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. After class, students manage the content they use, the pace and style of learning, and the ways in which they demonstrate their knowledge, and the professor becomes the guide, adapting instructional approaches to suit their learning needs and supporting their personal learning journeys. Rather than the professor using class time to lecture to students and 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, collaborating with their peers in online communities, and more. Students can access this wide variety of resources any time they need them. 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. Instructors can also devote more time interacting with each individual. The goal is for students to learn more authentically by doing, with the professor guiding the way; the lecture is no longer the expected driver of concept mastery. 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. It has the potential to better enable educators to design unique and quality learning opportunities, curriculum, and assessments that are more personal and relevant to students’ lives.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?
  • I'm interested in the fact there is less commentary around this theme. Is that beacuse we think it's already 'done'? I think this is a critical component of the shift from teaching to learning focus so I think it's very relevant to the HE sector. - s2.vaughan s2.vaughan Feb 18, 2014
  • This is an example of a change that is going to take a lot longer than others as it requires a change in the conception of learning on the part of the academic and a reframing of how they construct their role in the learning process. We're still seeing designs for physical spaces evolve as we work out how to create spaces that encourage and support the flipped model. Changing the way we use synchronous (time and space) learning to focus less on content and more on engagement and cognitive aspects is exciting but we see it locally as something that will take at least 5 years to become normalised, if not common.- stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 20, 2014 - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • I agree with Suzi that while 'flipped classrooms' have been around for a while as a pedagogy the adoption is still patchy and the integration with technology still varied. There are barriers and these include physical spaces, timetabling systems (that don't accomodate flexiblity), technology and staff expertise. - margaret.hicks margaret.hicks Feb 20, 2014
  • Agreed. - andrea.mclagan andrea.mclagan Feb 21, 2014
  • Agree, this is still along way off. The pedagogy that sits behind the Flipped Classroom requires a fundamental shift in the nature of academic work and in the way many academics (and University hierarchies) perceive learning and teaching. There are many factors/issues that mitigate against the shift but the hardest thing to change is the deeply conservative attitude - geoff.romeo geoff.romeo Feb 23, 2014 - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • I actually think this approach is starting to gain some traction as many discipline academics can see the possibilities and see it is within their capabilities. I agree it is taking some time to be implemented at scale but I am certainly aware at my own university that whole schools are working towards this approach. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 25, 2014geoffrey.crisp

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?
  • Flipped classroom models are also responding to the challenge of rising costs for physical spaces and the need to support more students with existing spaces. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 20, 2014
  • As touched on in the previous section, this represents a significant change for academics, but also for students. Some research has reported some student resistance to changing the traditional classroom model. It requires a major revision of the traditional classroom / lecture hall roles. Regarding the physical spaces, as Stephen mentioned above, the traditional lecture hall setup may not support this different use of the face-to-face time. - andrea.mclagan andrea.mclagan Feb 21, 2014
  • The capacity of the higher education sector to deliver the Flipped classroom is perhaps overestimated. Many in my institution have heard the term Flipped Classroom but have no idea how to design and deliver such an environment. So how are we to build capacity in the current academic workforce? I think 5 years to become normalized is optimistic. Do we need a radical new approach to the way academic work is organised and how learning and teaching environments are built? - geoff.romeo geoff.romeo Feb 23, 2014
  • Yes, the redesign of physical lecturing spaces to more collaborative learning spaces often facilittates a move to flipped classroom approaches to etaching. It is difficult to convince academics to redesign their learning activities for students to be more collaborative and more based on student control when the physical space mitigates against this type of activity. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 25, 2014geoffrey.crisp

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?
  • Many educators will be lost if they are no longer standing out the front delivering content. They will need guidance to design classroom activities and will need to be mentored on the relatively chaotic and fluid nature of the flipped classroom. Inevitably there's a lot more peer learning going on - this is the core of the flipped model.- michael.coughlan michael.coughlan Feb 16, 2014
  • I agree with Michael's comment above. This is really hard for many academics. Whilst more and more recognise the need for change in approaches to teaching and to facilitating learning, many really struggle to design flipped learning experiences. To make it work effectively draws upon a much wider 'repetoire' of approaches than many current academics have. - s2.vaughan s2.vaughan Feb 18, 2014
  • I see it as providing a useful context for ongoing engagement in learning design with all of the associated implications for professional development and professionalisation of teaching in higher education. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 20, 2014
  • Not sure it will happen but the impact of this should be a radical overhaul of the nature of academic work and a rethink about who contributes to the learning and teaching enterprise - geoff.romeo geoff.romeo Feb 23, 2014
  • If embraced by academics, with the right tools available, the impact of the flipped classroom will be significant. Multimedia learning objects, integrated with text books and online resources and tied in with quizzes, all delivered and accessed before the face-to-face moment, have the potential to empower academics and students alike towards better use of face-to-face time and a more active engagement with the topic. - jwilliams jwilliams Feb 24, 2014
  • The impact can be quite dramatic in facilitating engagement from students but only if the fundamental learning activities are changed from content assimilation to learning for complexity - learning that emphasises consequences to decision making rather than encouraging a uniform response that every student is expected to regurgitate. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 25, 2014geoffrey.crisp

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

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