When Frank Fedel’s students finish a test, they don’t have to wait a week to get the results. They simply scan their multiple-choice test using the camera in Fedel’s laptop. The software Gradecam instantly corrects the test and the score is recorded in a virtual grade book.
“Students love it and hate it,” says Fedel, an assistant professor in the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance at Eastern Michigan University. Students that do well in Fedel’s class love seeing their grade immediately. It goes without saying those who struggle
are less enthusiastic about the bad news.
Gradecam is just one of many tools Fedel uses in his classroom. He’s a technology enthusiast and an inventor so experimentation comes naturally. Fedel is constantly trying out various edtech tools with the goal of providing his students with information in a way that caters to different learning styles. It was this pursuit that led him to stumble upon the flipped classroom.
“I initially wanted to give the students who had different abilities a little more time to think about what I was saying,” says Fedel. As a result he would record his in-class lectures for students to review. Fedel also began creating videos for students to watch in preparation for the next class.
“It all just came together and turned out to be what they call a flipped classroom,” says Fedel.
Fedel has been flipping his classroom since 2009 and has since developed a set of very specific tools that form the core of his flipped classroom technology. He has even invented an acronym for it, WIMPI.
The “W” stands for white board. Fedel uses an interactive white board to display 3D models in his anatomy and physiology class. By using the interactive white board to pull up the 3D images via the Internet, Fedel avoids having to draw the models by hand. Students also retain a digital copy of the models and any added notes for later reference.
The “IM” stands for information management. “I had the programmers here at the university create a customizable database,” says Fedel. The database contains everything from the URL for source material to the location of a particular book needed for class. Students can search the database for any information they might need over the course of the semester.
The “P” stands for Panopto, Fedel’s lecture capture software. The “I” stands for iclicker, the student response system that is used school wide. Students are actually required to purchase a clicker before beginning the program.
The final tool, not represented in the acronym, is GradeCam. “It’s basically an image recognition software,” says Fedel. The company provides you with a number of templates for designing a multiple-choice test. You can have anywhere from 10 questions to 100. The tests are then printed out and handed to students. Students are assigned an ID number for identification when scanning the finished exam. In Fedel’s classroom, this number is the last