Flipped learning is gaining a well-earned reputation as being an effective method for intense, yet engaging, method of knowledge acquisition. The Brookings Institution, for example, describes students in the flipped classroom as viewing digitized or online material as “pre-class homework”, which they complete before they spend in-class time “engaged in active learning experiences such as discussions, peer teaching, presentations, projects, problem solving, computations, and group activities.”
Today, I’ve invited Kiara Miller from The Speakingnerd to share her ideas on why teachers should try out flipped learning for themselves.
With the goal of improving the quality of education and students’ academic performance, many instructional methodologies have popped up. The modern world currently presents a range of innovative teaching methods that can make a difference in any classroom. Besides active learning strategies, flexible learning environments, and personalized learning, flipped classrooms are now a common instructional method worldwide.
Flipped classrooms were introduced by Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in 2007, who were high school chemistry teachers by then. They elaborately discussed what flipped classroom is and its importance in their book: “Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day (2012)”. At this juncture, we would like to explore what flipped classrooms are and some of the major reasons for teachers to try them out.
What Flipped Classrooms Are!
A flipped classroom is a form of blended learning model where students learn about new concepts at home. They then discuss their findings with their teachers and the rest of the students in a classroom. With this teaching approach, students interact with the course material beforehand and while inside the classroom, they engage in interactive group learning activities.
Students aren’t bombarded with new material, but rather, they come with their own understanding of the concepts. That is through online videos and any other supporting content that can be text-based. It can also be provided by a teacher or students can do their own research.
With flipped classrooms, students get the chance to research topics, develop their own pace while learning at home, assess findings, and compare insights. Within a classroom, students make presentations, perform experiments, and engage in face-to-face discussions.
This helps them share their insights and attain an in-depth understanding of the material. Due to the benefits associated with them, flipped classrooms are now a popular pedagogical approach in many educational institutions worldwide.
They cater to some degree of personalization in learning which improves learning results. But how and why should teachers try out flipped classrooms?
Reasons for Teachers to Try Out Flipped Classrooms
Flipped classrooms can be advantageous to both learners and teachers in many ways. Besides improving learning spaces, flipped classrooms are associated with the following benefits:
#1: Reduce the Pressure of Teaching
Introducing learners to new concepts right in the classroom may not be impactful as letting students research the topics before discussing them in class. Flipped classrooms help students to attain a good level of background knowledge on a topic. They are able to leverage reflection models to assess their learning capabilities in conjunction with the learning mediums that can help them understand the material better.
On the other hand, teachers face a range of challenges that most times impact their mental health, productivity, and lesson delivery efficacy. Introducing intricate topics to students will require a lot of time to make learners comprehend the topics effectively.
Teachers have to explain a lot to ensure that every student grasps the content. A teacher is also tasked to try out different teaching methods to help a class understand better. This reduces the amount of free class time.
However, with flipped classrooms, teachers can optimize classroom time and focus on making topics more comprehensible. For example, depending on the students’ doubts, a teacher can opt for a teaching method that solves problems effectively. For example, leverage a presentation, video, or whole class discussion. This lessens the pressure on teachers and allows them to enjoy their profession more.
#2: Cultivates Independent Learning Skills
The traditional teaching methods heavily depend on teachers’ input. Students largely have to sit in a classroom and listen to what teachers say or observe what they are doing. However, flipped teaching mediums are the opposite. They are a reversed medium of learning and require a student to research topics, assess material and develop a personal understanding of it.
Flipped classrooms encourage independent learning. Learners take ownership of the learning process and are able to track their progress. Commonly, this instructional approach eliminates spoon-feeding which is highly noticed with the traditional learning medium.
Rather, students are able to attain prior knowledge about a topic. Through this, they develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking capabilities, and independent learning skills. With that, they are able to become active learners who know how to apply concepts in real life.
On the other hand, this optimizes student-teacher interactions in a classroom. Teachers are able to deliver more within a single session rather than wasting a lot of time explaining a concept.
#3: Can Improve Lesson Engagement
One of the major challenges that modern teachers face is the increasing rate of student disengagement. It is quite difficult to keep students focused and interested in learning in the modern days. Yet, engagement is key to material comprehension and memorization.
Engagement is important for academic success and over 70% of educators agree with this. Without engagement, students become passive learners. They are hindered from grasping the material to the core or even being creative with it.
However, introducing flipped classrooms to students can boost their morale in learning. It also instills a sense of accountability as they must produce their research in front of the class. Also, as they listen to others’ findings, they are able to competitively make suggestions.
In the long run, this improves classroom engagement and learning experiences. On the other hand, flipped classrooms can pave the way to better classroom management. This happens with the fact that teachers are able to alter learning environments which eliminates monotony.
#4: Teachers Can Reuse Learning Material
The good thing about flipped classrooms is that teachers don’t need to keep on creating study material for the same concepts. Also, students can leverage the material they create afterward. Both teachers and students only need to make improvements in the content as per the latest findings.
Teachers can also tailor the content to learning gaps. Also, the material can be shared online and reviewed at any time. Students can also revisit the material to clarify areas they never understood properly. This can add to third-party sources such as educational apps that support personalized learning.
These possibilities optimize learning experiences and allow teachers to attain good leeway when it comes to planning and delivering lessons.
#5: Improves Academic Outcomes
When students are tasked to study on their own, it imposes a certain level of responsibility. Flipped classrooms are a good way to help students optimize their learning period and make classroom interactions more productive.
It should be noted that personalized learning cultivates a deeper understanding of the course material. It also improves cognitive skills, for example, analytical and critical thinking. Students are able to dimensionally analyze concepts and learn how to apply them. This helps them perform academically better.
It is a teacher’s responsibility to help students learn and excel academically. With this, the traditional teaching mediums are no longer effective in meeting the ever-changing learning needs. Modern students must possess innovative skills to solve problems and remain relevant in this technologically driven world.
If you’re a teacher looking for some of the best ways to alter your classroom environment, and improve student engagement or online learning experiences, then try out flipped classrooms. They are reliable in helping students get the best out of their study time. On the other hand, they can reduce heavy workloads and optimize the limited personal time on the teachers’ side.
More so, they can help teachers manage learners’ behaviors and student excuses. Therefore, every teacher can try out flipped classrooms to modify learning environments.
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