Reimagining Teaching with Flipped Classrooms: What, Why, and How
November 3, 2020
5 min read
One of the many far-reaching consequences of the integration of technology in teaching is the concept of a flipped classroom.
A fairly recent innovation in the world of education, the idea of flipping a classroom has appealed to many educators. There appears to be something great about this teaching model that 96% of teachers, after trying it once, have recommended going for it more often.
Simply put, the flipped classroom model champions a more student-centric pedagogy based on personalized and collaborative learning methodologies.
If you were to make something of this concept just by reading the name, you might think it has something to do with changing the way classes are organized. And you are nearly correct.
Also known as an inverted classroom, the idea of a flipped classroom advocates a new approach to learning at school and at home. As opposed to the status quo of learning in class and revising at home, it redefines the very of homework.
At its best, a flipped classroom is wherein students get the study material to read, watch, and review at home in their own time and discuss, deliberate, and debate in the class under the guidance of the teacher.
It flips the standard format of lectures in school and assignments at home. Instead, it espouses that the ‘lecture’ be turned into written, audible, and visual material for the students to go through at their own pace and mood. At the same time, the class then turns into an open hall for the students to share their learning takeaways with valuable additions from the teacher.
However, in understanding what a flipped classroom is, it is equally important to understand what it’s not. Flipped classes are about a more personalized brand of learning that not only enables students to create a self-paced study routine but also unlocks their interest in what they are studying.
Flipping a class, therefore, requires a wholehearted effort in converting a lecture into study material that can capture the learners’ attention.
In a standard class, the teacher picks a topic or chapter and explains it in detail while referring to a book, a presentation, or some other reference material. The students will then get assignments and tests based on their understanding of the in-class lecture along with a reading of the reference material.
In a flipped class, the teacher curates different kinds of content about the topic. This can include YouTube or self-made videos, presentations, podcasts, book or written content, and more. The students get to peruse this material at home as per their preference. They come back to the class having examined the material to hold discussions with the teacher and answer questions.
Stalwarts of this concept consider it as a blend of direct instruction and constructivism, wherein the learners get the freedom to review the material at their will and interact with each other about the same. In doing so, the model encourages a more individualized approach to learning while simultaneously accomplishing peer learning.
The end objective of a flipped classroom is to incite individual interest that leads to meaningful interactions.
The primary driving force for the success of this model lies in the degree of autonomy that the students receive. Learners have greater control over how and how much they are learning at school. In addition to deciding the pace of their learning streak, they also benefit from a collaborative learning atmosphere in the class.
Moreover, flipped classrooms emphasize the use of technology to create more engaging lessons and maximize student participation.
At the same time, it gives a better chance to the teachers to gauge every student’s learning outcomes based on their participation and insights. Besides, teachers have the option to flip just one lecture instead of the entire class to seek the results they desire.
Flipping a classroom is not simply about replacing in-class activities for homework. It is a detailed stepwise process of instruction and discussion between students and teachers. From defining the scope and learning objectives of your lecture to creating activities for debate and deliberation, a lot goes into the planning required to flip a class.
For any study material that you curate, you have to first establish the scope that you will cover. It can be a single topic, a bunch of topics under a single chapter, or something similar. Setting the scope is about establishing the time needed to complete the lecture as well as the learning outcomes.
In doing so, you can also define the approach you wish to take for the lesson. Specify whether this will be a peer-instruction based lecture or case-based learning. Then move on to contextualizing the lesson in terms of the overall coursework. This part focuses on how the lesson fits in with the entire syllabus for that subject.
The next step is the most important. Creating and curating the material for your lecture decides how it will ultimately pan out. The choice of instructional content, be it video or audio or textual, plays a decisive role in determining the students’ performance after the lecture.
This is, therefore, a time-consuming step that requires both mental and physical efforts. Take out the time to reflect on the most suitable types of content that can explain the concerned topic(s). Browse through different resources to pick the best ones.
The goal here is to create something so exciting that it ignites the learners’ interest at the first go and propels them to finish the material with complete concentration.
While curating the instructional material is crucial, you cannot go casual with the in-class activities. What you do in the class governs the level of enthusiasm among students for reviewing the material on their end. So, it is important to create three sets of activities for flipping a class.
When it comes to flipping your classroom, Classcard is an intuitive tool with multiple functionalities. As lightweight learning and class management system, it allows you to share resources with your learners, schedule classes, and do a lot more in a single place.
Flipping a classroom is a great way to create a more collaborative and interactive learning environment. If you are looking to up the student participation, then flipping your lectures presents the most creative opportunity to accomplish that.