What is the Flipped Classroom?


The flipped classroom refers to a model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of class to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students. In the flipped classroom model, valuable class time is devoted to more active, project-based learning where students work together to solve local or global challenges — or other real-world applications — to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Rather than the instructor using class time to dispense information, that work is done by each student after class, and could take the form of watching video lectures, listening to podcasts, perusing enhanced e-book content, or collaborating with peers in online communities. Students access the online tools and resources any time they need them. Faculty can then devote more time to interacting with each individual. After class, students manage the content they use, the pace and style of learning, and the ways in which they demonstrate their knowledge; the instructor adapts instructional and collaborative approaches to suit their learning needs and personal learning journeys. The goal is for students to learn more authentically by doing. The flipped classroom model is part of a larger pedagogical movement that overlaps with blended learning, inquiry-based learning, and other instructional approaches and tools that are meant to be flexible, active, and more engaging for students.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • In the international education setting, Flipped Learning http://flippedlearning.org/Page/1 can be used especially where some schools may need to close- for example recently in Singapore when the haze shut down some schools. The Flipped Model allowed for MS and HS to continue studies online, then when school resumed learners were able to come back to class and engage with the content f2f. Differentiation is also a large part of the Flip. This model may wrk better for different learners with different needs. - jason.graham jason.graham Oct 12, 2015
  • I agree with Jason (above). The flipped classroom certainly allows for teachers to continue with their lessons when there is an unforeseen interruption (like the haze example above). Personally, I like to use it as extra lessons for my IB classes. Because I only see my SL students twice a week, I occasionally use the flipped model in order to engage students in an extra lesson during the week. Once I see them again in class, we can discuss the flipped lesson briefly rather than having me teach the lesson in full. My students know that the expectation is for them to take notes on the flipped lesson and come prepared with any questions they may have; these are then answered in class. - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Oct 18, 2015
  • Not much to add here, other than that I've experienced closures where an online learning platform was available and one where there was no such platform -- the usefulness of having it available can't be overstated. - brian.duffy brian.duffy Nov 4, 2015
  • I strongly feel that Flipped classroom strategies are part of Blended Learning; i.e., they are one potential Blended Learning pathway. Blended Learning has been mentioned as a missing piece on the responses to Research Question 2 -- can we include this as part of that? Or rather, as the only aspect of Blended Learning that seems to have any traction?- adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015


(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I think, sadly, the Flipped Classroom appears to have become a fad. No doubt, there are times that it can become useful, but it appears that the biggest proponents are the ones who are thrilled to have more class time to teach with the assumption that the students learn, or become familiar with, the content outside of class. The biggest shortcoming of this way of thinking is that now the students are expected to do extra hours outside of class. Just because there is more information to 'know' doesn't mean we need to know it. This approach just skirts around the problem: we are asking to do too much in too little time. The strategy of learning or preparing outside of class is not new (read chapter 3 for next class, watch tonight's program on PBS, count the cars that pass your house for 20 minutes, etc.) and the novelty of the Flipped Classroom passes quickly once people say 'hey, shouldn't we have free time away from school?' No doubt, there are some very strong reasons implementing the strategies of a flipped class (having the teacher available to work on the problems/issues instead of the preparation being the strongest), however, if used excessively there may be backlash. To some degree, this is just an extension of the homework (home learning) debate - should students be expected to do hours and hours of work outside of class? (The irony is not lost on me, by the way, as I complete this post at a cafe on a Saturday. ;-) ) - ibeeckmans ibeeckmans Nov 6, 2015
    • I agree - Even though a definition of Flipped Learning is given in the description above, there have been many interpretations (or misinterpretations) of Flipped Learning. And as the examples given on this page - the idea can be applied very effectively, benefitting teacher and student. However, I've also seen instances where the term 'flipping the class' was used to cover content that was not covered in class and in turn, creating even more work for students so that standards and benchmarks could be checked off. And, unfortunately, those examples have skewed what 'flipped classroom' looks like to different people. The successful examples, including the ones shared here, represent effective teachers applying sound pedagogy to creating meaningful, engaging learning experiences for their students in both face to face meetings and through 'off campus' connections - which takes careful planning and keeping students' needs as the focus. - dbeabout dbeabout Nov 10, 2015
  • Tend to agree with Ivan... I think it has been a fade which has caused us to rethink some of our existing practice (which is not a bad thing, in its self) But think it has become some kind of validation of giving students more home learning without any profound changes in the in-class learning. In my practice as an economics teacher, it has been a useful approach to tap into or recap prior learning ahead of class, but been extremely tricky to assess understanding through the flipped piece and then to differentiate in the class context. I dont think it has had any major changes in students ownership of learning. Perhaps the concept of 'flipped learning' is captured in the broader concept of blended learning. Technology, the use of data and assessment tools is helping teachers find better segways from the home-learning into the class environment. Effective online learning platforms, which are becoming more prevalent, adaptive tools like Khan Academy or simple ideas like Zaption are helping teachers find better connections between work set at home and the learning in the class - andrew.mccarthy andrew.mccarthy Nov 11, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Allowing for learners engage with different content that suits their needs. Obviously teachers can spend more time with learners in a 'consultant' type fashion without having to deliver content to a whole group at the same time. Thinking time and response time is increased as learners have more time to engage (not just watch or be passive) with the content and be ready for the learning that happens back in the class- the important part of the Flip. This needs to be carefully thought out and planned by teacher and students. - jason.graham jason.graham Oct 12, 2015
  • I think what's great about this technology is that as teachers, we can create something with which students can readily engage. Sometimes students are unable to take notes as quickly during lesson, or they forget part of the lecture or assignment while sitting in class. By using a flipped model, students can watch, listen, pause, and take notes at their own personal rate. I don't think the flipped model should take over the regular classroom setting; rather, it should be used to complement it. This works to both the teacher's and the students' advantage. - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Oct 18, 2015
  • To borrow Uzay's point - "instead of taking over, it should compliment..." You could say that a targeted pre-class reading with some questions prompts is an effective model of flipped classroom. Technology can help provide analytics or assessment/communication of learning. For instance is the student had to contribute to a discussion board after the reading rather than writing privately, so the teacher could tease out evidence of understanding. - andrew.mccarthy andrew.mccarthy Nov 11, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • I developed the IB Online workshop f2f and online for Flipping Classrooms and I keep my f2f workshop stuff here http://flippingclassroom.weebly.com/ - jason.graham jason.graham Oct 12, 2015
  • I have started using the flipped classroom with my IB classes this year. I also share my videos with the other teachers in my department so they can use them (if they happen to be teaching the same unit). - uzay.ashton uzay.ashton Oct 18, 2015
  • Several teachers at UWCSEA have experimented with the flipped classroom model in HS, specifically using technologies like Zaption to facilitate at-home learning and collect data on that. - adrienne.michetti adrienne.michetti Nov 10, 2015
  • Lots of examples of teachers exploring a blended approach. Jeff Plaman at East, did a nice action research project with a Grade 9 Science teachers. - andrew.mccarthy andrew.mccarthy Nov 11, 2015

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