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Flipping the Classroom to Boost Soft Skills

Helping students gain “soft skills” such as writing, speaking, and organization, is an essential part of preparing students for the real world (and a key element of the campus strategic plan), but not every class can be focused on the basics when there is other content to cover. This is a good opportunity to “flip” this aspect of your class by using short prerecorded lessons to help the students learn the basics outside of class, and then you can move to the next level during class. This can also help address different levels of skill and experience among students, allowing students who need more help with basics to acquire them without calling attention to themselves in class or feeling like they are slowing down others.

A good example of these is the TED Ed Writers Workshop series. Produced by the group that puts on the TED talks, this series includes short videos on specific topics about writing, many written and narrated by notable authors. These can be inserted in a general section on writing in the LMS, inserted into a digital syllabus, posted as part of the description of an assignment, or even shown as an opening as students arrive for class.

The TED Ed Writers Workshop series is just one example of the many topics covered on the TED Ed  site, and Ted Ed is just one of many other sources. If you have students who are struggling with a basic skill or concept, it is worth searching to see if someone out in the world has explained it well in a recorded lesson that you can post for your students.

If you have a favorite source, or discover one that you think is worth sharing, let us know!

Here are a few examples from the TED Ed Writers Workshop series:



Intro Screen of Ted Ed Talk