The tendency of a traditional classroom is to build more basic, foundational knowledge during class and then send students out to do more complex thinking on their own as assigned work. So why do we ask students to perform, on their own, the cognitively challenging work where they are most likely to have questions and least likely to have access to assistance?
While it’s not a new concept, flipped classrooms are becoming more popular as technology continues to alter our predilections and blur our prescribed thoughts on what’s possible inside and outside of the classroom. The name is derived from the idea that we are flipping a traditional classroom on its head. Often this is misinterpreted as only moving the homework to take place during class and recording the lectures as video to be viewed outside of class.
That definition of flipped classrooms appeals to some, but it doesn’t do any justice to the true aim of flipping: asking students to actively engage in the more cognitively complex tasks while an expert is present and peer learning can occur through group work. After all, it is during this complex thinking that confusions and hang-ups are most likely to occur.
It’s worth mentioning that you need not flip an entire class if it doesn’t suit the content. Various aspects of flipped classroom models can be mixed and matched with traditional lecture to fit the needs of your particular classroom. In flipped classrooms, students are given their first contact to the basic material in a pre-class session in the form of readings, video, practice problems, and low-stakes quizzing. Using these materials, students build a foundational knowledge of the content at their own pace, increasing the motivation to learn.
In this four-part blog series, we will briefly work through the concepts which work well across face-to-face, hybrid, and online classrooms. There are many proposed methods to flipping your class, but this series will take an approach based on Robert Talbert’s Flipped Learning, which creates a well-formed framework on which to build content for both pre-class and in-class sessions. However, if you cannot wait for the rest of this series, contact us for an individual consultation.