Best Practices by Teachers for the Flipped Classroom

The Flipped Classroom approach is been widely implemented in schools and colleges around the world. It is even considered as one of the greatest achievements of 21st century education. The concept behind it is to reverse the traditional classroom

practices with the aid of technology. Students access the already prepared lecture materials at home, in advance of the class and in the class they engage in structured class activities to work through problems with their teachers’ help, further their knowledge and learn through collaboration with fellow students. For the Flipped model to be successful, teachers before its implementation need to assess whether it is appropriate for their curriculum and students. They need to see if their students will be receptive to the new learning environment and upon implementation and use, teachers should employ effective practices to keep the model functioning successfully.

While technology facilitates the creation and working of a Flipped Classroom model, it takes a lot of planning and consideration to perfect the model. There are many tips, guidelines and practices available for a Flipped Classroom. I have assembled a list of some of the best practices by teachers for the Flipped Classroom, here’s it:

Use of existing technology for better student and teacher adaptability of the model: The technology you should use to make your Flipped Classroom work should be such that, the students and teachers are already familiar with its usage and can adopt it into their everyday teaching and learning activities. Technology should not complicate things for them; it should be easy to use and should not really require student and teacher training. The technology should support easy creation of material which can be easily accessed by students, and easy presentation of digital lectures by the teachers.

Facilitation of collaborative learning among students: Learning through collaboration offers broader perspectives than learning on your own. Though students watch the digital lectures at their homes and out of the class, once in class they should be allowed to give vent to all their thoughts, ideas and doubts related to what they have learned. Students should be made to participate in discussions to talk about their learning. They should discuss their doubts with their fellow students and work out solutions to their problems on their own. This encourages them to think creatively and independently and makes the learning outcomes much more effective. Teachers should also be part of such discussions and must more offer help when students together are not able to find solutions to their problems.

Creation of engaging pedagogical models: For authentic learning, you need to incorporate effective learning models in your classroom. These models can be of Project-Based Learning (PBL ), Game-Based Learning (GBL ), Understanding by Design (UbD ) or more. You as a teacher should be proficient in the implementation and use of such models, only then you should go ahead and put them into practice. Look at how you can use the Flipped model to support the processes of these learning models. These models allow you to differentiate instruction, or support students who have wider or different learning needs. Also, these models help you take the role of being more of a mentor or a guide rather than just being a mere provider of knowledge. Technology helps facilitates the implementation of such learning approaches in to the Flipped Classroom for even better learning outcomes.

Build reflective activities for students to reflect about their learning: Every time your students watch a video, they should be made to go through reflective activities that will make them reflect about all they have learned from the video, how it can benefit them, its significance, relevance and more. Just as it’s your duty to create instructional activities, you should also create such reflective activities. You should make reflection a regular practice and part of your classroom culture. A lot proper time after every video lecture for students to think about what they derived from it so that in the class time they can discuss their reflections with you, the teacher. The Flipped Classroom can function effectively only when everyone reflects about their teaching and learning for betterment and to make progress.

Use of multiple means of representation: You will have different kinds of students in your class with varying learning needs and interests. Sticking onto just one way of representing information in lectures will eventually bore them and they will lose interest in learning from them. Your digital lectures should always possess that attractive element which induces the interest of students. Lectures should be made creative and interactive with the use of a variety of digital media like music, music videos, humor lecture and the like. The lectures should set pace to your students’ thought process and encourage them to employ their creative mindsets to uncover and learn from them. Also, you should introduce varied follow-up activities in which students can engage to learn further or assess their own learning after watching the videos. These activities can be the inclusion of quizzes, polls or brainstorming after the video lectures.

Teachers should understand that the Flipped Classroom approach can enhance student learning only if it is implemented and kept in working effectively. Relying completely on the technological aids used by the Flipped model will take you nowhere. You will need to constantly put in efforts and employ varied and effective practices to ensure progress and successful working of your Flipped Classroom.

If you know about other such effective practices, then please add them to the list through your comments. The Comment Box awaits you.

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About the Author
Author: Saomya Saxena
Educational technology blogger, loves to research and write about tools and tips for educators on how to integrate technology into everyday instruction creatively and effectively. Fond of reading and writing.

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