What is the Flipped Classroom?

The flipped classroom refers to a model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of class to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students. In the flipped classroom model, valuable class time is devoted to more active, project-based learning where students work together to solve local or global challenges — or other real-world applications — to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Rather than the instructor using class time to dispense information, that work is done by each student after class, and could take the form of watching video lectures, listening to podcasts, perusing enhanced e-book content, or collaborating with peers in online communities. Students access the online tools and resources any time they need them. Faculty can then devote more time to interacting with each individual. After class, students manage the content they use, the pace and style of learning, and the ways in which they demonstrate their knowledge; the instructor adapts instructional and collaborative approaches to suit their learning needs and personal learning journeys. The goal is for students to learn more authentically by doing. The flipped classroom model is part of a larger pedagogical movement that overlaps with blended learning, inquiry-based learning, and other instructional approaches and tools that are meant to be flexible, active, and more engaging for students.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Flipped classroom is no doubt the most important teaching/learning concept for higher education today. It enables us to support all the new types of students we have to deal with today - those with a background or profile that differs radically from the traditional born academic types. Through fliped classroom we can support deep learning and differentiate to a larger extent than previously - ole ole Oct 9, 2014
  • Flipped classrooms can work well with our without technology support. The key to "flipping" is not the technology as I can "flip" a class through the use of inquiry-based case study approaches where the instructor provides relevant, digested information to be harvested outside of class. Flipping works when instructors place value on student organization and creation of knowledge and designs the class interactions in a way that maximize that benefit. Technology can make flipping more effective for disciplines that often rely on didactic methods of instruction--particularly if you can structure a critical path for students to navigate online lectures/resources/etc to meet defined learning outcomes while structuring classroom activities in ways that are collaborative and that encourage inquiry- jasonr jasonr Oct 17, 2014
  • For first year students, the move from high school to college/university can be overwhelming. The pace of instruction is much quicker and it can be hard for students who need more time/practice to understand the material. The Flipped model can help support these students by allowing them to learn at their own pace. it also frees up time for more hands-on activities in the class which can deepens understanding. The struggle is ensuring that students complete the work prior to coming to class. It's important for students to understand why they need to complete the "pre-work" and why the class time is still important (it doesn't mean that they can skip class). - lkoster lkoster Oct 20, 2014 - helga helga Oct 24, 2014
  • jasonr expresses my thoughts as well. Blended course design, under which I would classify the flipped classroom, combines elements of online and face-to-face instruction. Its success depends greatly on the instructor being able to choose thoughtfully and well between what can best be accomplished outside the classroom and how to maximize classroom time. - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 22, 2014
  • The literature of blended/hybrid learning is so much bigger than flipping. Carol Twigg and the Program for Course Redesign is one broad research study (or series of studies) that has largely gone unmined in so many of the simple, binary understandings of flipping. This description is richer than what I feel like flipping has become in so many PD programs. Flipping feels less programatic and scalable than blended redesign. Either way, flipping/blended learning doesn't feel like it's on a horizon. Though not widely adopted, it's a decade or more old. - dicksonk dicksonk Oct 22, 2014 The evolution of blended (a mix of onsite and online) seems like it deserves recognition, given the high cost of capital infrastructure required for students to be onsite for "years". - vforssman vforssman Oct 25, 2014
  • The potential impact of this technology is a motivator for this generation. It helps them to realize their prior knowledge with their own pace and then construct new information.- ateskan ateskan Oct 25, 2014
  • Flipped or blended classroom models are becoming the predominant model in our region for 'online learning'. The reasons cited are many: support for the student to become an independant learner and develop critical thinking skills, more efficient use of classroom space as the student spends less actual time on campus and a richer and robust approach to the subject matter.- deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 27, 2014
  • Fascinating educational model that is often talked about, but not often utilised in the UK. Why would educators embrace a model that effectively downgrades their primary function i.e. standing up in front of a class and teaching? Every technological advance seems to be regarded as a threat to their continued employment, this model especially so. If the students can watch an online video instead of going to a lecture, and the interactions with students could be handled by teaching assistants, once the recording is made, there is no longer a need for the academic to be on the payroll. Of course this is not true, but it seems to be a fairly widely held belief, which cripples the adoption of new models like this. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 27, 2014
  • Which is form of blended learning however can be recognized as its own entity. Students being prepared before they actually have the face2face class. Hence class time is not a lecture but rather time for peer to peer learning, discussion and collaborative work. As blended learning the content is shared via video, social media or LMSs. The difference being that the face2 face is for activity learning not lecturing. - astoute astoute Oct 28, 2014 [Editor's Note: Moved here from RQ2.]

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Critical to note that flipped classrooms can "flop", even if technology is used to support out of class learning. Simply rearranging the schedule of events (re: homework vs lecture) and using technology to asychronously deliver core content is necessary but not sufficient. Students must have organized learning experiences that are tied to key class outcomes if flipping is to work well. The notion of an assessment-first / outcomes-first model that drives a flipped design is essential. - jasonr jasonr Oct 17, 2014
  • While I think people are pretty clear about the notion of the flipped classroom, I also think it connotes, if not the death of the lecture, then at least a critical examination of the lecture in higher ed. Following this line of thought, the ed tech impact here requires a hard look at classroom capture/lecture capture tools. - david.thomas david.thomas Oct 21, 2014 - helga helga Oct 24, 2014
  • As far as I understand Flipped classroom the acquisition of knowledge by students is done before class (not after) - and in the class the exercices are made or the problems are discussed. It's an interesting approach especially in the context of blended learning and also distant learning. So the worthful time in class can be used for interactive elements.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 27, 2014
  • The blended models have to be designed properly such that the online activities naturally feed into the classroom activities and vice-versa. There should be a robust interaction between the two formats. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 27, 2014
  • Flipping the classroom requires confident teachers, skilled in managing interactions, proficient in designing independent ad guided learning experiences, and confident with technology. This doesn't happen on its own and requires extensive infrastructure and training and support for faculty development. - denise.kirkpatrick denise.kirkpatrick Oct 27, 2014 - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Oct 28, 2014
  • Denise is right. Most academics do not have the confidence, technical skills or desire to change the way they teach. And why should they? After all, we hire them because they are experts in their own respective fields, not experts in education or educational technology. Current work models do not allow time for the creation of digital assets either, and flipping a classroom would mean extra time and resources dedicated to creation of those assets. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 27, 2014
  • Generally this model also needs a specific type of classroom configuration, which is not necessarily readily available (at least in sufficient numbers) on most campuses. Usually this model works best in a classroom with round tables to facilitate the problem-solving or active learning activities and may employ wall-mounted screens that can be connected to both the students' laptops and that of the professor. Equipping these classrooms is expensive, and the footprint needed for a class with a large number of students is greater than that needed for an amphitheater, limiting where campuses can place such a renovated classroom.- JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Oct 28, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • There are many initiatives at Aarhus University. All courses run by my centre (Centre for Teaching and Learning) are based on the flipped classroom / blended learning way of thinking - ole ole Oct 9, 2014
  • At Harvey Mudd College we have a team of faculty who are running an experiment using the flipped classroom technique in some sections of a course and "normal" classroom organization in other sections of the same course. So far results are just preliminary, but show little difference in learning outcomes (ie. grades), but big differences in student satisfaction, with students greatly preferring the flipped classroom model. - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 22, 2014
  • MEF University in Turkey is using flipped classroom technology in their courses. - ateskan ateskan Oct 25, 2014
  • At Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, most of our Masters' programs are "blended" - students are on campus for a 2-week residential experience, and then for the remainder of their 12 - 18 month program, they are online at-distance. All courses are designed for this e-learning delivery model - vforssman vforssman Oct 25, 2014
  • The University of Adelaide has a major initiative supporting the flipped classroom and a faculty community of practice that is institution wide supporting staff and sharing learning and experiences.- denise.kirkpatrick denise.kirkpatrick Oct 27, 2014.

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