The Flipped Classroom is a teaching strategy whereby “teachers post short video lectures online for students to view at home prior to the next class session. This allows class time to be devoted to expanding on and mastering the material through collaborative learning exercises, projects, and discussions. Essentially, the homework that is typically done at home is done in the classroom, while the lectures that are usually done in the classroom are viewed at home” (2013, TeachThoughtStaff).
I like the idea of the flipped classroom a lot and agree with a 2013 article in TeachThought.com that students would probably like the additional control, collaboration, efficiency and easy access to the online resources in this strategy.
My son’s grade 7 teacher, Colleen Grounds, recently implemented this strategy. Have a look at her website: here. I thought her rationale for this approach was interesting. She shared the following in an email to parents: “I was watching a TedTalk on learning math the other day and a comment about brain processing speeds caught my attention. Imagine if students could stop, start, and pause lessons as they are given. Having the ability to verify one point before moving onto the next. How can this help the students who are too self conscious or shy to ask? What about the students who got it the first time and are now getting antsy? Can they not move ahead at their own pace? I will still be teaching in class but this allows students to view the material ahead of time. It could possibly free up more time for individual trouble shooting and acceleration.”
In the time that Ms. Grounds has launched this approach, I have watched my son watch and re-watch the lessons as he’s working his way through the material. He has gained a new and deeper understanding through this approach. I find that I do the same thing with all the videos posted here. I think this really adds a new dimension to teaching and learning.
There are some cons to this approach, such as the fact that use of technology may create a digital divide or be tough for some to use. My biggest issue is that I would have to give up control, and trust that the students would all view the materials in advance.
Another issue for me would be the increased prep-time. I l don’t generally have a lot of prep time as a part-time studies instructor to put together the short videos required. For this reason, I would likely implement the flipped classroom strategy only once or twice in a 12-week course.
Grounds, C (2014). Retrieved from: https://deltalearns.ca/cgrounds/