By guest blogger Swaroop Raju, co-founder of eduCanon
According to research from online course provider Sophia Learning and the Flipped Learning Network, the number of teachers who have flipped a lesson has grown from 48 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2014. Considering that the flipped classroom was a concept touted by only the most adventurous of educators a few years ago, this is remarkable growth. Now why has this happened? And how can we be certain this is not just a fad?
1) The Results
While quantitative and rigorous data on the flipped movement is still limited, empirical evidence on increases in student engagement and performance is trickling in. For example, Lawrence Whisenant, a physics teacher in Huntsville, Ala. began flipping his classroom to spend more class time discussing problems and practicing questions with his students. To implement the change, he employed a combination of Socrative and eduCanon, and found that his students were more engaged, and also better performers. In two months, the class average on test scores increased from 84 percent to 89 percent (despite the introduction of more challenging material).
Support for the movement is even trickling up to the administrative level. A Speak Up survey found that 25 percent of principals and administrators believe that flipped learning has already had a significant impact on transforming teaching and learning at their school. This surpasses other widely-touted technology tools such as games and mobile apps (21 percent) and online professional learning communities (19 percent).
2) Restructuring Class Time
The Harkness Method, also referred to as discussion-based teaching, is known for its ability to stimulate creativity and critical thinking in the learning process. During class, students spend a majority of the time talking, listening, and sharing ideas with one another; they spend more time actively learning.
This contrasts sharply with a traditional classroom where the entire 50-minute block is devoted to instruction.
As seen in the diagram above, when you flip a classroom, instruction is taken outside, freeing up more time for active learning in the classroom and creating an environment similar to the Harkness Method. While more time is available for critical thinking thinking, the flipped classroom on its own is still not perfect, as the teacher needs to devote the beginning of the class period to checks for understanding (Q&A Session, survey, etc.) to determine who watched the video.
3) The Tech
I wrote in an earlier post, that technology will never revolutionize education, and I stand by those claims. Teachers will always be the center of the classroom, but educational technology certainly holds the potential to evolve traditional classroom relationships so that more time is spent on active learning.
For instance, one challenge of the flipped classroom is accountability, because teachers are disconnected from their student’s viewing experience. Fortunately, when technology is effectively combined with teaching, that challenge is minimized.
A plethora of technology tools can help teachers determine who watched the video and what confused students. eduCanon lets teachers embed formative assessments into video and feeds analytics on student viewing. With Edmodo, teachers can share their content in posts and monitor student responses. Google Forms with questions about the video will provide immediate feedback on student understanding.
New tools and new strategies for the flipped classroom means its here to stay. It’s a technique no longer limited to the most adventurous educators.
- Teachers Experiment With Flipped Classroom Method
- What Are the Best Ways to Make a Flipped Classroom Work
- Take the Partnership Approach to Flipped Learning
- Is the Flipped Classroom Model Here to Stay?
For more on eduCanon follow us on Twitter at @educanon123.