How to implement flipped classrooms online

Flipped classroom
How the flipped classroom approach benefits students & how to implement it for your in-person or online class.


How the flipped classroom approach benefits higher education students and how to apply it in your in-person or online class.

Previously, I wrote about the benefits of utilizing active learning during in-class instruction as a compliment to lectures. But learning doesn’t stop after class time or once students leave the classroom (or close the Zoom window as a result of online learning;) how students learn once they get home, is equally an opportunity for innovation and enhancement, as the changes active learning provides to in-class instruction.

What is a flipped classroom?

The flipped classroom, a learning approach recently gaining momentum, is a pedagogical approach in which instructional learning is moved to outside the classroom, and the resulting classroom sessions are focused on applying learned concepts through creative and interactive approaches. [1] In this learning environment, students will listen or view lecture recordings prior to the actual class - a pre-class. Therefore, the concepts that need to be understood are done prior to the class itself in the form of video lectures or podcasts. This, in turn, allows the lecture to be used as a learning space to apply concepts; this can be done with group discussions, mini-assignments, or even problem-solving class activities.

So, what is a flipped class, or how does flipping the classroom works in higher levels of education? Continue reading and let's find out.

The four pillars of F-L-I-P for educators

A flipped class is composed of the following fundamentals:

The four pillars of F-L-I-P

1. Flexible Environment

Flipped learning allows students to consume and understand knowledge in a way that is most conducive to them. Instead of a scheduled lecture slot, learnings in an inverted classroom can occur any time of day or week depending on the student's schedule. The role of the professor is not to simply record and post their lectures. In addition, instructors will also help guide students through their learning, and provide different opportunities for students to display an understanding of course concepts at their own pace.

2. Learning Culture

Unlike in a traditional classroom, flipped learning shifts learning away from the instructor and to the students. Now, students are not just consumers of knowledge, they have the opportunity to curate knowledge. In order to ensure students are on the right track, many professors will utilize peer assessment as a way to gauge student progress and an opportunity for students to apply their learnings.

3. Intentional Content

Free from the constraints of in-class scheduling, flipped learning allows instructors to curate learnings that will be the most effective for their students. Professors can add videos, or relevant case studies to supplement student learning. Flipped learning forces instructors to only select the course content that is most beneficial to their students.

4. Professional Educator

Flipped learning adjusts the role of instructors away from lecturing, direct instruction, or actively teaching, and shifts it towards a moderator or facilitator of learning type-role. In this case, educators actively check-in with their students through routine assessments and observations. [2]

Flipping the classroom online? Yes, it’s still possible!

With the closures of schools as a result of the COVID Pandemic, many educators who were interested in deploying the flipped classroom approach may be unsure how to do so now. Let’s outline a few approaches that will allow educators to offer flipped classrooms with remote learning.

Here are the learning activities and learning strategies if you, as an educator, plans to flip your classroom.

1. Utilize Class Discussion Boards

Features like Kritik’s discussion board will allow educators to post questions, poll the class, and allow students to answer each other's questions. Interactive technologies like these, help to foster the in-class engagement, the flipped classroom approach requires.

2. More Team-Based Assignments

Placing students in groups to discuss class concepts or to complete assignments helps to expose students to differing points of view. Team-based discussions may occur remotely over chats and interactive videos. This can even be done in small-group discussions. Learning accessibility is greatly achieved with more team-based assignments. Also, this approach encourages student engagement making it more effective.

3. Peer Assessment

Tools like Kritik’s peer assessment platform helps students receive the level of feedback they’ll require for self-directed home learning. Instructors should adopt the scaffolding approach for assignments which breaks down large assignments into mini-ones, to provide students the feedback they need quickly and frequently.

Peer assessment will also help educators reduce the stress incurred onto them for grading students’ assignments. This is where educators' peer instruction becomes critical in the learning space of every student online.

4. Skill Development

There are subjects which require higher education learners to put dirt on their hands whenever necessary for a better learning experience. This could even be a great way to master or have a better grasp of students' work.

A flipped classroom model optimizes the learning experience of the students with their educators more than in a traditional lecture.

The flipped classroom approach is an effective way to structure courses to maximize student understanding of concepts and engagement. This pedagogy empowers students to take charge of their own learnings and mold it in a way that is unique and beneficial to how they choose to understand concepts.

Flip your classroom: reach every student in every class every day and be an effective educator you can be during these trying times. Get Started Today


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[1] Michigan State University https://omerad.msu.edu/teaching/teaching-strategies/27-teaching/162-what-why-and-how-to-implement-a-flipped-classroom-model

[2] What is Flipped learning? https://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf

Chris Palazzo
Marketer & Educator. Blending the two here at Kritik

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