Flipped classroom constitutes a role change for lecturers and tutors, who give up their front-of-the-class position in favour of a more collaborative and cooperative contribution to the teaching process.
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 classroom model puts more of the responsibility for learning on the shoulders of students while giving them greater impetus to experiment.
Activities can be student-led, and communication among students can become the determining dynamic of a session devoted to learning through hands-on work. What the flip does particularly well is to bring about a distinctive shift in priorities— from merely covering material to working toward mastery of it.
Why is it significant?
In a traditional 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 lecturer’s words.
By contrast, the use of video and other prerecorded media puts lectures under the control of the students: they can watch, rewind, and fast-forward 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.
Devoting class time to application of concepts might give lecturers a better opportunity to detect errors in thinking, particularly those that are widespread in a class. At the same time, collaborative projects can encourage social interaction among students, making it easier for them to learn from one another and for those of varying skill levels to support their peers.
Excerpt taken in accordance with Creative Commons licence from Educause’s two page document 7 Things you Should Know About… Flipped Classrooms.
Lecturers and tutors at the University of Westminster can use the Panopto screen capture service to record their own videoed lectures to start implementing flipped classroom principles in their own teaching.