What do you think about the notion of the flipped classroom? A flipped classroom? No, this does not involve somersaults or anything of that sort, but rather changing the format and delivery of your class- with both feet staying firmly on the ground.


The concept of the flipped classroom originated in secondary education as a means to provide lectures to students who were missing class. The videos that were prepared for these students grew in popularity among the students and soon the concept of a flipped classroom was born. Teachers found they were able to provide pertinent information to students in engaging manners outside of class so that face-to-face time could be better utilized.  In a traditional classroom format, material is delivered to students during class. While the majority of the students follow along with the material, typically a small section of students are bored from lack of challenge while another section are frustrated from not understanding the material. Students are then sent home to continue the processing of information through the joys of  homework. The frustrated students remain this way or even grow in their frustrations, while the unchallenged remain bored with the material. All the while, the instructor is faced with the problem of not being able to offer enough remediation or enough challenge to fully cater to all the needs of students in the classroom. This is where and how classroom flipping comes in to help.


Flipped Classroom Infographic

Image Source: http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/

In a flipped classroom, students are given short videos- typically prepared by the instructor- to be viewed outside of class. Students have the flexibility of watching the videos anywhere and whenever they want and as many times as they want, so long as it’s before class time. In class students are able to work together on projects and/or complete the “homework”. Instructors are able to give more attention to students in class because the students are familiar with the material before arriving.


Sounds nice and all, but what does it take to flip your classroom? Is it worth the hype? Here are some questions and facts about flipping your classroom. You can make up your mind for yourself…


Does flipping change the amount of preparation for class? Yes. The type of preparation changes. Instead of preparing notes for a lecture, you will be recording your lectures for your students to watch outside at class online. Instead of preparing hour long lectures, you will be looking for ways to condense the information down into small digestible segments for online viewing- think no more than 10 minutes.


So a video does all the teaching? No, the videos are used to introduce a concept to the students. In class students are given the opportunity to problem solve and work through any issues or challenges they have with the material while the instructor is able to address the topic in greater depth. Instructors are able to observe where difficulties in the material may be present and alter the curriculum as needed based on the speed of learning for the class.


Do videos have to be prepared by the instructor? Not necessarily- typically videos are prepared by the instructor, but why reinvent the wheel? If there is a resource already available on the web, share that. Not all pre-classwork has to be in the form of videos, many instructors include readings that are tailored to connect to the in-class activity.


What if the instructor is not “good” with technology? While a basic knowledge of the various technologies is needed, there are plenty of resources offered through the Learning Enhancement Center that can help instructors with their technology needs as well as activity design for class.


This flipping concept, is it the answer to education? No, definitely not. Classroom flipping is one of the many different tools that can be implemented throughout your curriculum to help add variety to the classroom as well as help students stay more connected to the material.


We talk a lot about what flipping the classroom is. Here is quick video explaining what it is not… Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGs6ND7a9ac


How will you flip your lid, er, classroom?


Resources about flipped classrooms:

Bull, G., Ferster, B., & Kjellstrom, W. (2012). Inventing the Flipped Classroom. Learning & Leading With Technology, 40(1), 10-11.


Herreid, C., & Schiller, N. (2013). Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom. Journal Of College Science Teaching, 42(5), 62-66.




7 Things You Should Know about Flipped Classrooms


The Flipped Class: Myths vs Reality



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