|The idea of ‘flipping’ the classroom has been around for several years. Essentially it means adapting what is done traditionally in the lecture theatre – one way transmission of knowledge through lectures – and making the lecture content available to students to either watch or read in their own time and as preparation for the class. You then use face-to-face classroom time for active learning opportunities where the emphasis is on higher-order cognitive skills such as the skills of analysis, problem-solving and evaluation. Much of the supporting literature suggests that ‘flipping’ the classroom in this way supports deeper learning, is a better and more efficient use of increasingly dwindling resources and helps students achieve a far more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.|
|Aim||The aim of this method is to free up precious class time to enable students take part in more student-centered learning opportunities, such as active learning, discussions, problem-based learning, and other forms of interactive group work and peer instruction.|
|The flipped classroom approach can be applied across any discipline and learning level. It is however an approach that is best considered at course level rather than at the level of an individual module or lesson as it requires quite some effort on the part of the teaching staff to adapt their learning practices and procedures and for students to fully benefit from such an approach|
|Intended learning outcomes|
|Begin by considering the overall design of the course with the other members of the teaching team including all technical support staff. Identify the elements that constitute one way transmission of knowledge – normally these are lectures and separate these from those where real-time interaction is required, e.g. tutorial sessions, group work, mentoring etc.
Prepare the lecture materials as either reading materials or recorded lectures in formats that are easily accessible to your students and in manageable content ‘chunks’ that match the structure and format of the overall course and the content. Use the available face-to-face time normally spent on lectures for the types of activities where interaction is required, considering the different requirements of student project work in groups, or individual student/tutor and student/student interaction in order to prepare the face-to-face time appropriately.
Remember to build in regular evaluation opportunities to assess how well this approach is working and to finds ways in which your approach can be improved.
|Preparation||Planning and preparation are a vital component in applying this approach so best to apply to a full course and well in time taking into account your and the students’ time and resources.|
|Resources and equipment||Video recording, editing and storage facilities are a requirement if lectures are recorded. If making the content of your course available as reading materials, consider enlisting the help of someone with lay-out and print publication expertise in order to make the materials as self-explanatory and effective as possible.|
|Success factors||The degree to which the design of the course is reconsidered in its entirety in order to adopt this method is a factor in its success. Simply making reading materials available or recording lectures and putting them online is usually not enough, teaching staff need to review all elements of their course and consider how best each can be delivered using a flipped model.|
|Advantages||This approach can result in a far better use of the teaching staff’s available time with class time used more productively and effectively for collaboration and interaction.|
|Disadvantages||There is a danger that students simply do not take the time out of class to read materials or watch pre-recorded lectures. One way to overcome this is to include compulsory assignments related to this material.|
|Additional information||A simple search of the internet will reveal masses of resources and materials related to Flipping the Classroom. Here are a few that may be helpful:
This guide from Vanderbilt University in the US gives a good overview with a useful description of the theoretical basis:
This simple guide from Surray University in the UK is a good introduction and also lists several digital tools that may be helpful
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