How learning changes in a flipped classroom

Posted on Tuesday, 4/09/2013 10:30 am

As advanced technology continues to make its way into schools nationwide, new approaches to instruction, such as the flipped classroom, may become more common. If parents and educators are not yet familiar with the flipped classroom and what it entails, here is what they need to know:

What is a flipped classroom?
Typically, a flipped classroom is one in which the teaching takes place outside of school. For example, instructors may create recordings of their lectures that pupils can access outside of school using student software. This allows teachers to interact with their students through discussion, rather than just talking at them for the entire class. 

What are the benefits of a flipped classroom?
When educators flip their classrooms, there is the potential for several academic benefits. For example, according to an infographic that appears on Forbes' website, this approach to teaching means more one-on-one time between students and their teachers. When instructors are interacting with their pupils on a daily basis, it is harder for those in need of extra help to slip through the cracks.

At the same time, the flipped classroom approach gives students more control over their learning. When teachers are giving a lecture in person, pupils need to keep up or risk missing valuable information. This problem goes away when students receive lessons through video recordings. If they miss something, or want to review a point, all they have to do is hit the rewind button.

Teachers who are thinking about giving the flipped classroom a try should think about how it will help them address the absenteeism problem many schools currently face. According to the Forbes infographic, the fact that lessons are available to students at home means instructors do not have to worry about getting students up to speed at a later date, or providing them with make-up assignments.

What should educators know?
Before schools can reap the rewards of the flipped classroom format, educators need to make sure they take the right approach to this technological form of instruction. In a post for The Huffington Post's blog, Mark Frydenberg, the senior lecturer of computer information systems at Bentley University, wrote that it is not always a case of one size fits all.

For example, Frydenberg said not all students will be motivated to watch lectures at home. As a result, some of these individuals will require an incentive. In addition, he believes teachers need to come to terms with the different role they will have in a flipped classroom. In his words, they will go from being the "sage on the stage" to the "guide on [the] side."

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