Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tips for Flipping Your Class

What does it mean to "Flip Your Class"? 

The flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods so that face-to-face class time is used to create, collaborate, discuss and make connections as a result of students being introduced to content and the review of concepts outside of class through online content such as video, game simulations and other forms of content delivery.

The flipped learning model shifts the classroom from being teacher-centered where the instructor is the sole content expert delivering information to students, to a student-centered approach, where in-class time is meant for exploring the subject in greater depth through the creation of rich, interactive learning experiences (Hamdan, McKnight, McKnight, & Arfstrom).

"As flipped classroom pioneer Jon Bergmann says, 'The flipped classroom helps teachers break the habit of lecture.' Flipping provides a mechanism to transition toward deeper learning, opening up avenues for exploration and experimentation by freeing up class time. Beyond supporting teachers in their transition from "sage on the stage" to "guide by their side," what really happens in a flipped classroom is that the students become empowered learners with a host of tools to demonstrate their understanding. If we see flipped as an opportunity to break the habit of lecture, then a whole new set of learning opportunities begins to emerge" (Holland, 2013).

Another aspect of the flipped classroom is called "Just-in-Time Teaching" (JiTT) and is a technique for getting students to prepare before coming to class. JiTT uses formative assessment to determine student's understanding of course material so that class time can be planned and/or modified accordingly (Schaffhauser, 2014). For more information on JiTT, read Schaffhauser's article: 2 Great Techniques for the Flipped Classroom.

Research supports flipped learning

A recent literature review, "A Review of Flipped Learning" which is based on teacher reports, course completion rates, and supported methodology research indicates that flipped learning is more than just a fad for teachers and students--it's improving student achievement in classrooms across the country (Stansbury, 2013). According to the review, active learning has been shown to improve the academic performance of students in the areas of engagement, critical thinking and attitude (Stansbury, 2013). "A Review of Flipped Learning" - includes a review of how the model serves diverse student populations, the role of technology, and the research base that the flipped learning model is built upon. It also provides an analysis of implementations and results in higher education (Stansbury, 2013).

Evidence indicates that the type of active learning that occurs through the flipped learning environment improves academic performance, increases engagement and critical thinking, and improves the attitude of students (Hamdan, et al.).

Tips to Flip Your Class

  1.  It is not an "all or nothing" deal. Instructors do not have to present all of their content online. Holland and Morra (2013) recommend that you start small and build a library of resources for your students, choosing carefully when it is appropriate and reasonable to have your students learn independently. Once you get started, momentum will build and it will be come easier as you locate resources and add them to your teaching material.
  2. Recording Lectures:
    1. Smile - even if your face is not on screen, people can hear you smile, your video will have more energy, and your students will hear your passion and excitement for the subject.
    2. If you aren't enjoying the process of creating the video, then your students probably won't enjoy listening to it. Seek out a better or different way to present the material.
    3. Test your video once you have placed it into your course to make sure it will play.
  3. Use technology such as mobile devices to allow students to respond and give feedback during class. Socrative.com is a free tool that can be used to turn any mobile device into a personal response system.
  4. Have a plan for how you will use the in-class time with structured activities and objectives. For an explanation of the Flipped Classroom Model, see Gerstein's article, "The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture".
  5. Create opportunities for peer instruction. The instructor might start with a short lecture that introduces or reviews the topic and then let students take turns leading class discussions. This encourages students to read the materials before coming to class and in order to have their topic prepared. 
  6. For more great ideas on how to flip your class read Beth Holland's blog, The Flipped Mobile Classroom: Learning "Upside Down".


Flipped Learning Network. A website containing case studies, white papers, resources, events, and support for flipped learning. www.flippedlearning.org

Gerstein, J. (2011, June 13).  The flipped classroom model: A full picture. http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/

Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., McKnight, K., & Arfstrom, K. (2013). A review of flipped learning. Flipped Learning Network.

Holland, B. (2013, October 30). The Flipped Mobile Classroom: Learning "Upside Down". edutopia.org. Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-classroom-learning-upside-down-beth-holland

Holland, B., & Morra, S. (2013, August 14). 5 Flipped Classroom Issues (And Solutions) For Teachers. Edudemic. (This article focuses on using video lectures to present material outside the classroom. It lists free apps for the iPad that can be used to create videos and other types of lecture materials.)

Infographic on "The Flipped Classroom"

Schaffhauser, D. (2104, August 13). 2 Great techniques for the flipped classroom. Campus Technology. http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2014/08/13/2-Great-Techniques-for-the-Flipped-Classroom.aspx?Page=1

Stansbury, M. (2013, September). Does research support flipped learning? eSchool News, 16(8). p. 6. Retrieved from: http://www.eSchoolNews.com

Stansbury, M. (2013, October). Creating videos for flipped learning. eSchool News, 16(9). p. 26. Retrieved from: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/b124b13d?page=36#/b124b13d/36