Why Won't The Students Watch the Videos?

Decorative Photo: Students in bean bags on devices

Photo by cottonbro studio

Does this sound familiar?

You spent all summer at workshops and conferences learning how to flip your classroom.  You spent a lot of time online getting advice about how best to do it.  You joined social networks and you participated in numerous Twitter conversations.  You even started making the videos and posting them to YouTube.  The experts say that the more engaging your class is, the less you’ll need to worry about non-participation.  You’re excited, you’re optimistic, on day 1 this year, you were ready for your flipped class…

The problem is- your students weren’t and the experts were full of crap.  Sure the students were excited about all of the technology at first- they even watched the first couple of videos and filled out some Google Forms.  However, now it is a month into school and you notice the number of views for your videos went from 100 to 27.

Yep.  The students are done with the honeymoon phase and have realized that no one is holding them accountable for watching the videos, no matter how important or engaging they may be.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  Yes.

How do we get students to do their homework?

Wait, what?  Homework?  Yes.  Teachers who flip sometimes forget that people in our field have been asking that same question for over 100 years now.   Troy Cockrum reminded me that teachers have never had a 100% homework completion rate.  He’s right, it’s silly to think that just because the type of homework changed means the all of the students will start doing their homework.  It helps to remember that some students will avoid homework at all costs no matter what.

Okay but what about the others, why aren’t they doing it?  I am positive that my homework completion rate has never been as low as 27% before.  My problem is two-fold.

Some Ideas:

So what does my classroom look like?  Probably a lot like yours.  Now that it is a month into school, I will have a sit down with the students and again emphasize the importance of doing their homework.  No matter what though, I will always have a group of students who come to class and are put into the corner; students who’ve let down me and their groups because they couldn’t be bothered to do a quick homework assignment.