What is the Flipped Classroom?


The flipped classroom refers to a model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of class to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students. After class, students manage the content they use, the pace and style of learning, and the ways in which they demonstrate their knowledge, and the teacher becomes the guide, adapting instructional approaches to suit their learning needs and supporting their personal learning journeys. Rather than the teacher using class time to lecture to students and dispense information, that work is done by each student after class, and could take the form of watching video lectures, listening to podcasts, perusing enhanced e-book content, collaborating with their peers in online communities, and more. Students can access this wide variety of resources any time they need them. In the flipped classroom model, valuable class time is devoted to more active, project-based learning where students work together to solve local or global challenges — or other real-world applications — to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Teachers can also devote more time interacting with each individual. The goal is for students to learn more authentically by doing, with the teacher guiding the way; the lecture is no longer the expected driver of concept mastery. The flipped classroom model is part of a larger pedagogical movement that overlaps with blended learning, inquiry-based learning, and other instructional approaches and tools that are meant to be flexible, active, and more engaging for students. It has the potential to better enable educators to design unique and quality learning opportunities, curriculum, and assessments that are more personal and relevant to students’ lives.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Flipped Classroom new thrend in XXI Century Education http://visual.ly/what-flipped-classroom
    - LucianeCurator LucianeCurator Oct 9, 2013
  • Well, from my perspective, this is a very appropriate strategy for universities, where students have already picked up to gain knowledge in an auto-didactical approach. - anna.hoberg anna.hoberg Oct 21, 2013
  • Well, from my experience, when students enter university, they are all but self-directed learners. They wait to be mouth fed. Self-directed learning should be the way all initial education is organised. So, a Flipped Classroom sounds like a no-brainer. Pupils and students can get support on authentic learning activities during which the connect previous, current and future learning. This is an opportunity to transform the classroom into a laboratory, a place for experimenting under the guidance of an expert (or more with super-size classrooms).Agree. - jimdevine jimdevine Nov 2, 2013 - Jeroen.Bottema Jeroen.Bottema Nov 3, 2013
  • The "flipped classroom" is a very popular concept, but a very muddled one. In the first place, it is not actually about any new technology: if students are to learn outside the classroom and spend their lesson time in project work, this can be achieved by using conventional textbooks. It's a teaching style, supposedly, not a technology. But, more fundamentally, the flipped classroom notion is based on a myth according to which the role of the teacher in K-12 schools is "to lecture to students and dispense information". This is a caricature of what teachers actually do. If teachers really did nothing more than deliver a lecture, students would riot. Teachers explain, ask questions, discuss, notice who is not paying attention or is not understanding an explanation and explain and describe in a different way. Teachers are performers responding to an audience; they are managers and role models and mentors. You can't replace all that with a video recording. Most students are not highly motivated, academically minded people from well-educated homes, and getting them to learn is hard work which requires a lot of personal attention from a teacher. If you told them to go home and watch a computer screen they would just get bored and not pay attention to it. Certainly, we need to encourage teachers to include project work and to make learning as interesting as possible and to exploit, realistically, the potential of technology to the full, but if we do this by caricaturing teaching we risk giving the impression that we don't understand education and we won't have much credibility. So I suggest the idea of the flipped classroom should be replaced with something more realistic such as, say, more project-based learning. And the rationale for it has to be, not that new technology has enabled this to happen, but that project-based learning develops the skills and habits (the "21st Century Skills) required in an advanced economy (in the "knowledge society").- paul paul Oct 29, 2013 - I agree with Paul to say that Flipped Classroom is a teaching style, not a technology. I personaly prefer the concept of Activity Based Learning, which include project-based learning and problem-based learning, to develop high level skills (enjoy Above & Beyond video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KMM387HNQk ) - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 31, 2013
  • 'Flipped classroom' may well be a proxy for a statement about educational values? It seems to me that those who favour a student-centric, constructivist approach and who are comfortable in their own abilities to mediate such an environment, 'flipped classroom' is a no-brainer. Teachers who are more comfortable in a role as 'instructor' will tend to deploy technologies to support that paradigm. - jimdevine jimdevine Nov 2, 2013 I agree with Jim that flipped classrooms require teachers who are willing to follow student-centric, constructivist approaches. In any case, the flipped classrooms can be relevant to the school sector as an innovative teaching style/technology if used carefully taking into account the specific context and content (school subjects, students´ motivation etc). - Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Nov 3, 2013 I totally agree with these statements. For decades educators have been engaged in designing constructivist learning environments supporting students as they grappled with meaningful authentic problems. What the technology enables us to do now is engage in a range of different modalities with a more extended reach to a variety of audience. So what is at the kernel of learning is the type of learning environment that the teacher creates not the "homework" that is assigned.(as at its worst this is what the Flipped classroom can be). - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Nov 3, 2013

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I doubt that this approach with a low level of interaction, with only a low chance of raising questions will have a broad implementation in schools. Learning theoretical basics requests challenging cognition and therefore a high level of concentration. I am concerned that learning with digital media is able to provide the relevant context needed. I fear that learning tends to happen just on a superficial level and leads to a risk that students miss the most relevant fundamentals.
    At least in my opinion students need during their school time a long-term didactical guiding before they should be opposed on flipping the classroom.
    The concept of "flipped classroom" is closely related to the didactical discussion on self-organized learning, current technologies boost the possibilities of supporting and coaching the process better and better. - anna.hoberg anna.hoberg Oct 21, 2013 I agree (see my comments above). - paul paul Oct 29, 2013
  • There is a very high level of interaction and engagement in the classroom, a level that will never be reached with lectures. It is a misconception to believe that anybody is asking to "learn with digital media" alone. It is a systemic approach where the centre are the activities, while the content (provided by digital media, but also conversations, etc.) is there to support the activities. There is not a time where one learns the theory, then practice (apply). Practice is part of learning the theory. The theory should even be elicited out of practice. Seymour Papert wrote something like "The scandal of education is that every time you teach something, you deprive a child of the pleasure and benefit of discovery." We can have virtual labs to do experiments at home (or at school without supervision) then go to the classroom to give a lecture on what is the theory behind the experiments. Children, rather than teachers, should be encouraged to give lectures in the classroom. Of course, there is a need for scaffolding, so there is a need for an adult. But scaffolding does not mean that it is the teacher that has to do the lecture to deliver the contents. - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013 I agree! - Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Nov 3, 2013
  • I think flipped classroom is a great model if it works. That is, you need students with enough discipline and intellect to really do the part of self-organised learning. I have my doubts when I look back on my own experiences as a student at university (so I´m not even talking schools here but self-chosen university subjects and learners in their early twenties). In the literature classes, more often than not, students had not read the novels they were supposed to discuss in class (and I can´t exclude myself here in all instances ;-) Agree - there is a risk that flipped classrooms increase social divides - roger.blamire roger.blamire Oct 30, 2013 Agree! - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Oct 30, 2013
  • I agree (with comment immediately above). If self-directed learning were a realistic prospect for most people, it would have been achieved with the introduction of the public lending library. - paul paul Oct 29, 2013 Agree - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Nov 3, 2013
  • I worry that schools with an eye on league tables will use this to get even more work out of children, extending the formal school day, taking over their free time and reducing even more their scope for play and initiative, taking risks, getting a life. Chilling phrase I heard this week: 'children are being brought up in captivity' (Tania Byron, UK). - roger.blamire roger.blamire - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Nov 3, 2013 Agree Wouldn't it be great if the classroom was really flipped - that children brought into school all they were engaged in outside of school. Maybe they could even set the teacher "assignments" for them to engage with.
  • I wonder about the degree to which flipped classroom works with informal learning. I suspect a lot. Student discussed things that they have seen and shared on the Web. I wonder then if that informal learning link not a guide to where formal learning might follow - Gavin Gavin Oct 30, 2013
  • It's important to realize that a lot of teachers like the idea of extending the classroom time, and that the technology aspect of FtC, creating a screencast or a weblecture, isn't very hard to master, for even the low ICT-skilled teachers. That's why I think Flipping the Classroom is and will become a big trend in K12-education, especially in schools with traditional pedagogical models.

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • The flipped classroom model should only be implemented in all-day schools. - anna.hoberg anna.hoberg Oct 21, 2013
  • The flipped classroom model should be implemented everywhere! It is how real science, real history, real sociology is done. It is the non-flipped classroom which is an anomaly! - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013 - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Oct 30, 2013 - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 31, 2013
  • In my view, the flipped classroom model CAN BE implemented everywhere alone or in combination with other, more traditional pedagogical models e.g. for helping specific categories of students (immigrants, gifted, high-motivated etc) to study tailored-made e-learning materials (such as interactive videos with subtitles, simulations etc) that are not possible to study in the conventional classroom. - Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Nov 3, 2013

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?