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The Flipped Classroom

While it’s not a new concept, many of you who are reading this already use a form of this pedagogical model in your classroom.  The notion of the flipped classroom is where the in-class lectures and homework pieces are reversed.  Students prepare for each class session by watching short conceptual lecture videos delivered by the professor, reading textbook chapters, listening to podcasts, voice threads, or anything else that provides essential information.  Students come to class and apply their knowledge through inquiry, discussions, debates, group work, research, or some activity that requires all students to be engaged and actively participating.  The bottom line is that the flipped classroom is not an arena for passive learning. 

The most common model of a flipped classroom is providing a pre-recorded lecture prior to an in-class exercise.  However, because this approach is flexible, professors can adapt this framework to their individual course needs/goals. 

While I personally think this is a wonderful teaching methodology, there are considerations you must take into account before implementing this idea into the classroom.

  1. While there’s nothing more rewarding as an educator than to see your students excel and achieve a higher level of mastery, be prepared to invest A LOT of time redesigning your content delivery.
  2. If you select to pre-record lectures, consider restructuring your presentation to keep it short (10 minutes or less) & sweet (interesting.)
  3. You may receive resistance from students who perceive the flipped classroom as increasing the rigor of your course by assigning more work.
  4. The passive learner student may become frustrated and accuse you of not teaching because your role as the primary source of information in the classroom has transformed into an advisor/facilitator.

If you’d like to learn more about the Flipped Classroom, here’s some resources to get you started.  Happy flipping!

How 'Flipping' the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture:

Seven Things you Should know about Flipped Classrooms:

Flipping the Classroom – Simply Speaking: