for more than 20 years. He works
on ways to make skill learning more effective and efcient. Kieran is the creator of 
, and FlippedTextbook.Com
Activity Summary
Many ipped courses use videos created by teachers. An alternative tool is the humble textbook.Could we design an online ipped textbook that replaces both videos, and traditional textbooks?This paper is about how online ipped textbooks should be designed. Important learning science
principles include:
Outcome-driven learning
Deep learning
Frequent formative feedback
Class or subject area: Flipped coursesGrade level(s):
Oriented to higher education, but should apply to K12 as well
Specifc learning objectives:
Explore new text-based approaches to the ipped classroom model
One innovation that’s sweeping across education is the ipped course. In a normal course, studentslisten to a lecture in class, and work on exercises at home. In a ipped course, students listen to,
watch, or read lectures at home, and work on exercises in class.
Many ipped courses use videos created by teachers, but that isn’t the only option. An alternativetool is the humble textbook. Could we design a ipped textbook that replaces both videos, andtraditional textbooks? And that improves on today’s ipped practices?
Before creating technology, we need to know the design goals. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of 
research on learning. We can use learning science principles to decide what a textbook for a ipped
course will be like.
This paper is about how online ipped textbooks should be designed. The principles are partially
implemented at
.The focus is on skills courses, like algebra, writing, and computer programming. Skills are more
difcult to learn than facts. When a student drops out of college, it’s more likely to be due to skills
courses, like math, than fact courses, like history. The paper is oriented to higher education, but theprinciples should apply to K12 as well.
Let’s look at learning science principles that can inform the design of ipped textbooks.
Outcome-driven learning
Designers should start by choosing skills that students will possessby the end of the course. Then designers work backwards, choosingcontent, creating exercises, andso on. Only content that helpsmeet outcomes is included in thebook.Figure 1 shows the table of contents from a book on buildingsimple Web sites, at CoreDogs.Com. There are no technicalterms in the table of contents,
because the book is not organized by technology. Instead, it is
organized around tasks, like “Make a Web page with text,” and“Make a page with tables.”Figure 2 shows the topics in the chapter about making a text Webpage. The chapter includes a lesson on “Writing for the Web.”
This is not about technology. It’s a lesson about language: using
short sentences, simple words, active voice, lists, etc. You need tothink about these things to accomplish the task “create a Web pagewith text.” 
Figure 1. Book table of contentsFigure 2. Chapter table of contents
Choose goals
Work backwards from the goals
Deep learning
To complete a task, you need to know facts, and do processes. Many textbooks have lots of facts, butdon’t tell students how to use them.“Deep learning” tries to change that. Less time spent on remembering facts. More time spent onlearning processes.
How can online textbooks encourage deep learning?
Outcome-driven learning 
Make the learning of processes one of your outcomes. Explicitly build it into your plans.Formative feedback
This is a Big Deal. A Huge Deal.
The best thing you can do to help people learn skills, is give them lots of formative feedback.
More on formative feedback later. It deserves its own section.
Process modeling with pedagogical agents
One way to help people learn a process is to show them someone doing it. It helps if the person
messes up from time to time, and recovers. Students learn how to recover from mistakes in real life.
Figure 3a Pedagogical agents using a tool Figure 3. Pedagogical agents starting a task 

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