The flipped classroom is an alternative to the traditional teacher-centered space where content is delivered to students via a lecture. With the flipped classroom, students access lesson content online prior to attending a face-to-face class, enabling the class session to become a place for discussion and group activities. While the use of pre-class videos has become somewhat synonymous with the flipped classroom, other modes of content delivery can also be utilised such as online activities, games, readings, or provocations to consider.
While the standard teacher-centered space of the classroom has been effective for some learners, it has been criticised for implying that learners are simply passive receivers of information. In contrast, the student-centered flipped classroom is considered to make students active participants in their own learning. With this shift, slower learners can receive additional in-class assistance from their peers and educators, and the group-based tasks of class sessions can help to build learner confidence as well as skills in working collaboratively.
This infographic outlines some of the positive ways that the flipped classroom has worked in Clintondale High School in Detroit.
Educators are encouraged to create learning experiences online for students to complete outside of normal class time, which outline key ideas that will be discussed or elaborated on in class. The classroom then becomes the stage for students to discuss these ideas, and to collaboratively respond to the material. Discussion forums may be set up online so that students can immediately respond to the learning experience and share their learning with their peers, and more reserved students can contribute freely before class.
Where to next?
The flipped classroom can provide new ways for educators to engage students, but this does not mean that it will immediately fix any of the problems that students may be having with the curriculum. Although online learning experiences may be more widely accessible to students than lectures, students will not engage with them if they cannot see the value of the lessons. What this means is that pedagogical models must be employed with the flipped classroom as their support, and that any technologies used in-class support these models rather than existing for their own sake. It is also important that technologies employed do not create a digital divide in students from low and high income families.
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Jovanović, J., Gašević, D., Dawson, S., Pardo, A., & Mirriahi, N. (2017). Learning analytics to unveil learning strategies in a flipped classroom. The Internet and Higher Education, 33, 74–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2017.02.001
Lo, C. K., & Hew, K. F. (2017). A critical review of flipped classroom challenges in K-12 education: Possible solutions and recommendations for future research. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 12, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41039-016-0044-2