The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed.
Students view short video lectures of their lessons at home before the class session. The in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects or discussions. The pre recorded lecture could be a podcast or any other audio format. ‘The videos can be accessed and viewed so easily today that the flipped model has come to be identified with online audio or video.
Technology is a very important feature of the flipped classroom, as mobile devices can be used to perform various activities; some of which are listed below:
- Capture Key Content, to make it accessible to the students at their own convenience and at their own learning pace.
- Present Learning Materials in various formats to suit different learning styles and for multi-modal learning.
- Provide Opportunities for Discourse and Interaction, both in and out of class.
- Convey Timely Information, updates and reminders to the students.
- Provide Immediate and Anonymous Feedback for the teachers and students both, to signal the revision points.
- Capture Data about students for analysing their progress and identifying the ‘at risk’ students.
The concept of a flipped classroom brings to our notice certain aspects such as active learning, student engagement, hybrid course design and course pod-casting. A flipped class involves the re-purposing of class time into a workshop, where students can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying knowledge and interact with one another during hands-on activities. Instructors function as facilitators or advisers, encouraging the students in individual inquiry and collaborative effort, during class sessions.
Online quizzes and activities can be introduced to test the progress made by the students.. For clarifying the points of confusion, immediate quiz feedback and a rerun of the lecture segments can be incorporated. Instructors might lead the in-class discussions or turn the classroom into a studio where students collaborate, create and put to practice, what they learned from the lectures that they viewed outside class. Instructors suggest various approaches, clarify content and monitor progress. They may organise the students into an ad- hoc work-group for solving a problem before the classroom time.
Students can view the lectures as per their convenience by making use of video and other prerecorded media. By devoting the class time to the application of concepts, the instructors have a better opportunity to detect errors in understanding and comprehension. At the same time, collaborative projects can encourage social interaction among students, making it easier for them to simultaneously learn the concepts and support one another.
If not planned and implemented properly, there is every chance for the flipped model to bark up the wrong tree. An effective flip requires careful preparation. Recording lectures requires time and effort on the faculty’s (teacher or instructor) part; out-of-class and in-class elements must be carefully integrated for the students to understand the model and be motivated to prepare for the class.
Why to flip the classroom?
It has been proved that active learning improves the students’ understanding and retention of information. It is also very effective in developing higher order cognitive skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.
The purpose of the flipped classroom is to shift from passive to active learning, where the learning process is more visible, reflexive, collaborative and engages the students in critical/analytical thinking.
Discussion and other structured pedagogical strategies can be applied to online or face-to-face environments or a combination of both. This particular model provides the class with a very good opportunity to think about diverse ways to engage students, encourage ownership of learning, promote deeper understanding of concepts and also equip them for their desired professions.
How to get started on a flipped classroom model
Listed below are some of the tips on getting started:
- Plan Ahead
- Design Activities
- Discussion on how to get students to engage with this new mode
- Plan Ahead:
- The flipped classroom is a blended learning strategy. Teachers and instructors will benefit from a teaching plan that shows how the face-to-face and online components of their course are sequenced and coordinated well, where these components with the learning outcomes, activities and assessment strategies.
- The instructors need to discuss the plan with a learning designer among their faculty or the ItaLI (Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation), to review the credibility and relevance of their design. , In case of time or financial constraints, it is better to avoid making big changes.
- The teachers or instructors can divide the recorded lecture material into 5–7 minute topic areas so that the key content is easily accessible to the students.This will also make it easier for the instructors to locate and edit their lectures when needed.
- The instructors need to prepare and implement an overall instructional design strategy for their course.
- They also need to design activities to reinforce the learning objectives that require the students to use higher order thinking skills such as evaluation, synthesis and analysis. These activities can be group discussions or any of the advanced pedagogical strategies.
How to get your students to engage with this new model?
Follow the steps listed below:
- Inform students in a variety of ways (ECP, Blackboard announcements, Email, SMS) of what is expected of them, before and during the semester. Explain that active learning has proved to be a much more effective way to learn, since students enjoy visual delights (the videos).
- Develop some ice-breaker activities to help set a congenial learning atmosphere.
Listed below are some tips for getting the students engaged with flipped classroom model:
Students need to own their learning and be willing to contribute to class discussion and group learning. Ask them to design protocols on how to work with each other in class or online. When students come to the class well prepared, the atmosphere is happier and more productive . Also, asking the students to create content, helps build a sense of ownership and develops higher order thinking
Make the students pair up so that they have a partner to discuss and learn the difficult concepts. Such a method will very likely improve their social skills plus reduce the failure rates, in terms of academics
Sharing your enthusiasm towards a topic can help students see the value in what you are teaching. Students also need to see the relevance of learning, so wherever possible, embed topical and real world issues as part of key activities.
Assessment can be used to encourage students to prepare by attempting online quizzes and short essays, before class. For instance, in engineering classes, peer assessment for group work is relied upon heavily. . Another method is disclosed random marking, where the students are asked to complete regular brief assignments, worksheets or problems before class, which are then assessed/marked randomly.