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Flipped Classroom: What You Didn’t Knew About It

12 Jul 2018Research Paper

The hottest new trend to hit education industry is flipping classrooms. From conferences to online discussion forums to social lounges, everywhere the topic of the latest education chitchat is classroom flipping. But what it is exactly and how is it affecting the entire scenario? This post is the perusal of the same.

The flipped classroom takes the traditional classroom model of teaching heads-onand pulls it upside down. Instructions are delivered outside the class through various online tools, video being prominent amongst them and homework, assignments are completed inside the classroom. The reversal of the teaching model is the main characteristic of this pedagogical model. Students view short video lectures at their place of convenience while devoting their in-class time for other activities such as assignments, projects and discussions.

Many people consider online videos synonymous with flipped classroom. However, there is much more to the entire experience than just posting videos. A prerecorded lecture can also be a podcast or other audio format.  However, the effectiveness of a video is unbeatable and therefore, the concept of flipped classroom has come to be identified with it.

Flipped classroom’s concept was introduced by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, who stumbled upon the idea while posting video lectures for students who had missed their classes.  By reversing the common instructional approach, students can learn the concepts ahead of the class and use the classroom for other productive activities.

Flipped Classroom versus Traditional Classrooms

The traditional lectures that we know of have been criticized and despised upon owing to the certain shortcomings stuck with them. Pacing is one such issue. The benefits of a lecture come to different students at a different pace. For some, the information comes easily while for others it may come at a pace which is hard for them to assimilate. After such a lecture, the teacher gives them assignments which may further insinuate frustration or helplessness due to lack of proper understanding of concepts. A lot of time is wasted remembering what the teacher had taught in the lecture about a certain fundamental. And then the worries of being mocked upon in the next lecture also keep bugging the student.

Flipped classroom or inverse teaching is a solution borne out of similar problems. Teachers post videos of their lectures online and students watch these videos at their own convenience just like they were sitting in a classroom. The difference here is that they are at freedom to either pause, or speed up the lecture at their will. When they come across something that they already understand they can speed up through the content while if there is some content that doesn’t get through to their mind in the first attempt, they can stop and review by rewinding the video. In a classroom setting they might have been too embarrassed to ask the teacher to repeat the lecture. Beside, these online lectures can be easily made more engaging by adding interactive elements like graphs, photos, presentations, special arts and others.

Reverse classroom: A growing practice

The concept is still to catch up in most of the schools worldwide. However statistics point out that it is a growing phenomenon. As per the Flipped Learning Network, its membership on social media platform rose from 2500 in 2017 to 9000 in 2018. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence or experiment to show that inverse teaching has better prospects that the traditional form of teaching, some nonscientific surveys suggest that flipping the classroom indeed has its own benefits. In a survey 453 teachers who flipped the classroom, 67 % reported better test scores while 80% reported improvement in student attitude. The failure rate also reduced considerably.

Flipped classroom fosters better student-teacher interaction

Whether it is the various MCA Colleges or MBA schools, the classroom flipping experiments haveproved to show definite improvements in student-teacher interaction. Bergman and Sams make a case of this point that when teachers aren’t present in front of the students talking at them, they can circulate and talk with students. Using inverted classroom in this manner will help them to better understand and respond to students learning and emotional needs. This improved interaction is also likely to have a positive effect on the feedback mechanism between student-teachers.  With more opportunities to provide feedback, student learning will be enhanced greatly as it is the feedback which has the maximum effect in any instructional teaching practice.

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