Flipping for Learning: Intro. to the Flipped Classroom


Most educators will agree that students need to be more engaged and motivated to learn. The traditional model of schooling just cannot compete with modern world in providing students with opportunities to fully immerse themselves in learning content and developing skills that will authentically translate into their reality post graduation. We must find new ways to re-envision our current methods for teaching and, perhaps most importantly, our current view of what the school day should look like to provide students with the chance to become more involved with their learning to achieve true mastery. The Flipped Classroom approach is one way that teachers are empowering their students to take a more active role in creating unique and personalized learning environments and allowing teachers themselves to spend more class time on application and learning for mastery than on the building of background knowledge and routine. However, this is a somewhat daunting task to revolutionize traditional approaches that many teachers–and students–and parents–might be most comfortable with. To help troubleshoot this transition, I have found the following sites to be most useful:

Edutopia: Five Minute Film Festival, The Basics of Blending Learning: This collection of links and videos compiled by Edutopia, probably one of my favorite online jumping points for great teaching ideas, craft, and applications, has a variety of resources for someone just starting to think and to implement a Blended Learning approach. The videos are interesting and informative, and much of the information could easily be provided for students or parents about what Blended Learning looks like and how you, as the teacher, might be using it in the classroom.

Flipped Classroom Strategy 4: The Muddiest Point: One of the problems that I struggle with the most in flipping the classroom is the issue of formative assessment. How can I truly check for understanding and know if my students are learning without being present? This blog is filled with strategies that Dr. John Solis, from Baylor University, has compiled for troubleshooting problems of instruction that might stem from a Flipped Approach. This strategy in particular is a method “to identify information on what the students find confusing or unclear” about a topic or lesson.

And finally, one editorial from Forbes: “We Need More EdTech, But Less Technology In The Classroom” and one study from USNews Education: “Emerging Technology Has Positive Impact in Classroom” both provide interesting viewpoints on technology and instructional technology to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Interesting reads that can help you, as the individual classroom teacher, come to terms and to a comfortable place with providing more of a focus on technology as a means to engage learners.


Image Taken from blog.cue.org, edited with PicFont

For those of you who have flipped your classroom, did you start gradually with one or two assignments? Or did you use the approach more expansively? Have you experienced any push back from students or parents, or maybe even fellow teachers or administrators?



9 responses »

  1. Nice image for your 6 word story. I haven’t flipped my classroom, but I have had students work on projects at home in google docs. I have mentioned to my students that they can do this, and I was happily surprised that a couple kids did work at home, and were excited to show me. I think that kids who get excited about your classes will be thrilled to work on the computer from home. You provided some effective links, and assessment is a big question. How can you assess if they aren’t there during the learning process. It sounds like you have to hold them accountable for all the material presented online, and students will adjust and learn that it is important to read and view all material at home. I know some apps, such as Hudl, which I use for coaching film in basketball, you can check to see how long each player has accessed the film tape, and it will tell the administrator how many minutes each has viewed the game. That is important in knowing how much time each has put in, and I think that would be a good way to check on kids working on assignments at home.

    • Allen, thank you for your feedback, I agree that the ideas of accountability and assessment are two major considerations when moving forward with Blended Learning. We need to make sure that we are able to both hold students accountable for the work expected to be completed, while allowing opportunity for students to address any confusion or misunderstanding.

  2. Great post Erin, excellent link sources. In answer to your question, I began flipping with specific topics/concepts (8th grade social studies) rather than entire units. My subject does not seem to lend itself to “full-on” flipping, but rather gradual, intermittent flipping that rolls and builds. I chose topics that are rather boring/difficult, and flipped them first so that I could use time in class to do something with it rather than just “direct instruct” it. This is my third year of this method, and the videos have grown and been used more and more – which is the kind of flipping that my district encourages. There has been no blowback from parents or admin, but rather the opposite: they love it!

    • Matt, sounds like you have an effective and pragmatic approach to flipping–one that I can see myself doing in the future. I agree that it is probably best to flip gradually and let the process build on itself, instead of trying to do too much at once. Great suggestions!

  3. Hi Erin,
    I was thinking about formative assessment. For a flipped classroom, I see it as just the content delivery that occurs outside of class. From my standpoint, the real learning happens when the students get to use the content. This might happen outside of class but would likely happen during class. You could still formatively assess in class through informal means like polls, entrance tickets or observations during classwork or through more formal means like quizzes or writing prompts.

    • Troy, thanks for the suggestions. As I am new to the world of flipping, it sounds like those are some effective tools to ensure understanding and establish common ground before moving into more application and critical thinking.

  4. Erin,

    I like your first link with its use of the term blended learning, rather than flipped classroom. To me as a teacher that still has some old school mentality, it has a more positive connotation and helps to highlight the fact that there is still some use for direct instruction in education today. The personal interaction of a traditional classroom is something that concerns me with flipped education, so I like the concept of blended learning.

    For me, I know that the digital divide is a big issue for my students. What are your thoughts on blended learning versus flipped classrooms for this concern?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s