The flipped classroom is a new pedagogical or instructional model that inverts the so-called traditional teaching method in the classroom by offering students the possibility to watch course content at home to get ready for the class.
Switching from teacher-centered instruction to student-centered teaching practice
The flipped classroom instructional model puts students in the center of teaching, and it increases students’ responsibility and active participation in the learning process. Thus, you may spend class time on discussing the content presented in the pre-recorded videos assigned to learners, completing various tasks or working on projects that students can carry out in small teams. When using the flipped classroom approach, you no longer deliver lectures in front of the class. Therefore, you can spend much more time on meaningful learning activities, and you can help and guide your students during the entire class. Having students watch recorded lectures also allows you to create small work groups, so learners can put in practice what they have learned from these videos.
Turning passive learners into active ones
The dynamic of the classroom changes when you flip your classroom. One of the advantages of this instructional method is that students are not passive receivers of knowledge for a certain part of the lesson, but they construct knowledge with their teacher’s guidance. Increased interaction establishes a learning community that provides students with the opportunity to build knowledge together. Therefore, the flipped classroom method promotes socio-constructivist learning. It also facilitates differentiated instruction as you may spend more time on addressing your students’ questions, thus, offering them individual support and feedback on their work. While learners are carrying out various activities in small groups, for instance, you may offer personalized attention to those students who have difficulties in completing certain parts of the task. Another advantage of this instructional method is that students learn from one another, and they acquire a deeper understanding of the content through meaningful and collaborative tasks.
The flipped classroom approach also allows students to learn in their own pace. For example, they can watch the recorded lectures several times if they don’t understand certain things, they can store these recordings and watch them later if they need it. Students can also take notes or write down their questions, then, discuss them with their peers or teacher during class.
Are you wondering if the flipped classroom approach is right for you?
The downside of the flipped classroom is that it relies on student participation. Consequently, you must be sure that your students will watch the lectures at home, so you can devote class time to meaningful and collaborative activities. Flipping the classroom also requires careful and thoughtful preparation of the content that you need to write, record and upload to a platform such as Google classroom, Microsoft Teams, Moodle or a blog. The activities related to the video lecture should also be engaging and interesting to motivate students. Although the flipped classroom instructional model may considerably increase teachers’ workload, it could be a real game changer when it comes to turning passive learners into active participants in your classroom.
There is always a solution
If you are not ready to flip your classroom entirely, there is always another way to spice things up. Sometimes, we do not have the means to change things altogether for various reasons. So, that is why I like the In-Class Flip option that is basically about having students watch the video lectures in the classroom. If you have access to laptops or tablets, learners could use them to watch the video lessons, take notes of the most important ideas, and record their questions. Right after watching, you can answer learners’ questions, then, they can form small groups to carry out various activities while you are monitoring their progress and offering more support to learners in need. Whether you flip your classroom altogether or use the In-Class Flip approach, your learners will certainly appreciate the experience.