Have you heard of the flipped classroom? Imagine inverting the way instruction and homework is assigned. Instead of students passively learning during class time, students learn at home receiving instruction at their own pace. Class time is then open for an active learning approach where students get access to valuable time with the instructor. The instructor’s role changes from presenter of content to learning coach.
Jon Bergmann and Jerry Overmyer discovered this solution when students were frequently missing class for school activities. They began by recording and annotating their lectures and posted them on-line for absent students. Not only did the absent students use these materials, but, many students who did not miss class used the on-line materials to reinforce the classroom lessons.
There is no one exact model, but a flipped classroom typically includes:
- Resources like videos and PowerPoint presentations that take place of direct instruction
- Time outside of school where students watch videos, follow lecture slides, take notes, and create questions.
- Class time for working on group projects, homework where they can have the teacher’s immediate assistance.
Providing students with videos of instruction and PowerPoint presentations to be reviewed outside of school allows them to learn at their own pace. They may pause the video, take notes, write questions, re-wind the video, review for clearer understanding, or perhaps fast-forward. The lecture material is always available for review allowing students to return and use these powerful resources to study and prepare for exams.
While in class, the once "home" work assignments become much more meaningful and have a greater potential of sticking in their memory. Flipping the classroom gives students the chance to first study at home and then use class time to really learn and understand through doing. Think of the science class. Instead of spending 3/4 of class time lecturing and only 1/4 conducting lab experiments, students can spend nearly all of class time in the lab!
If you would like to provide more in-class learning experiences give the flipped classroom a try. There are many on-line resources available.
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