Pic by the US Department of Education
A flipped classroom is a new teaching method that is showing great results
and growing ever more popular. The model focuses on student participation
and active learning which helps to reinforce new concepts and gives students
a practical application to the theories they have learned.
How it works
In this model, students watch a short lecture video before they come to
class. The video lecture will cover the most basic elements of the lesson
and will generally be available online. This means that students can watch
the lecture again when they are studying for a test or preparing for an exam.
The students then enter the class and are given a series of tasks to perform.
These can include discussions, observations, experiments etc. Here the
teacher is free to oversee activities, answer questions and provide guidance.
Removing the teacher from the front of the class means they are free to
spend more time individually with students and are more likely to pick
up mistakes or areas which need improvement.
No set format
The flipped classroom is fluid and teachers are able to bring in multimedia
and a variety of tasks to provide activities for students to do. While
the short video lecture is a common feature followed by in-class activities
which reinforce the lecture, there are other elements to the flipped classroom too.
It is common for the class to complete a short quiz near the end of the
lecture with immediate feedback. This is to ensure that the students have
understood everything in the lecture and to correct any mistakes or fill
in gaps in their knowledge.
Some teachers post the quizzes online so students can use them to study
or review and they may add supplementary videos, guest lectures, notes
and other resources for students to use.
Unlike traditional classroom setting, students don’t miss out on
what the teacher is saying because they are taking notes. It also means
they have the opportunity to reflect on the content of the lecture prior
to coming to class.
Pros and cons
For some teachers, the switch from front-of-class authority figure to a
more co-operative and collaborative role is difficult to make. When teachers
have very large classes, this kind of group work may be difficult to organize
The model also requires student to be disciplined, independent learners.
Without viewing the video lecture, the in-class tasks may prove ineffective.
Students also need to have the equipment and tech savvy to access online
This model works really well for teachers who are organized and learners
who are committed. It means that instead of passively absorbing knowledge,
students are hands-on and mastering the new concepts while gaining a wealth
of new practical skills. When done correctly, the flipped classroom can
be a real asset for students and teachers alike.