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The Easy Guide to Flipping your Classroom

Here's everything you need to know about the flipped classroom and our trusty advice on how to implement this approach to your educational model!

Jeanne Aimerie by:Jeanne Aimerie on: September 13, 2023

Have you ever wondered what exactly is a flipped classroom? In this short and easy guide, we tell you everything you need to know about this innovative educational approach that flips the traditional teaching model to better engage with students and improve their learning outcomes.



Definition of the flipped classroom

The flipped classroom is a revolutionary educational model that transforms the way students learn. Instead of the traditional approach where students passively absorb information in the classroom, the flipped classroom empowers them to take charge of their own learning. How? By watching video lessons and completing assignments at home, students arrive in class prepared to engage in dynamic discussions and hands-on activities that deepen their understanding and put them at the forefront of their own learning journey.

History of the flipped classroom

The concept of the flipped classroom has its roots in the early 2000s, when two teachers from Colorado, Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, used video lessons to flip their chemistry class. They were initially seeking a solution for students who had to miss class due to sports activities. So they began using a screen capture software to record their lectures and PowerPoint presentations and post them online. But quickly, they realised that this actually allowed them to use valuable class time to focus more on the application of the content learned in the video lectures. 

Since then, the flipped classroom has never stopped gaining popularity over the years!

Example of a flipped classroom

Before the class: The teacher prepares a video lecture or assigns a pre-recorded instructional video on a specific topic and makes it available to students to watch at home.

At home: Students independently watch the video lecture and take notes, pausing or rewinding as needed to grasp the concepts and learn at their own pace. They are free to watch the course whenever they want, wherever they are. Additionally, depending on the tool, students can actively interact with the video content by leaving comments, asking questions, sharing additional resources, or participating in quizzes crafted by the teacher.

In the classroom: During the class session, instead of a traditional lecture, the teacher facilitates interactive activities and problem-solving exercises. Thanks to the video lesson they have previously watched at home, students now have the knowledge to engage in course activities in the classroom. They work collaboratively in groups to solve problems, debate, share their point of view, ask questions, and engage in discussions. Meanwhile the teacher moves around the classroom, providing individualised support, clarifying doubts, listening to conversations and addressing misconceptions based on students' needs.

As you can see, flipping your classroom is not that hard! And by doing so, your students will have the opportunity to learn the foundational content at their own pace, while class time will be dedicated to applying and deepening their understanding through active learning and direct engagement with the teacher and peers.

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Benefits of the flipped classroom

Here are the many benefits of the flipped classroom:
* It encourages a more active approach. By using class time for hands-on activities, discussions, and problem-solving, students engage in active learning, which is often more productive than passively listening to lectures!

* Learning is more personalised. Students review video lessons at their own pace, move through the material more quickly or more slowly as needed, making learning way more effective.

* Student-teacher interaction is improved. By flipping the traditional classroom model, teachers are able to spend more time interacting with students during class, answering questions and providing individualised support.

* Students are more successful. Studies have shown that students in flipped classrooms tend to have better exam scores and a deeper understanding of the material compared to students in traditional lecture-style classrooms.

How to implement a flipped classroom model

Now that we have convinced you that flipping your classroom is a must for both teachers and students, let's see together how you can implement this model. Here are 8 easy steps you'll need to follow:

1. Identify the learning objectives: Before you embark on this educational journey, there is one crucial step you must take! Grab a pen and a sheet of paper, and write down all the objectives you hope to achieve by adopting this model.

- Are you aiming to enhance classroom engagement?
- Foster self-paced learning for better student outcomes?
- Or perhaps create a more enjoyable and interactive learning experience?

Maybe it's all of the above or something entirely unique to your classroom! Regardless, this exercise will provide you with a clear understanding of what you desire and what you can expect from this transformative approach.

2. Ask your students: Once you've embraced the idea of flipping your classroom to achieve your learning objectives, it's crucial to connect with your students. Set up a dedicated session to introduce this innovative approach, inviting them to ask questions and sharing their thoughts on how it could benefit them. Additionally, ensure that every student has an internet access, a laptop or computer, and a suitable study space, whether it be at home or in the library.

3. Choose the right tool: After that, you'll need to find the perfect tool for recording and sharing videos.

We strongly advise using a secure private video platform to ensure the protection of contributors' intellectual property, which may not be guaranteed if videos are uploaded on platforms like YouTube.

Additionally, it is crucial that the tool you select seamlessly integrates with your existing learning management system (LMS). This will allow you to effortlessly create and upload videos directly from your LMS, ensuring that your students have convenient access to all the instructional materials they need.

Lastly, make sure to select a tool with engaging features that promote social learning, so you and your students can interact with each other regarding the video lesson. For instance, you can add comments, ask questions, create and answer quizzes and polls, and enrich the video with website links, PDF documents, or any other interesting attachments. This creates an interactive and dynamic learning environment where students can fully immerse themselves in the content.

4. Review and choose video equipment: Before you embark on your video-making journey, make sure you have the following items:

- An external USB microphone or high-quality headphones with a built-in microphone for crystal-clear audio results.

- A webcam to connect with your audience.

- As a bonus, consider investing in a basic 3-point lighting kit to elevate the overall visual quality of your videos. While optional, this kit can greatly enhance the image clarity and professionalism of your recordings.

5. Rethink your course content: If you've been teaching the same subject for years, chances are you have a tried and true structure that you occasionally update. 
However, embracing the flipped classroom approach requires you to reimagine your course content, delivering it in bite-sized videos that captivate your audience. We recommend creating concise videos ranging from 5 to 15 minutes to keep your students engaged (a common challenge in traditional lecture halls). As you prepare to record, take a moment to consider:

- The structure of your videos: will you base them on chapters, specific topics, or another approach altogether?

- The style: will you use PowerPoint presentations, captivate your audience with storytelling, or perhaps demonstrate concepts at your desk?

- Additional resources to enhance learning: consider attaching supplementary materials like PDF files, YouTube videos, or Wikipedia links to delve deeper into the subject matter. You may also want to include a quiz at the end of the video to ensure comprehension and retention among your students.

6. Create pre-class assignments or post-class activities: After students have watched the video lesson, encourage them to actively engage with the instructional materials by completing activities or assignments before coming to class. These activities can involve reading relevant articles or gathering additional information on the topic, which will then lead to engaging and insightful in-class discussions. Additionally, consider providing directions for post-class activities to encourage continued learning and exploration beyond the classroom.

7. Plan in-class activities: Now comes the exciting part - crafting engaging and dynamic activities that will truly immerse your students in the learning process during class time. These activities should aim to apply the knowledge they have gained from the video lessons, foster problem-solving skills, stimulate thought-provoking discussions, encourage healthy debates, and even provide hands-on experiences. Get ready to create an interactive and collaborative classroom environment where learning truly comes to life!

8. Evaluate and adjust: Lastly, it is crucial to consistently evaluate the impact of the flipped classroom approach by actively seeking input and feedback from your students, closely tracking their advancements, and implementing any necessary modifications to optimise the educational experience!

You are now ready to successfully flip your classroom! Remember that implementing a flipped classroom model requires careful planning and adaptation to the specific needs and dynamics of your classroom. Starting small and gradually expanding the flipped elements can help ensure a smooth transition and better outcomes for your students!

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