Would you be opposed to doing your homework during class and listening to lectures at home? Classroom flipping is an educational strategy that is catching on at schools around the country. The traditional learning model (in which a teacher lectures during class time and assignment students work for at home) is reversed in a flipped classroom.
Students in a flipped classroom watch recorded lectures created by their teacher or online videos from websites like Khan Academy and EduVision’s Flipped Learning Network. Students then work through assignments at school. This allows the teacher to be present to keep students on task, answer questions, and create interactive activities with other students. Students also have the added advantage of being able to go through the lectures at their own pace, repeating tricky concepts as needed. This allows students to approach things at their own pace without worrying if their peers find their progress slow. The student and teacher will also be able build a stronger relationship through having more time for one-on-one learning.
Flipped classrooms work for many subjects but are especially popular for science, math, and history. The reasons for flipping the classroom instruction model are based on research showing that engaging students in active, collaborative work increases learning. Classroom-flipping has been shown to increase learning among at-risk students. According to Statistics from the Knewton Adaptive learning Program, before flipped learning was implemented in several institutions over 50% of Freshman failed English and 44% of Freshman failed math. After the flipped learning, only 19% failed English and 13% failed math. Discipline cases in these institutions also decreased, from 736 cases before the flipped classroom to only 249 cases after.
The disadvantage to classroom-flipping is that the students’ success relies on students having internet connections and computers at home. That has raised concerns that the achievement gap between low-income students and their peers could be widened by this trend. Students who do not have personal computers at home or access to the internet would be forced to use public computers at a library or at the school. This, to some degree, eliminates the personal and private experience of taking in the lectures. What makes having lectures as homework so powerful is that students can do it on their own time, in their own way, and at their own pace. At a library computer or school computer, time limits typically exist and access can be limited if it is busy.
Overall, there are many advantages and disadvantages to flipped learning. It’s really up to the students to decide whether or not they will take advantage of their learning opportunities and environment.