Traditional lectures consist predominantly of the transmission of information to a generally passive student audience. This is achieved predominantly using verbal forms of communication supported by visual aids, often in static form using powerpoint and other means but also increasingly making use of more advanced technology involving video materials. It has long been recognised that such student passivity leads to a lack of student attention with consequent ineffective learning. It has been recognised that to counter this it is good practice to include a number of activity breaks during which students are engaged in various activities such as discussions and problem solving. Meanwhile, modern technology allows the transmission of information by numerous means which are as or more effective than that using a didactic form of lecture.
The flipped lecture (also known as the inverted classroom approach) combines these ideas by removing the transmission of information element from the formal lecture session, which is then given over entirely to student activities. In advance of the session students will be required to study material which is provided in written or electronic form. Ideally, they will be tested on this material before the class thus providing the instructor with diagnostic information that can be used to tailor the session accordingly and concentrate efforts on those aspects of the material that students have found most challenging. Students can then attempt a number of exercises during the class to assist their understanding., although mini lectures can still be included to address the most critical learning points identified previously.
Instructors report that this approach is very effective at improving student learning. However, preparation of the advanced materials is very time consuming and the just in time teaching approach is very demanding. There are also reports that because students have been so conditioned to expect traditional lectures they may find this approach very uncomfortable.
Comparison of classical and flipped lecture (or flipped classroom) is presented in the figure. To increase active learning during the face to face meetings (lectures) in flipped classroom voting is often used.
Flipped classroom is suitable for small and large classes.
More resources and links:
Source scheme: http://ctl.utexas.edu/teaching/flipping-a-class/what
- 7 Things you should know about Flipped classroom (EDUCAUSE)
Original author: Paul Yates
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