Flipping 1.1: Introduction to flipped classrooms - from the Flipping Course.
Hi! I?m Joe Hope from Physics at the Australian National University. Over the last two years, I?ve completely stopped teaching using lectures and now I use the flipped classroom method instead. Students learn more, they like it more, and there?s a heap of ancillary benefits as well. And so, we?d like to take some time to tell you why we do what we do, how we do what we do, and how you might generalize that to your own work.<br>
So, in a flipped classroom you swap the roles of what?s done in class and what?s done at home. And so, students do what they used to do in class largely at home and they do what they used to do at home, their homework, in class. So, why do people do that?<br>
The first and main reason is efficiency. So, the majority of time that you spend in a classroom when you?re giving exposition is of course wasted because there are people who are understanding you and could go much faster and there are people you are not understanding you and need more explanation and more time. And that problem is inherent in the distribution of your students. So, it?s nothing that experience can fix. There is no cunning speed you can pick that will make it suddenly understandable by everyone. There?s just simply more to do for some students on a given topic than others. And so, when you have a broad distribution of students, then you really now need to spend a broad distribution of time on that topic. And the best way to have a broad distribution of time spent on a topic is not to get everyone together in the same room but to allow them to follow self-paced learning. And that?s kind of obviously true for exposition but what about more active learning things that you do in class like worked problems or things like that.<br>
Well, it turns out that a work problem, there?s incredibly large distribution of time needed per student as well. So, the idea in flipped classroom teaching is you try and get everything that?s best on a self-paced fashion done self-paced. And so you need very good resources for that, a lot of thought needs to be put into that, and it needs to work. But if you can get that done, then you can use your face to face time for other things.<br>
And the other main reason for doing flipped classrooms is that face to face time is extremely precious. And it really only makes sense to have face to face time if both parties that are brought together are actually talking to each other. So, if there isn?t dialogue then obviously it would work just as well if both parties were not in the same room at the same time. And so, you don?t need to go through all this difficulty of scheduling.<br>
And there are a lot of different ways to implement a flipped classroom approach. And the majority of them in the past that worked on at home, all that self-paced learning has been done through tools like a textbook. In fact, getting your students to read the textbook has been one of the goals of educators since textbooks were invented. We?re going to spruik largely a method using lot of blended learning.<br>
Now, blended learning is a very simple idea. It?s simply using a mixture of online learning and in class activities. Now, blended learning techniques are different to flipped classrooms but they?re natural implementations of flipped classrooms. Why is that?
So, online resources excel at self-paced asynchronous activities. And indeed that is true with a textbook as well. On the other hand, online materials can have in-built assessment and feedback. And that assessment can be very useful for students to know they are getting things right and that they are on the right track. And it?s also useful for the educator as well because you get direct feedback that your students are accessing your material and you can figure out where the problem points are. So, if students are on the right track, they know they are on the right track. If they are not on the right track the computer can give feedback tailored to the actual mistakes that the students have made. And that feedback is because it?s done by a computer and not by a person hovering over them typically a little bit less stressful. And so, students can really engage with that in a lower risk environment.<br>
And the final advantage of online resources compared to say textbooks is that students simply find themselves drawn to engage with them more. So, you get a higher level of engagement when you use video-based online material to pure note-based forms.<br>
Now, together that sounds like an ad for doing everything online. Of course, the in-class activities are very important part of blended learning. You can do strictly better with something that is online and in class than something that?s just online. And there is lots of in class activities that are really important to do. By that, I don?t mean a teacher going through some kind of worked example. Anything of that form is again best done in a self-paced fashion. What I mean is things where students are doing things. Where students are doing problems. Where students are engaging with topics. Where students are playing with physical equipment or asking or answering questions.<br>
There are many exercises you can do in a class where you don?t have to cover basic material that you can?t do in another class because you have less constraints. You can do real world, context-rich, authentic exercises where students can really engage with the material that you?re trying to present in a way that connects with their lives.<br>