What is it?
The traditional and most common approach to curriculum delivery is to use contact time for basic knowledge transmission (lecturing) and then to provide independent learning activities to enable students to apply, discuss, critically analyse or extend; for instance through projects, coursework or exam revision. In an interesting flip to this teaching method, teachers assign videos and interactive online exercises prior to the lecture, and do what was previously the "homework" in the classroom. Thus, the time spent face-to-face is reserved for tackling the more difficult concepts, problem-solving, discussion and as well as other application of material. This method acts as a possible approach to deal with large classes, where students may be at different stages of understanding and skill.
In a typical lecture, students often try to capture what is being said at the instant the speaker says it. They cannot stop to reflect upon what is being said, and they may miss significant points because they are trying to transcribe the instructor’s words. By contrast, the use of video and other prerecorded media gives students control of the lectures; they can watch, rewind, and fast-forward recordings as needed. This ability may be of particular value to students with accessibility concerns, especially where captions are provided for those with hearing impairments. Lectures that can be viewed more than once may also help those for whom English is not their first language. This technique emphasises a clear and distinctive shift in priorities— that is, from merely covering material to working toward mastery of it.
How does it work?
Content might be delivered using short videos or texts, with quizzes and other online activities to ensure independent learning takes place in preparation for scheduled contact time. The key feature of a flipped lecture or classroom is that this material is provided and studied before face-to-face contact time (lecture)- enabling students to cover the content at their own pace. Thus, rather than using time with the academic for simply receiving information, the students are given the opportunity to really benefit from the lecturer’s experience and expertise through focusing on the more difficult concepts.
How do staff and students use it effectively?
The flipped classroom constitutes a role change for instructors; they are required give up their front-of-the-class position in favour of a more collaborative and cooperative approach. Lecturers would be required to ensure pre-work is set in a timely manner, and more interactive activities are planned for the classroom.
In-class activities might include:
- Individual problem-solving
- Group discussion
- Role playing (e.g. a discussion is staged as two or more sides of a debate)
- Quizzes posed by the lecturer (using an electronic voting system)
- Quizzes designed by the students
- Question and answer sessions (e.g. using an electronic forum to gather questions from students)
There is a concomitant change in the role of students, many of whom are used to being cast as passive participants in the education process where instruction is served to them. The flipped model puts more of the responsibility for learning on the shoulders of students while giving them greater impetus to experiment. Therefore, for this teaching style to work students must commit to doing the pre-work before turning up to the lecture. If not, students will not be able to experience any benefit in the flipped classroom approach to teaching. Activities can be student-led, and communication among students can become the determining dynamic of a session devoted to learning through hands-on work.
Pros and cons
Flipping Computer Programming Project
Project Leaders: Dr Paul Shepherd, Dr Nick McCullen, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
This is a case study of one of the University's funded pilot Flipping Projects- looking at the motivation for flipping, the methods used, lessons learnt and impact.
Flipping the right thing - Dr Christopher Pudney, from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath, considers the benefits and challenges of flipping in his teaching.
Flipping for conceptual connections - Dr Christine Edmead, from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath, discusses why and how flipping was used in a core immunology course.
Jigsaws and hats for engaging large classes - It is often challenging to engage students in large lecture theatre classes due to constraints of space and the room layout. A recent post on the Faculty Focus blog outlines two easy to implement strategies for engaging students as part.
Technology and the pedagogy of recognition - 'Can technology deliver on the promise of radical pedagogies?' Christina Costa draws on Honneth's (1995, 2007) ideas of the importance of recognition in public domains for building self-esteem.
Transforming video into a learning experience - The use of video in teaching and learning is gaining popularity, whether the recording of lectures or the creation of video for 'flipped classroom' teaching.
- Khan, S., (2011). Lets use video to reinvent education. [Online] Available from: https://www.ted.com/talks/sal_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education/transcript?language=en[30/01/2020]
- AdvanceHE (nd). Flipped learning. Available from: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/flipped-learning-0[30/01/2020]
- Teach Thought Staff, (2020). The definition of the flipped classroom. [Online] Available from: https://www.teachthought.com/learning/the-definition-of-the-flipped-classroom/[30/01/2020]