Getting Started with Flipped Learning
Most of us now teach in a blended format or one that combines more traditional classroom practice with eLearning practice as facilitated by educational technology. Flipped learning, or a form of blended learning in which video lectures or other online materials deliver content prior to class, and then class time is used for application activities, has been a buzzword for several years (Margulieux, McCracken, & Catrambone, 2016). Formative assessments, like pre-quizzes or other activities to help students explain and use the information they’ve learned pre-class, are a major component of this methodology. These activities help promote learner accountability and inform both the learners and the educators of learners’ preparedness to apply learned concepts within the class session so that educators can adjust planned sessions accordingly.
Factors to Consider
Flipped learning can involve high preparation for educators in terms of lesson planning, vetting and creating high-quality learning resources, reviewing results of formative assessment and adapting plans to meet emerging needs, and fostering and maintaining an accountability culture. For these reasons, educators may want to ask if they feel they have the time and skill set necessary before delving into flipped learning.
Additionally, flipped learning can garner mixed learner reactions. Learners often express desires for direct instruction and disinterest in active learning methods. Likewise, they may report equipment or access issues for activities required outside of class time. So, before an educator leverages a flipped approach, that educator may be ready to realize that “value-added” does not mean that learners will value it, preparing oneself to field questions like “What am I paying for if I’m teaching myself?”
How might you start flipping your learning experience? The Faculty Innovation Center at U-Texas Austin (n.d.) has offered the useful “FLIP” model or acronym to help:
- F – Figure out where flipping makes sense.
- Tough topics or misconceptions.
- Critical learning objectives or outcomes.
- L – Look for in-class application opportunities.
- Classroom response and/or peer instruction.
- Team-based, case-based, problem- or project-based, or lab-based learning.
- Discussions, debates, concentric circles, etc.
- I – Identify pre-class content.
- 3-5-minute segments with focus (readings, videos, experiences, etc.).
- Accompanying formative assessments (for accountability & insight).
- P – Prepare students for class performance.
- Clear connections & expectations.
- Offer procedures, protocols, & tools.
- Standard – Self-study pre-class paired with application activities in-class with the aid of a rotating educator.
- Mastery/Peer Instruction – Self-study pre-class paired with mini-lectures, formative assessment, and peer instruction in class. So, if learners don’t achieve the score determined as mastery on the formative assessment, they will engage in peer instruction, and try the assessment again. If they still don’t achieve mastery on the formative assessment, the educator will provide a mini-lecture to explain further.
- Flipping the Teacher – Self-study pre-class with the possible recording of their learning. That is coupled in-class with group instruction where learners would present their ideas or their recordings to peers, and the group could process and clarify holistically with the educator dispelling any misconceptions.
- Faux F2F / Faux Lab – There is no pre-class activity. Learners engage in self-study and application in a live class or lab session with a rotating educator.
- Faux Virtual – Self-study pre-class, but there is no live class session. The educator is available during office hours, either on-site or virtually for small group or 1-on-1 tutorials or clarification.
University of Texas at Austin Faculty Innovation Center. (n.d.). Flipped classroom. Retrieved from https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/flipped-classroom