Flipped Learning

Inverted Classroom and Flipped Learning
You will notice that your student's homework will involve watching video podcasts that will contain lectures about the content we are learning in class.  My classroom is what is commonly referred to as a "flipped" or "inverted" classroom.  What this means is that students receive the content outside of class, usually in a 10-20 minute podcast, which they are able to do at their leisure, provided it is done before the next class period.  The following class day, students then take that content and are given guided activities to do that help them to fully understand and integrate that content knowledge. 

The flipped classroom does not mean that students do not ever receive direct instruction from me; in fact, it is quite the opposite.  Because students are getting the content delivered outside of class in a smaller amount of time,  I now have class time to elaborate on the concepts learned, to clarify any muddy points students may have, to provide enrichment, and to assess what students have learned before moving on to more challenging work.  In our classroom, this looks like:
  • designing lab experiments
  • completing pre-lab activities
  • practicing free response questions as a part of exam prep
  • answering short answer questions about content learned the night before
  • solving problem sets 
  • working with models of biological processes, whether we are constructing them or examining them
  • creating graphic organizers to cement learning
The inverted classroom also allows me to spend more time with individual students and student groups to ensure they are getting mastery of a concept.  This was especially true in my classroom last year, as I had considerably more time to work one-on-one with students in class to ensure they understood difficult concepts--something I did not have in-class time for using the traditional direct teach model. 

Additionally, the inverted classroom model allows me to differentiate instruction more effectively for the different learners in my classroom, which the direct teach model does not allow.  I am also able to assess more frequently what students do and do not understand, which helps me to ensure they are learning what needs to be learned in order to meet the learning objectives of the course.

This is a non-traditional way to provide instruction, but this method does get positive results.  For example, in its first year of use in my classroom,  average student exam scores on unit exams were higher than those students taught using the traditional direct teaching method (teacher lectures in class, students do homework at home). 

If you still have questions about this model of instruction, and how it is used in my classroom, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

To learn more about this method of instruction, please see the graphic below: