Flipping the classroom has become a hot topic in educational circles in recent times. The idea is that students first learn course content online, usually at home, and the time in the classroom is devoted to what used to be traditionally homework, with the teacher’s assistance. Many articles have been written on how the idea of a Flipped Classroom has gained currency with the advent of eBooks and digital learning content.
However, the concept of a Flipped Classroom is not restricted to reading eBooks or consuming digital content on the subject before the classroom session. Rather, the students read or prepare for the class session independently, on their own. The classroom session is then devoted to instructor-led discussions and collaborative problem-solving. Helping students assimilate and understand the subject much better through the power of social learning.
eBooks and eBook readers have a powerful role to play in helping instructors and students flip the classroom. Collaborative features such as asking questions, highlighting sections, sharing notes and annotations allow students to share and discuss topics with teachers and their peers.
Detailed user analytics allow teachers to gain quick insights into student engagement ahead of the class. Enabling them to plan for influential group discussions and problem-solving exercises.
eBooks do not need to be exact replicas of the print books, and eBook readers do not need to be mere page-turners. If we have to use technology to improve student learning outcomes, it is time to get creative and truly use the power of digital technology.
For teachers, it is imperative to leverage tools and techniques that enhance the learning experience and get the best out of every student. Various teaching techniques have been implemented to improve learning outcomes and one of the newer ones is ‘flipping the classroom’.
But a question that needs to be addressed is – Why should a teacher use this ‘Flipped Classroom’ technique? One way to answer this question is by looking at the advantages of Flipping the Classroom.
Here are 5 important benefits of flipping the classroom:
- Efficient and Reusable: Though there is an initial up-front investment that teachers need to make to set up a flipped classroom they can ultimately save a lot of time using this model. Recorded lesson plans and collected resources can be used or transferred to other classes and there would be no need to create everything from scratch. Also, since the materials are easily accessible and stored online or even offline in some cases, teachers don’t need to worry if students miss a class.
- Student Controlled Learning: Every student has her own speed and method of learning. If students are learning at home, it makes them more comfortable to learn, read, re-watch a video lecture or even initiate a Google search to better understand a concept. Instructors can also post multiple kinds of materials so that students are more likely to find a source that will help them, whether it’s an article, video or interactive tool.
- Cost-effective Implementation: Besides earlier investments like probably video cameras or faster Classroom desktops, laptops or tablets, the only other thing you need is time. This model is much more cost-effective for schools than purchasing hundreds of new classroom gadgets to increase engagement.
- Content Representation: This model enables teachers to represent and share content in so many different ways. With the help of technology, audio, videos, interactive elements like quizzes can be put to good use and not just sticking to the blackboard or textbook-based learning.
- Engagement-based Learning: Another advantage of the Flipped Classroom model is that it can make it possible for engagement not only among teachers and students but also among fellow students. They can share notes, comments, doubts, queries related to the content they are using to learn and discussions and dialogues can help for better understanding.
While these benefits sound compelling enough to adopt the Flipped Classroom approach, using this model would not be effective enough if content consumption is not monitored with in-depth analytics. It would be better to try this model with lower investments initially and then based on the initial results, scale up iteratively.