What Really is Flipped Classroom

What Really is Flipped Classroom

Read Time: 13 minutes, 57 seconds

Posted on Mon, Mar 23 2020

In the traditional model of classroom instruction, the teacher is typically the central focus of a lesson and the primary source of information during the class period. With this style of instruction, individual lessons may be focused on an explanation of content using a lecture style. Learners engagement in the traditional model may be limited to activities in which learners work independently or in small groups on task designed by the teacher. Class discussions are typically centered on the teacher, who controls the flow of the conversation. The reverse seems to be the case for a flipped classroom model.

In this article, we’ll delve into what a flipped classroom model is, how to implement a flipped classroom model and highlight some of its benefits. We’ll also take a look at the challenges associated with the flipped classroom model and explore how you can effectively use the flipped classroom strategy to achieve meaningful and impactful learning.


What is flipped classroom
A flipped classroom is a type of blended learning where learners are introduced to content at home and practice working through it in the classroom. Unlike the traditional model of classroom that involves introducing new content in the classroom, then assigning homework and projects to completed by the learners independently at home. The flipped classroom model does the opposite. The traditional lecture material moves outside the classroom and traditional reinforcement and homework moves back in.

In flipped classrooms, learners review lecture materials before class as homework. In-class time is dedicated to discussions, interactive exercises, and independent work (class work) that would have previously been completed at home (as homework) — all under the guidance of the teacher, who is present and available to respond to any questions that may arise. The materials reviewed prior to class can take the form of lecture notes, recorded lectures, curated videos, reading assignments, video broadcasts — any material that the teacher assigns as relevant to the topic at hand.


How to implement a flipped classroom
As simple as it might seem, there are key elements of flipped classroom that you should take note of. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Provide an opportunity for learners to gain first exposure prior to class.
    To achieve this, your strategy can vary from simple textbook reading or writing exercise (note copying) to lecture videos, podcasts or screen-casts. For example, you can use a Learning Management System to provide access to your notes and videos. This videos you can create or source it online (e.g. YouTube, Khan Academy or other platforms). The pre-class exposure doesn’t have to be a complicated task or high-tech activity. It could be just introductory notes or assignments.
  • Provide an incentive for learners to prepare for class.
    Having implemented the first step above, make sure that the task given is associated with points which serves as an incentive. Grading for completion rather that participation can be sufficient. This grading can be associated with their continuous assessment.
  • Provide a mechanism to access learners understanding.
    The tasks completed by the learners prior to class can help both learners and teachers access understanding. The teacher can the tailor class activities on areas where learners are struggling. If the task is automatically graded it can help the learners note where they need help. Also, tasks such as writing exercise can help the learners clarify their thinking about a subject, there by producing richer in-class discussion.
    It is important to note that much of the feedback the learners need is provided in class by the teacher also activities during class can serve as an initial check on learner understanding (e.g. quiz, debate, classwork etc.)
  • Provide engagements (In-class Activities) that focus on high level cognitive activities.
    Since the learners gained basic knowledge outside the classroom, then they need to spend class time to promote deeper learning. It is important that the teacher have a learning goal for the class which would determine the learning engagement. The focus is to use the class time to deepen the learners understanding and increase their skill at using new knowledge.
    While there is no one model to flipped classroom strategy, the idea is to flip the traditional instructional approach. With teacher centered videos and interactive lessons, instruction that used to occur in class is now accessed at home. The class then becomes a place to work through problems, advance concepts and engage in collaborative learning.

Note that the instructional resources (videos, notes etc.) on their own isn’t effective but how they are integrated into the overall approach is what makes the difference. Learners can just copy notes or watch videos and be done with it. It is important to check their notes and can require learners to come to class with a question or something to discuss about on the topic for the day. It might take a little while for the learners to adjust to the new system (flipped classroom), but as time pass, learners would begin to ask better question and think mode deeply about content.

Benefits of flipped classroom
Flipping the classroom enables educators to improve the classroom experience in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at some.

  1. Flipped classes allow learners to consume lecture materials at their own pace. Unlike traditional lectures in which learners are beholden to the instructor’s pace, learners in flipped classrooms can rewind and replay the video as many times as needed in order to improve their understanding of difficult concepts.
  2. Learners apply new knowledge using the instructor as a resource. In traditional classroom environments, learners usually apply new knowledge on their own through homework. There are two problems with this traditional approach. First, learners at home typically do not have access to resources for help or questions if any problems arise. Second, when learners turn in incomplete or incorrect homework, instructors have little insight into what went wrong. By bringing homework into the classroom, learners are able to get help quickly, and teachers can identify common problem areas in order to adjust material accordingly.
  3. It enables learners to take charge of their learning and engage in active learning.
  4. Flipped classroom enables teachers query learners understanding, probe for misconceptions and correct incorrect notions.
  5. It creates time to work with individual learners especially the struggling ones.
  6. It helps learners who may have missed class to keep up because they can access lesson videos and other resources at any time.
  7. It creates time for advance learners to learn independently.
  8. It forester better relationship, greater learner engagement and higher levels of motivation.


Challenges associated with the flipped classroom model

  1. Flipped classroom relies heavily on technology. This might be problematic for the learners and teachers who do not have access to the internet outside the classroom.
  2. The flipped classroom approach might not work for all lessons, don’t be tempted into flipping them all.
  3. It places more responsibility on the learners and parents/guardian.
  4. The teacher may spend more time preparing than those who run a traditional classroom.
  5. Teacher may deal with learner engagement issue, especially those who are unwilling to complete their preparation work prior to the class thereby defeating the purpose of the flipped classroom model.
  6. It might be a lot of work implementing this strategy for elementary and middle school learners but with careful planning and structure, it can be successful.

How to effectively use the flipped classroom instructional approach to achieve meaningful and impactful learning.

  1. Determine your instructional resources. You could create your own videos or source for videos online. Make sure the content matches your curriculum. It is also important to have a learning management system to keep all your resources streamlined in on place and accessible to your learners.
  2. Be creative with your videos and instructional resources to make learning interesting.
  3. It is important to let the learners and their parent/guardian know what a flipped classroom is any why you are taking the approach and what is involved.
  4. Flipped classroom depends on the learner’s participation (keeping up with the home learning). Device a system that tracks and holds learners accountable. One way to do this is by introducing short formative quizzes at the beginning of the lesson to determine learners that carried out the pre-class task.
  5. Figure out a system that works for you so that lesson planning, preparing of assessment and sourcing resources becomes a routine. Once you have this system figured out, leverage it so that the focus can be on the learners.

The flipped classroom model inspires teachers to offer a versatile and engaging way to share learning resources/contents, while giving learners more control regarding their learning process.  PRODIGY LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (PRODIGY-LMS), makes it easy to setup a flipped classroom. To learn more, contact PRODIGY SCHOOL SOLUTION


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