In the average Canadian classroom the teacher is always the focus. Students sit, listen, and take notes. Then they go home to do the assigned homework. There are group projects which aim to help students apply major themes learned in a given amount of school time. But for the most part, learning is done individually.
A new take on this traditional classroom setup emerged in 2007 and has been used by several schools and universities to date. The flipped classroom approach shifts the teacher-centered classroom and puts students more in charge of their own learning. It does this by making the teacher led aspect of the classroom (the instruction or lecture) available online. Then students do their homework in the classroom.
Where did the flipped classroom model emerge?
According to an infographic made by knewton.com, two Colorado high school teachers (Jonathan Bergman and Adam Sams) found out how to record power point presentations. So they started recording their lectures. They then made them available online for students who missed their classes. The idea of online lectures began to spread. Bergman and Sams started to share their online method with other teachers around the country.
How does a flipped classroom work?
In a flipped classroom, the teacher creates a video (or presentation with a voiceover) about the content they want their students to learn. The teacher makes it accessible online and students watch the content at home before class. Then they come to class and engage in a group workshop to apply the skills learned in the lecture.
In the classroom, they can ask questions about the lecture material and actively apply their learned skills through exercises, projects, presentations, and other engaging and interactive classroom activities.
Why flip a classroom?
According to educause.edu the flipped classroom model helps classrooms focus on active learning. So instead of students listening to instructions for most of their classroom time, they become responsible for arranging their own time and place to listen to the lecture online.
When they come back to the classroom, they are actively engaged in doing exercises and projects related to the instructions they heard online. This aspect of the flipped classroom model can be quite interactive between the teacher and other students. So it may help students learn in a deeper way by encouraging them to actively get into the material they are learning.
The fact that students nowadays are fully immersed in the digital world can make the flipped classroom approach quite appealing to them. According to the article link above, there are several advantages to reversing lecture content outside the classroom and delivering it online:
- Students are able to access the content on their own time.
- They can stop the lecture when they need to and listen to it again.
- They can take notes at their own pace.
- It can be a great tool for students with disabilities.
- It can be a great tool for students whose native language is not English.
According to ascd.org, although there isn’t much research into this innovative approach, there have been teacher surveys and other non-scientific data that demonstrate many other benefits the flipped classroom model offers. Here are ten published results that further support the benefits of flipping classrooms:
Teachers anywhere can ‘flip’ their classrooms nowadays!
Sound interesting? There are aspects of this model that can be applied in your classroom if you are not ready to “flip it” right away. You could include more in-class exercises and interactive projects to encourage a deeper and motivated learning of the material presented. You could also assign a few in-class sessions to make sure students are doing well with their assigned homework. It is not that hard to flip your own classroom though! Check out this site that tells you just how you can take on this approach: http://flippedinstitute.org/how-to-flip.