This week, I want to talk about “The Flipped Classroom,” because this has been a buzzword within the Education sector for the past couple of years, and because I’m constantly receiving industry-related emails containing the phrase. With all of the terminology – Instructor-Led Training, Computer-Based Training, Blended Learning, Online Education – there is likely some confusion when it comes to this phrase, and I think we should just clear the air! So here goes nothing:
The Flipped Classroom
This phrase came to light in recent years; however, the approach has been used for many moons. The movement is quickly gaining motion as teachers become more creative with engaging their students and enhancing the overall learning experience. Essentially, the flipped classroom refers to a teaching framework that emphasizes self-paced learning outside of the classroom via online instruction and readings, leaving the regular face-to-face classes for students to engage with the instructor, complete homework, and enhance their overall understanding of the materials.
This way of teaching veers from the traditional ‘chalk-and-talk’ or lecture-based courses, and provides students with the opportunities to consider the instructional materials and any questions they may have prior to beginning to practical, hands-on work.
Why Flip the Classroom?
The ‘old way’ of doing things is very one-size-fits-all, and as we know (or can surmise), one way of teaching does not necessarily suit all learners, leading to student disengagement, frustration with homework/activities, and lower achievement rates. Flipping the classroom provides students with the best of two worlds: the face-to-face interaction and engagement with the instructor is still there, and the self-paced aspect is there. Additionally, with a world full of ‘digital natives’ and the (vast) presence and influence of the Internet, self-motivated learning and inquiry is likely occurring at a more rapid rate than twenty years ago. Information is readily accessible, and most individuals have access to the technology they need to obtain this information – why not leverage this technology to facilitate a classroom experience that may be more meaningful to this new generation of students?
Sure – Flipping the classroom may be a tough sell for a lot of traditional instructors, but the times are changing, and as educators we have a responsibility to adapt to our changing audience and enhance their overall success!
What do you think? Should educators flip their classroom? What are some benefits and limitations of this approach? Let me know in the comments!