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Flipped classroom model


The standard model for teaching a highschool class involves lecturing by the teacher in the classroom during school hours, with a smaller timespace available for hands-on work with the material. This hands-on work is usually delegated as homework, which students complete at home with the aid of textbooks, notes from class, and little else.

One of the suggested teacher methods for dealing with a larger class is dividing the class into teams and doing groupwork (University of Wisconsin), in order to involve the students actively as much as possible. This is the preferrable alternative to the teacher taking center stage and talking continously for the duration of the class, which studies (Hrepic et al., 2007) have shown that only a low percentage of students retain information and actually learn from.

To address this, two American highschool teachers, Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams, developed a system of PowerPoint presentations and made them available online for their students to watch at home. This methodology spread and freed up in-school classtime, which was instead used for collaborative work and excersizes intended to practice the theory the students had watched at home. This laid the groundwork for what is now known as the Flipped Classroom model (The Flipped Classroom Infographic).

In an example use of the flipped classroom model, teachers will create three videos of length 10-15 minutes per week, explaining the core concepts of the syllabus to be learned that week. Students will watch these videos at home (or at school should they lack internet connection, which is rare in the three countries involved in this study (Wikipedia)). Class time is then mainly spent gaining practical experience with the problems at hand through labs, group work and interactive activities with the teacher providing a support role rather than the central figure. The strongest talking points of the flipped classroom model include (The Flipped Classroom Infographic):

  • Students receive instant feedback, as the teacher is on-hand to answer specific questions that may not be asked in the less dynamic lecturing method of teacher.
  • Students are less frustrated with the work. Instead of sitting at home, alone with nothing but textbooks, notes and distractions, the student is in an environment where help is found either in groupwork or by the teacher standing by.
  • Teachers are given a chance to further explain concepts that students may have struggled with from the videos viewed at home.
  • Extra help to students who need it is provided. Rather than sitting silently in the classroom during a lecture, the student is now free to get specific and discreet help from the teacher.

All in all, the flipped classroom model implements a more modern, scientific and technology-aided approach to teaching, with positive results (The Flipped Classroom Infographic). Given the mass access and ease of access to computers and internet that has exploded over the last few years, it is now possible to adapt and evolve the method of teaching large classes into something more effective.

Example of technology to be used for the view-at-home videos.

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