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Getting Started with Flipped Learning

Posted on 03/13/2019

Glass ball with image of forest turned upside down

One of the most popular ways to blend face-to-face and online learning is to create a flipped classroom. Flipped learning has been around for a number of years, but many teachers are not familiar with how it works. As Catlin Tucker explains in a recent blog post External link opens in new window or tab , "The flipped classroom model shifts the transfer of information online and moves practice and application into the classroom." The teacher will move the lecture, which normally happens in the classroom during the school day, online, and use the face-to-face classroom time instead to practice and apply what the students learned outside of the classroom. (The online lecture is typically a video, but it could be other content as well.) The flipped model has its critics – for example, what happens when students don't have access to technology at home – but teachers still find it a promising way to integrate technology into their instruction and help students learn the content in a deeper manner.

Tucker suggests a three-step plan to flip learning:

  • Create context – This is an activity that gets students ready for online learning by generating interest in and/or focusing attention on the topic, or possibly assessing students' prior knowledge.
  • Flip and engage – This is the online video activity which should also include a way to engage the students as they are watching the video – for example, by taking notes or posting to a discussion forum afterwards.
  • Apply and extend – This is a collaborative activity based on the online content that encourages students to apply what they learned and practice with the new knowledge.

One benefit of the flipped classroom is that it frees the teacher from precious in-class time lecturing to circulating and observing how well the students comprehend the material when they are asked to apply what they have learned, giving the teacher the opportunity to do informal assessment and determine where the students still have gaps in knowledge.

At the end of her blog post, Tucker provides some insight on how to create videos for flipped learning. We also suggest exploring two other websites for more training and information on how to get started with flipped learning:

  • FLIP Learning External link opens in new window or tab is organized by the Flipped Learning Network, a global community of educators who study and apply the flipped model to classrooms.
  • The Flipped Learning Global Initiative External link opens in new window or tab is currently working on a set of standards and best practices for educators to follow when organizing flipped learning.

We are encouraged to see adult educators move towards blended learning for the benefit of their students (and especially when it is mentioned in an agency's Technology and Distance Learning Plan!). A flipped classroom is a place to begin for those looking to integrate more technology into their practice and get their students online.

Article: Flipped Classroom 101: Challenges, Benefits and Design Tips External link opens in new window or tab