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Issue 2   

What is a flipped classroom?

It is an instructional model that allows teachers to deliver content outside of the classroom and to use the classroom time to engage students in active participation. The basic difference between the traditional and the flipped model is that in the traditional classroom teachers explain the content and then ask students do complete assignments out of the classroom. In a flipped classroom, students review the content outside the classroom and come to class to participate in learning activities in collaboration with teachers and peers.

To implement a flipped classroom, teachers make content available to students, typically online, using engaging videos, readings, learning objects and other resources. Here are some ideas to get you started with a flip:

  1. Online: Post lecture notes providing information such as definition, descriptions.
    In class: Discuss how to use the information in the real world.

  2. Online: Include short video lectures explaining and demonstrating new concepts; to make sure students interact with the content, insert a video quiz.
    In class: Students can provide examples and non-examples of the concepts, and apply the concepts to analyze and synthesize a new situation.

  3. Online: Post cases with problematic situations.
    In class: students can work in groups to evaluate the variables and circumstances that generated the problems.

  4. Online: Post a complex real life problem and resources that students can use to solve the problem. Break the problem in several components or deliverables that increase in complexity.
    In class: Students can work in the deliverables, starting with the less complex and moving to the more complex ones in subsequent classes.

  5. Online: Post stories related to a specific topic.
    In class: Students can tell their own stories. We all have stories to tell!




Dear eLTI

I tried the flipped classroom approach last year. For several classes, I provided case study material online in the form of small assignments for students to do prior to coming to class. I delivered material in a variety of formats to ensure they were as interesting as could be: video, text, and some interactives. However, regardless of the method used, I found that only 50% of the students did the pre-work and was told: "Sir, you'd have to make each assignment worth at least 10% to make it worth my while." I even tried providing bonus marks as another incentive, this only rewarded students who were already motivated to do the work anyway. No matter what I did, a significant proportion of my students still did not come to class prepared, and this made the in-class activities and discussions much less valuable learning experiences.

What can I do?


Confused on Kendal

Dear Confused,

Kudos for attempting this feat, as we know, flipping a classroom is not for the faint of heart. Alas, you will have to rid yourself of the "if I build it, they will come" mentality. Are you giving opportunities for students to personally identify with the material?

Structure your course to emphasize discovery and curiosity; instead of giving the assignments prior to class, do the assignments in class to generate peer-to-peer or student-instructor collaboration. Another option, make online Q&A opinion-oriented, then use time in class to hammer out case theory. You've also addressed a common issue: many flipped classes lack task introduction, smooth transitioning and clear guidelines for preparation. Ensure that all tasks, especially online content, is introduced with enthusiasm, clear expectations, and explanations for how the material will be applied in class.

Onto technology. It's fantastic that you have explored different methods of delivery. The most common pitfall with flipped classrooms is video delivery. Use video to explain difficult concepts and keep it short, 10-15 minutes maximum, have a good quality microphone, and zero background noise.

We hope you found these suggestions helpful,

Tech Tips


Course Availability on Blackboard

Courses are visible to students on Blackboard as per their official start and end dates indicated in Banner/Stu-View. If you need to change this setting, you may do so by following these simple steps:

In your course click on Customization, then Properties. Under SET COURSE DURATION, change the End date to the required date. Scroll down and click Submit.

It is helpful to change the end date of the course to two weeks after the official end date so that the students will be able to read their final grades' feedback or download any required content from the course before it becomes invisible to them.



Here are some links we thought you might like:

A brief guide to Flipped classrooms: Click Here

How do you determine what content can be "flipped"? Click Here

Here are some TED Ed resources to build your online content around: Click Here



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