Flipped Classroom Instruction

Flipped Classroom Instruction

The term "flipped classroom" has become one of the latest buzzwords in regards to educational pedagogy. The concept is essentially a model in which the typical lecture and homework/activity elements of a course are reversed.  The basic structure is that the lecture material for the course is delivered via prerecorded lectures that students view outside of class. The class time is then used for in-class exercises, activities, group work, and homework as a means to reinforce and supplement the lecture material by providing students an opportunity to work with the material and apply what they have learned.  The following YouTube video provides a short overview of the flipped classroom concept given by an instructor who has implemented it in his classroom.

Because it is a fairly new instructional method, there is not a significant body of research that provides information in regards to the effectiveness of the flipped classroom method.  However, there is a growing body of feedback available from instructors currently using the method that outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of the method.

Advantages:

  • Increases interaction and contact between the students and the teacher during classroom time. Students are able to communicate with peers and teachers via online discussions.
  • Course becomes learner-centered rather than teacher-centered. The teacher becomes the guide for learning.  The education can become more personalized in terms of both the pace of reviewing lectures and the difficulty of classroom exercises.  Students may stop, pause, rewind or review lectures at their own pace.  In the classroom, the instructor is free to interact with students helping them master the content in a way that is individualized.
  • Promotes an environment where the student is more engaged and is responsible for his or her own learning.
  • Maximizes the use of technology in an effort to provide a more interactive classroom experience.

 Disadvantages:

  • Requires time and effort to pre-record lectures and make them available for students.
  • Lecture materials and in-class elements must be carefully integrated to motivate students to study the lecture material and prepare for class.
  • Instructors may need to learn new technology skills to create videos and activities.
  • Students need to have access to technology that will support rapid, streaming delivery of video.

Once an instructor has researched the flipped classroom methodology and decides they would like to try it in their own classroom, he or she would be well advised to seek out advice from instructors currently using the method.  The following YouTube video, "5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Flipped My Class" provides one instructor's insight into the implementation of this method.

Discussions regarding the effectiveness of the flipped classroom are ongoing and the research is still coming in regarding the impact on learning outcomes.  Many educators do agree, however, that there is merit to at least some of the concepts related to flipping the classroom.  In fact, in reality, the degree to which flipped classrooms are being implemented is occurring along a continuum from fully flipping the classroom to using the concept for just particular units.  The opportunity for teachers to interact more with students and individualize instruction is certainly something that many instructors are investigating.

Suggested Readings

  • Ash, K. (2012). Educators Evaluate 'Flipped Classrooms'. Education Week, 32, s6-8.
  • Bergmann, J. (2012). Flip Your Classroom: Talk To Every Student In Every Class Every Day Author: Jonathan Bergmann, Aaron Sams, Publisher: Inte.
  • Berrett, D. (2012). How 'flipping' the classroom can improve the traditional lecture. The chronicle of higher education, 12.
  • Strayer, J. F. (2012). How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation and task orientation. Learning Environments Research, 15(2), 171-193.
  • Tucker, B. (2012). The flipped classroom. Education Next, 12(1), 82-83.

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Resource Links

Flipping the Classroom - The following link discusses the benefits of the flipped classroom in terms of promoting higher level learning in the classroom as well as practical "how to" information for implementing this learning strategy. 

The Flipped Class - Myths vs. Reality - Review this link for list of what the flipped classroom is and what it is not.     

7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms - This resource provides answers to key questions such as what is a flipped classroom, how does it work, who is doing it, and many more.

I Flip, You Flip, We all Flip: Setting up a Flipped Classroom - The YouTube video linked here provides an overview of the flipped classroom instructional method, but also zeros in on some of the technical details of setting up a flipped classroom in a "how to" format.

Flipped Learning Network - This site is a professional learning community for instructors using flipped learning in their classroom.  Join the organization for access to all the materials and information.

A Review of Flipped Learning - This PDF is an in-depth literature review of the flipped classroom and provides an overview of the limited research done thus far on the method, as well as offers insight into the pros and cons of the method.

Research Says/Evidence on Flipped Classroom is Still Coming In - Does the flipped classroom style produce better learning outcomes?  Research is still being collected but here are some preliminary thoughts. 


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