Monday, November 30, 2015

What's with the Flip? An Overview on Flipped Classrooms

Podcasts, videos, live streaming, – our world is engulfed in ways to send and obtain information.  So, the question on many college teacher’s minds is, why not utilize it?
Hence the birth of flipping classrooms, a way for teachers to provide lecture information to students in new ways outside of the classroom.  That’s right, lectures would take place outside of class time, freeing up the few hours a week you have with students to complete hands-on activities, involving them first-hand in their learning.
Flipping a classroom can be done by following these easy steps:

Plan: Decide on a lesson to flip and outline key learning outcomes to put together a rough plan.

Record: Instead of teaching your lesson as usual, record a video or podcast of your lecture.  Make sure  your lesson contains all the elements you would have if you were lecturing in person.  Make it interesting and engaging to watch and listen to.

Share: Share the video with your students and explain that its content will be discussed and used in class.

Group: Consider implementing discussion groups in your class in order to get students working with the topics for that day.  Give each group a task and a goal to work towards.

Regroup: Reconvene as a large group to share findings that students have discovered through their discussions.  Ask questions, offer opinions, and encourage discussion.

Then, Review, Revise, and Repeat!

While you might be thinking, “Well, that sounds great! Let’s do this!”  I do have to caution you on some of the issues that you might face if you do decide to give flipping a try.

Firstly, it requires a lot of extra preparation on your end.  Teachers have to set aside extra time in order to record, edit (if need be), and upload videos or podcasts of their lectures for student access, or finding supplementary materials and activities for students to work on outside of regular class time.  It is recommended that you don’t include your entire lecture in one video, but instead upload separate videos on each key term you’re covering so students may easily go back and re-watch specific content if they are confused or have questions.

Another thing to be aware of is the issue that students might have adjusting to the idea of a flipped classroom.  Because the concept of a class time used for lecture has been ingrained in their expectations, students might resist the change--questioning why they attend class at all.  You are also entrusting a large responsibility to them, trusting that they will take the time to watch or listen to your lectures outside of class.  And if students do complete the lectures outside of class, they might also believe that they don't need to attend class for the hands-on/activity-based portion.  Therefore, it's important for your to show research on how effective flipped classrooms can be when students put the effort forth.  Click here for 10 published results supporting the benefits of flipped learning.

Tip Provided By: Jessica Moser

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