The second day of the Spring 2014 Teaching Effectiveness Institute opened with a half-day session on Incorporating Active Learning by Flipping the Classroom, but the participants had already begun learning about the Flipped Classroom model. To demonstrate the approach, those who registered were asked to watch a few short videos and read an article before coming to the workshop.
During the institute, participants reflected on how to apply the Flipped Classroom model to their own courses. They worked in teams to research, summarize, and present a model of active learning. Finally, each participant designed a course or lesson using the Flipped Classroom model and received feedback from their team.
In the flipped classroom model, in-class course lectures are replaced with active learning strategies, like problem-based or collaborative learning. Then, to prepare for these in-class activities, students learn new content by watching videos and tutorials, reading, or completing online simulations. These materials can be created by faculty, licensed from a publisher, or found as Open Education Resources. This video from the UT Austin Center for Teaching and Learning describes the Flipped Classroom in under one minute.
Because of its focus on active learning in the classroom, the Flipped Classroom model can strengthen student learning and increase engagement. It also provides students with more guidance from faculty and instructors when they work on applying the new information.
There are many resources available to learn more about Flipping the Classroom. For example, the Chronicle of Higher Education blog “Casting Out Nines” recently featured a series by Robert Talbert on how he flipped a calculus course. Another great resource is “7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms” from Educause. This quick read offers highlights of the flipped classroom model and a brief case study on how it works in the classroom.
Finally, the Flipped Classroom model may not be appropriate for every course, or even every topic in a course. Faculty who want to try flipping their classroom can start small by flipping a single class session or topic and gradually work to flipping an entire course.