Have you ever looked out over the rows of desks, the faces of the students that are staring back at you with an almost distant look in their eyes and thought, “There’s got to be a better way!”?
That way is through flipped instruction, often referred to as the “Flipped Classroom.” According to the flipped classroom model you work beside your students at their level. Students look to you as their guide, someone they can get help from based on where they are in a given lesson.
More advanced students have the opportunity to take control of the pace of their education, while those who are struggling with different concepts do not feel left behind if they can’t maintain the same pace as the rest of the group.
What is the flipped classroom model?
A flipped classroom reverses the “class lecture – homework assignment” model. Lectures are viewed at home or school and at their own pace and material is discussed with classmates and teachers online.
Time spent inside the classroom is used for activities and project-based learning; the flipped classroom model offers a higher level of support for students who may not have access to the technology or people to help them with schoolwork outside the classroom.
Because the focal point of teaching is no longer the teacher at the front of the classroom doling out information, expecting students to take it in, take it home, and apply it to homework, you must be sure that your students are able to access the information outside the classroom.
Flipped instruction allows for more personalized learning
The approach to learning is different in a Flipped Classroom model, which means the instruction style will be different as well. On top of that, you want to make sure they understand how to watch or interact with the video; teach them how to listen to the information and process it. This allows them a more personalized experience based on their knowledge and learning level.
Flipped instruction doesn’t mean that every part of every lesson will have the student reading or watching the information outside the classroom. What it does mean is that you decide what material you think will be better understood when flipped. If your students are struggling with a topic in the general sense, you can use flipped instruction to change the dynamic of their learning from a group environment to an individual one.
When you take specific concepts and present them through video, the student has the opportunity to pause and restart as often as they need to, then inside the classroom you can give them individualized guidance based on their personal understanding of the content presented in the video.
Flipped Classroom model: the teacher becomes the facilitator
In the flipped classroom model, the instructor doesn’t just teach; course construction and classroom management means you have to know how to facilitate learning. The student is encouraged to carry some of the responsibility for their education; they get involved in the creation of knowledge as they participate in learning, evaluating what they know in ways that are important to them.
We can all agree that people have different learning styles, which means we have to figure out how to meet each student’s needs while benefiting the entire class. You need to understand what influences and motivates the students of today to learn; they look to you as a partner in their learning rather than the authority figure at the front of the classroom.
An often overlooked benefit to the change in your role as the facilitator of learning is the personal connection that is made when the student’s role is made less subjugated and the educator more approachable. The willingness to learn accompanies the ability to ask questions that wouldn’t otherwise be asked in a strictly group-learning environment.