The flipped classroom is a learning approach whereby students learn content by watching online video lectures assigned by their teacher at home, and what used to be homework is now done in class which frees up time for the teacher to offer more guidance and personalised interaction with students. Catch us in this 3-part series of Flip It! to learn more about the best practices for flipped learning.
In the previous blog entry, we discussed about how to create effective videos for the flipped classroom. However, what is compelling enough about the flipped classroom model that would make you change your entire classroom pedagogy, spend countless hours filming videos, building up online resources and potentially change your whole workflow for? It sounds like too risky an investment to make for results which may not be so radical. But here are 5 reasons why the flipped classroom should be considered.
1) It relates to 21st century learners
You might not realise it, but students are already using youtube and the web as a source of knowledge and to learn things that they are interested in. From dancing to guitar to craft to cooking, using the web to learn a skill is part of their everyday lives. However, they are often forced to turn off their phones and digital devices in school. Instead of using the full benefits of the digital culture for education, we end up fighting it. More often than not, students get use to learning through digital devices faster than we can imagine.
2) It allows students to replay lessons
Struggling students are strong proponents of this flipped classroom approach. In a typical class, students who are struggling to catchup in class may be disengaged as a result because there is a mentality that they can no longer grasp these concepts as a result of them not grasping earlier concepts. They go down a slippery slope of struggle and disengagement because they no longer have access to earlier resources. The flipped classroom allows an archive of concepts that is made available not only to struggling students, but to students who miss on lessons as a result of their busy schedules. The flipped classroom essentially passes the remote control of the lesson to the student.
3) Student Engagement is Increased
When students get to learn at their own pace, they are given more autonomy. Even if students may not increase their interest in the subject dramatically, allowing them to take ownership of their learning allows them to own their own efforts and results. Many a time, reluctant learners in a traditional classroom environment become the most hardworking ones in an environment where they can own their learning as they feel empowered.
4) It changes how we interact with parents
Most parents are informed of their child’s progress every quarterly when they received their child’s report cards. Anything more than that frequency, and parents might have to be faced with issues which they do not want to contend with (discipline, bad behavior, etc.). The truth of the matter is that parents have very little clue about what their child does in school. Flipped classroom allows parents access to lesson content in which allows them to be more involved in their child’s learning, and to guide them in the process.
5) It increases interaction between students
Personally, I remember enjoying those times that I sat down with my friends when we were studying in our free time as we tested each other, engaged in discussion about concepts that were covered in class. Those were precious moments. In a flipped classroom, the role of the teacher has changed to be more of a facilitator than a deliverer of content, thus, there is room for students to interact with each other. By allowing students the autonomy of forming their own collaborative groups, it gives the students a chance to either discuss or to guide their peers (depending on their abilities). This also leaves the teacher more time to focus on the weaker students.
This is a great case study on how the flipped classroom has helped to improve student engagement in a 7th grade math classroom. I’ve also created a playlist of awesome flipped classroom resources for educators to learn more about what the flipped classroom comprises, including some good samples of videos by teachers. View the playlist here.