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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.

3 comments:

Megaen Reader said...

Good stuff! I especially liked the examples of how others are using it. A couple things; I think teachers in a synchronous classroom do not necessarily mimic a brick and mortar school by using lecture- at least not at the high school level- I haven't seen much of that. Elluminate lets us use many different strategies/methods that would be used in a traditional classroom- and even more that would be difficult in a 'real' school. I really like what you said about educating the teachers and students. I believe, like learning anything new, there will be an adjustment period. For Credenda, that might look like a 'live' teacher walking the students through how to view a recording (video) to get the most from it. Like everything we do, I think there needs to be a lot of support for the students (and staff) when they are first starting out.

Sue Hellman said...

A few years ago, I attended a session with the 'originators' of the educational vodcasting (http://mast.unco.edu/programs/vodcasting/) approach -- Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergman. A big part of their model is the mastery learning dimension. By turning the traditional instructional paradigm upside down (inside out?) and giving the kids tasks to do outside class that they can handle independently, teacher/student contact time becomes devoted to meeting individuals' needs and honing and deepening their understandin -- in short to ensuring they master the skills and content and do not walk away with partial learning.

It always bothered me when I taught math that the class time ended when the students began to apply what had been covered that day. I was not there when the students needed me most -- to ask a question or give some feedback which would turn on the light bulb of understanding as they negotiated their way through the assignments. If I had it to do all over again, this would be the way I'd go.

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