Blog Post #5: Flipped Classrooms

Attending a classroom today is very different from attending a classroom ten years ago. As technology has increasingly grown and infiltrated our classrooms, new teaching methods have emerged that moves away from a teacher-centered approach onto student-centered approach.

To meet such demand, a flipped classroom method has elicited as a viable alternative to the traditional, lecture-style teaching and learning. Flipped classrooms have been used in various disciplines, especially in the humanities. Consequently, many educators, in both higher education and K-12 sittings, have had experiences with a new way of teaching with the flipped classrooms approach. In flipped classroom, typical lectures and homework of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before class session, while in the class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions.

Furthermore, as more students gain access to technology tools and the Internet inside and outside the classrooms, flipped classrooms are becoming more prevalent. To increase the student/ teacher interaction, flipped classrooms are linked to improve the students’ grade, test score, engagement in learning and overall students’ satisfaction. The application of this instruction approach can result positively in educational outcomes such as improving students’ communication skills, promoting more independent learners, and changing in learning habits e.g., revisit the online learning material before exam (Lo & Hew, 2017).

The theoretical framework for flipped classrooms is derived from the nature of interaction between learners and their instructors. First, flipped classroom is a form of blended learning in the way that it mixes face to face interaction with online learning. However, flipped learning differs since outside activities used in it should not be necessary online, they may involve paper and hard copies materials. The second foundation is active learning which is any instructional method that engage students in the learning process. In fact, flipped classroom is considered as an effective mode for engaging students in active learning as well as in meaningful peer to peer and peer to teacher interaction during the in-class learning process (Lai & Hwang, 2016). Next, student-centered approach which moves students away from teacher-centered approach environment where teachers become real organizers, mentors, and facilitators. The purpose of flipped classroom is to make students more active in their own learning process, versus serving as receptacles of knowledge who receive direct instruction from a teacher (Martinez & Torregrosa, 2015). Finally, personalized learning approach which has great potential with flipped classroom. Personalized learning instruction that is paced to learning needs, tailored to learning preferences and the specific interest of different learners (Keller, 1968).

As technology is becoming incredibly important in the classroom and to students learning in general, implementing the model of flipped classrooms has been much easier due to the increased use of this technology. The nature of the flipped classroom, most teachers will assign students to watch a certain video on a subject they will be covering in class next day. So, they need a way to create videos and a way for students to access these videos. For this purpose, teachers might use their smart phone or a dedicated video camera. The other video creation category is screencasting programs where videos are made of teachers’ computer or iPad screen and at the same time recording the voice (Bergamnn, 2013). This video can then be shared with students, so they can watch it many times as necessary to comprehend the materials. However, dependence on technology is one of weakness of this model. Students need access to computers and Internet to work through materials. If the students lack reliable access to a computer or the Internet for geographical or socioeconomic reasons, it can be extremely challenging to make a flipped classroom work effectively (Sota, 2016).

In conclusion, the concept of the flipped classroom removes passive learning by creating a student-centered environment. Student are able to learn the key concepts on their own time and pace and then actively apply them, creating a deeper learning. Further, creating this environment is not complex, but often requires a great deal of thought and planning on the front-end to make it work. Despite the flipped classroom strategy needs a lot of work at first, once it is set up it can lead to excellent results.

References:

Bergman, J. (2013). Flipped learning misconception: The second hurdle to flipping your class.  Retrieved from http://www.jonbergmann.com/category/flipped-learning-misconceptions/

Keller, F. (1968). Good-bye teacher. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 79-89.

Lo, C. & Hew, K. (2017). A critical review of flipped classroom challenges in k-12 education:  Possible solution and recommendation for future research. Research and practice in technology enhanced learning, 12(4).

Martinez, J. & Torregrosa, E. (2015). Chemistry Education: Best practices, opportunities and trends.

Sota, M. (2016). Flipped learning as a path to personalization. Handbook on personalized learning for states, districts, and schools, 73-87.

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