Fizz Method


The Fizz Method of flipping the classroom opens the door for more effective use of class time, provides a more personalized approach to learning, and helps build better relationships among students, teachers, and parents.

Teachers using the Fizz Method develop and reflect upon their own series of efficient video lectures specific to their content area (e.g., algebra, biology, etc.). Students can watch the video lectures for homework or any time during the class period, which allows teachers to use more of the class time for application, differentiated instruction, and student collaboration; in effect, flipping the classroom. Making video lectures accessible, students can learn at their own pace, reviewing a video as many times as needed. The Fizz Method focuses on providing personal, teacher-delivered content to the students, parents, and the educational community.

The Fizz Method of creating video lectures has three basic requirements: (1) Each video must be recorded in a simple 1-take style, (2) the teacher must appear in the video, and (3) the teacher must model handwritten notes.

Some may ask why the 1-take style of video is required. The “hit record, present your material, then hit stop – and your product is done” style of video creation is something that any teacher or student can start using tomorrow in order to create content. Using simple tools for generating classroom video content will ensure that the largest number of classrooms can benefit from the Fizz Method of teaching and learning.

Some may question why the teacher must be in the video. The answer lies in the importance of using facial cues, eye contact, and gesturing. Researchers like Riegelsberger [3] argue that the face is a very important source of emotional cues. This insight has been used in the advertising industry for a long time; advertisers found that photographs and videos of familiar faces attract more attention and create a powerful and meaningful response that is more engaging than just text or non-facial images. Findings from neurologists also support this notion. They have demonstrated that face-processing is performed in a highly developed brain region separate from other regions that deal with textual or visual information [4].

Cohen, Sebe, Garg, Chen, and Huang [5] argue that to achieve effective human-to-computer interaction (such as a video lecture delivered via computer), the user needs to interact naturally with the computer media, similar to the way human-to-human interaction takes place. Therefore it is critical that the teacher be in the video to use facial cues, eye contact, and gesturing during the delivery of content to make the videos reflect that human-to-human interaction. The more a video lecture reflects a human-to-human interaction, the more engaging and effective student learning will be.

Some may wonder why the modeling of handwritten notes is necessary. For teachers, modeling is a critical strategy that allows students to see their thought process, which increases students’ understanding of the teacher’s methods [6]. Each video lecture created by a teacher provides an opportunity to model the important skill of both note taking and efficient presentation through writing their content on white boards and verbalizing their unique thought process and organization of the material. Modeling is critical for the Fizz Method because the goal is to have students use the same content creation process during class time.

For students, using handwriting is the most powerful method of note taking when processing new information [7]. If students record handwritten notes during a lecture, they can recall more of the lecture material [8]. Unfortunately, during a typical live lecture, many students fail to take down as much as 40% of the important points [10] and students new to the note taking process can miss over 90% of the important points due to not having the ability to listen and take notes at the same time [11]. With video lectures, students can slow down or pause the content so that they can successfully gather the handwritten notes they need, even re-watching the lecture if necessary. This is key because research shows that the more handwritten notes a student takes, the more they are able to recall, leading to higher achievement on assessments [9]. Being able to pause the lecture, take down the notes, and process the material significantly improves student comprehension and retention of the lecture content [12].

The Fizz Method offers the best possible opportunity for students to connect with their teacher and the content in order to achieve academic success. These teacher-created videos give students a virtual front row seat, where students can see the teacher’s facial cues, eye contact, and gesturing. Students can also slow down the content to their custom speed so that they can successfully gather the handwritten notes they need, reviewing information if necessary. Using the Fizz Method, teachers can offer their students the most engaging and personalized delivery of classroom content.

Review a 2014 study (from edX data) about video production and student engagement.

Review additional research and results or learn more about our training programs.

Dr. Brandy Parker & Dr. Lodge McCammon

[1] Benedict, M. & Hoag, J. “Seating Location in Large Lectures: Are Seating Preferences or Location Related to Course Performance?” The Journal of Economic Education (2004)
[2] Goddard, R., Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, W. “A Multilevel Examination of the Distribution and Effects of Teacher Trust in Students and Parents in Urban Elementary Schools.” The Elementary School Journal (2001)
[3] Riegelsberger, J. “The Effect of Facial Cues on Trust in E-Commerce Systems.” (2002)
[4] Farah, M. J. “Is face recognition ‘special’? Evidence from Neuropsychology.”Behavioural Brain Research (1996)
[5] Cohen, I., Sebe, N., Garg, A., Chen, L., & Huang, T. “Facial expression recognition from video sequences: temporal and static modeling.” Computer Vision and Image Understanding (2003)
[6] Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
[7] M Thomas, J Dieter (1987) The Positive Effects of Writing Practice on Integration of Foreign Words in Memory. Journal of Educational Psychology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Pages 249-253.
[8] Bligh, D. (2000). What’s the use of lectures? San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.
[9] Johnstone, A. H., & Su, W. Y. (1994). Lectures-a learning experience? Education in Chemistry, 31 (1), 75-76, 79.
[10] Hartley, J., & Cameron, A. (1967). Some Observations on the efficiency of lecturing. Educational Review, 20 (1), 30-37.
[11] Locke, E. A. (1977). An empirical study of lecture notetaking among college students. The Journal of Educational Research, 77, 93-99.
[12] Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom (ASHE‐ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1). Washington, DC: George Washington University.