Where to Begin if You Want to Flip Your Classroom?
Flipping the classroom is a tried-and-true approach that, when effectively incorporated, greatly enhances students’ learning experience and ability to apply their newfound knowledge.
Here are some important steps to consider when implementing this practice into your virtual or in-person instruction.
What is Meant by Flipping the Classroom?
Flipping the classroom refers to an instructional approach where teaching or coaching is moved to a more individualized learning space as opposed to taking place in a whole-group situation. The group instruction then evolves into an interactive, dynamic set of activities where the teacher guides the students through the application of the new concepts or skills that were presented in the individual learning situation. One notable difference is that the presentation of the new content often comes in more engaging forms of micro learning with meaningful and relevant practice activities.
Where to Start?
The planning phase is similar to developing a thematic unit or a major project. The main difference, however, is how the student will navigate and access the “background” information outside of the classroom which paves the way for more personalized learning that appeals to the students’ interest and skills.
Determining the Most Important Subject Matter
First, you would need to determine “what’s important” regarding the concept or skill set that you want students to acquire. When you have a focused topic, the rest of the planning will fall into place.
Gauging How Much Time is Needed
Next, you will need to determine how much time will be needed, particularly for the “flipped” part of the instruction. One suggestion to keep in mind is to be flexible with the pacing and to keep the new content as accessible to the students as possible. This can come in the form of short videos and interactive practice exercises.
In addition to the subject matter and pacing, you can also establish specific, focused objectives. Thinking in terms of outlining specific skills that you want your students to learn, the objectives might involve problem-solving, debating, or evaluating. Basically, this vision resembles a revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy where the objectives will involve the higher order skills.
Choosing the Best Instructional Methods and Tools
Once you have set the foundation for your lesson or unit, then it’s time to select the tools.
There is a lot to be said about how technology simplifies and even augments the practice of flipping the classroom. At the same time, you can’t select videos, podcasts, or any other media just for the sake of filling a gap of time. All content must be relevant and focused on meeting the objectives of the lesson.
As an illustration, if the objective is to name the parts of the digestive system and their function, students might benefit more from an interactive video that shows the process of breaking down food rather than a lengthy recorded lecture.
Consequently, the best option is to look for evidence-based methods and tools. One place to turn is Pedagogue, the social learning management system that combines the function of a learning management system with the features and peer interaction of a social media platform. This system provides the means to plan and execute your lesson while consulting with fellow educators, who likewise, are looking to share their questions and insight.
At times, flipping the classroom can take you out of your instructional comfort zone, but you’ll never regret taking a step into the unknown when your students can benefit from the personalized learning and the interactive components of this approach.