Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Flipped Classroom

What is a flipped classroom? According to Jerry Overmyer a "Flipped Classroom is a model of teaching in which a student’s homework is the traditional lecture viewed outside of class on a vodcast. Then class time is spent on inquiry-based learning which would include what would traditionally be viewed as a student’s homework assignment. Synonymous with Reverse Classroom."

I've been hearing a lot lately about this relatively new education practice. It is very constructivist and project-based for that matter. Some might say this isn't anything really new, but I think it is. The difference comes from the use of the video blended with a screencast. Here's a video that describes how one teacher uses it:

Here's another teacher using the flipped model:

These teachers are creating their own resources. Great stuff! But it also takes a lot of work. Another teacher flipped his classroom using Khan Academy math, science, and humanities resources. Here's the link to this story: The Flipped Classroom Advances: Developments in Reverse Learning and Instruction

I guess some of my interest was piqued recently around the Flipped Classroom, when I watched a TedTalk video by Salman Khan. Here it is:

Here at Credenda, we use live instruction with ElluminateLive to deliver our instruction. Even though we use technology to deliver instruction, it can be very much a matter of an eTeacher trying to recreate a face to face classroom online. That doesn't work, because lecture styled instruction doesn't necessarily work best. We have to make the learning experience more engaging. Using technology like an iTouch with videos is very creative, using screencasts makes sense as well. Sometimes I think we overwhelm our students with too much information, and really not think about how much are they retaining.

So how can we at Credenda create a flipped classroom for our students? First of all, I would hate to lose the live experience in creating a flipped classroom. I don't think we would have to either. Using ElluminateLive and using the video inset into the session with the whiteboard as the screencast is what we do each day already. The difference comes into play when we allow students to access their archived, recorded classes on their own time as in a Flipped Classroom, and using the regularly scheduled time during the day to help students with their homework. Could it work? Yes. I think it could, but it would take some reeducating of eStudents and eTeachers. If we try something like this at Credenda, we need to run a pilot first and see how it works.