Teaching has evolved over the years, and the face of education is constantly changing. It’s no more about simply introducing theories and topics to students, and has become more about what develops the students’ skills, both personally and professionally.
In order to do that, traditional teaching methods have to take a step back and interactive classroom activities take centre stage. Step forward flipped classrooms!
Lately, this is a concept that has been gaining traction among educators. What’s so unique about this learning approach that it’s turning every educator’s world upside down? Let’s dive into what flipped classrooms are all about, see some flipped classroom examples and explore flipped classroom strategies that you can implement.
What is the Flipped Classroom?
The flipped classroom is an interactive and blended learning approach that focuses on individual and active learning over traditional group learning. The students are introduced to new content and concepts at home and practice them individually when they’re at school.
Usually, these concepts are introduced with pre-recorded videos that the students can watch at home, and they come to school to work on the topics with a bit of background knowledge of the same.
The 4 Pillars of FLIP
Flexible Learning Environment
The classroom setting, including the lesson plans, activities, and learning models is rearranged to fit both individual and group learning.
- Students are given an option to choose when and how they learn.
- Define ample time and space for the students to learn, reflect and review.
Unlike the traditional model, which mainly focuses on the teacher as the primary source of information, the flipped classroom method focuses on self-study and how the students form their own process of learning a topic.
- Students learn through interactive and engaging learning activities in the classroom.
- The students get to learn at their own pace and in their own way.
The main idea behind flipped classrooms is to help students understand the concepts better, and learn when and how to use them in real life. Rather than teaching the topic for the sake of exams and assessments, the content is tailored to the student’s grade level and understanding.
- Video lessons are curated specifically based on the grade and knowledge level of the students.
- Content is usually direct instruction material that can be understood by the students without many complications.
You might wonder how this is different from a traditional classroom method? It is a common misconception that in a flipped classroom method, teacher involvement is minimal.
As a significant part of in-depth learning happens in the classroom, the flipped classroom method requires a professional educator to continuously monitor the student and provide them with real-time feedback.
- Whether the teacher is conducting individual or group activities, they should be available for the students throughout.
- Conduct assessments in the class, such as live interactive quizzes based on the topic.
History of the Flipped Classroom
So why did this concept come into existence? We’re not talking post-pandemic here; the flipped classroom concept was first implemented by two teachers in Colorado – Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams, in 2007.
The idea came to them when they realised that students who missed classes due to illness or any other reasons had no way to catch up on the topics taught in class. They began to record videos of the lessons and used these videos as materials in the class.
The model eventually became a hit and took off, evolving into a full-fledged learning technique that has been revolutionising the world of education.
Traditional Vs Flipped Classroom
Traditionally, the teaching process is very much one-sided. You…
- Teach the class as a whole
- Give them notes
- Make them do homework
- Give them generalised feedback through tests
There are hardly any opportunities for the students to apply what they have learned to situations or have much involvement from their end.
Whereas, in a flipped classroom, both teaching and learning are student-centric and there are two stages of learning.
At home, the students will:
- Watch pre-recorded videos of topics
- Read or review course materials
- Participate in online activities
In the classroom, they will:
- Take part in the guided or unguided practice of the topics
- Have peer discussions, presentations, and debates
- Do various experiments
- Take part in formative assessments
How Do You Flip a Classroom?
Flipping the classroom is not as easy as simply giving video lessons for the students to watch at home. It requires more planning, preparation and resources too.
1. Determine the Resources
The flipped classroom method relies much on technology and you would need every interactive tool out there to help you make the lessons engaging for the students. For creating video lessons, making the content accessible for the students, tracking and analysing their progress and much more.
🔨 Tool: Learning Management System
The flipped classroom is content-heavy, so you need to figure out how you are going to make the content available for the students. It’s all about how you will track their progress, clarify their doubts and provide real-time feedback.
With an interactive learning management system (LMS) like Google Classroom, you can:
- Create and share content with your students
- Analyse the progress they have made
- Send real-time feedback
- Send email summaries to parents and guardians
Although Google Classroom is a widely used LMS, it too comes with its problems. Check out other alternatives for Google Classroom that could offer your students an interactive and seamless learning experience.
2. Get Students Engaged With Interactive Activities
Flipped classrooms run majorly on student engagement. To keep the students hooked, you need more than experiments done in class – you need interactivity.
🔨 Tool: Interactive Classroom Platform
Interactive activities are a significant part of the flipped classroom method. Whether you are thinking of hosting a formative assessment in the form of a live quiz or playing a game in the middle of the class to make it a little more exciting, you need a tool that’s easy to use and suitable for students of all ages.
AhaSlides is an online interactive presentation platform that allows you to host various fun-filled activities such as live quizzes, polls, brainstorming ideas, interactive presentations and more.
All you need to do is sign up for free, create your presentation and share it with your students. Students can participate in the activity from their phones, with the results displayed live for everyone to see.
3. Create Video Lessons and Content
Pre-recorded, instructional video lessons are one of the main components of the flipped classroom method. It is understandable for an educator to feel concerned about how students might handle these lessons alone and how you can monitor these lessons.
🔨 Tool: Video Maker and Editor
An online video making and editing platform like Edpuzzle allows you to create video lessons, personalise them with your own narrations and explanations, track the students’ activity and monitor them.
On Edpuzzle, you can:
- Use videos from other sources and customise them according to your lesson needs or create your own.
- Monitor student progress, including how many times they have watched the video, which section they spend more time on, etc.
4. Feedback with your Class
When you are giving pre-recorded video lessons for the students to watch at home, you also need to make sure they work well for the students. You need to ensure that the students know the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of flipped classroom method.
Each student will have a different perception of the flipped classroom strategy and they might also have questions about it. It is important to provide them with an opportunity to review and reflect on the whole experience.
🔨 Tool: Feedback Platform
Padlet is an online collaborative platform where the students can create, share, and discuss the content with the teacher or with their peers. The teacher can also:
- Create a separate wall for each lesson or activity where the students can record and share their feedback.
- The students can collaborate with their peers to review the topic and get to know the different perceptions of the topic.
7 Flipped Classroom Examples
There are multiple ways for you to flip your class. You might sometimes want to try one or more combinations of these flipped classroom examples to make the learning experience a good one for the students.
#1 – Standard or Conventional Inverted Classroom
This method follows a slightly similar process to the traditional teaching method. Students are given videos and materials to watch and read to prepare them for the next day’s class, as “homework”. During the class, the students practice what they’ve learned while the teacher has time for one-on-one sessions or gives a little extra attention to the ones who need it.
#2 – Discussion-Focused Flipped Classroom
The students are introduced to the topic at home with the help of videos and other tailored content. During the class, the students take part in discussions about the topic, bringing different perceptions of the topic to the table. This is not a formal debate and is more relaxed, helping them understand the topic in-depth and is suitable for abstract subjects like Art, Literature, Language etc.
#3 – Micro-Flipped Classroom
This flipped classroom strategy is especially suitable during the shift from a traditional teaching method to a flipped classroom. You merge both traditional teaching techniques and flipped classroom strategies to help the students ease into the new learning method. Micro-flipped classroom model can be used for subjects that require lectures to introduce complex theories, such as science.
#4 – Flip the Teacher
As the name suggests, this flipped classroom model flips the role of a teacher – the students teach the class, with the content they’ve made themselves. This is a bit complex model and is suitable for high-schoolers or college students, who are capable of coming to their own conclusion about topics.
A topic is given to the students, and they can either create their own video content or use existing content available on different platforms. The students then come to the class and present the topic the next day to the whole class, while the teacher acts as a guide to them.
#5 – Debate-Focused Flipped Classroom
In a debate-focused flipped classroom, the students are exposed to the basic information at home, before they attend the in-class lecture and engage in one-on-one or group debates.
This flipped classroom model helps the students learn the topic in detail, and also develop interpersonal skills. They also learn how to accept and understand different perceptions, take criticisms and feedback etc.
#6 – Faux Flipped Classroom
The Faux flipped classroom model is perfect for younger learners who are not yet old enough to handle homework or watch video lessons on their own. In this model, the students watch videos in the class, with the guidance of the teacher and get individual support and attention if needed.
#7 – Virtual Flipped Classroom
Sometimes for students of higher grades or colleges, the need for classroom time is minimal. You can simply eliminate lectures and classroom activities and stick to only virtual classrooms where the students and the teacher view, share and collect content through dedicated learning management systems.