For my dissertation last year I looked at using flipped learning as a tool for my class of Year 12 Drama and Theatre Studies students. Flipped learning is a model of teaching that literally flips the normal relationship between the classroom and homework. Traditionally, the learning has been done in the classroom and a part of checking that that learning has taken place is through homework. Flipped learning, in it’s simplest form, turns things the other way round. The lesson starts with homework that is completed prior to the lesson with the students watching a pre-recorded lecture or presentation that they get information from. The lesson starts with a clarification of that information and then goes straight into the application of that knowledge or information.
There are several fantastic results to this;
More time with the students when it matters most.
When the student is trying to figure out how to apply new information is when you want to be with them the most – so that you can answer any questions they might have, to aid them in unpacking that new information and guide towards the correct application of it. In a more traditional teaching model, much of this is done in homework and the teacher has no knowledge of what has happened and the students a alone to figure it out (which they often don’t and either give up or build an incorrect understanding or body of knowledge).
Get to know your students better
The structure of the lesson changes and you, as a teacher, are no longer standing in front of your class delivering lectures, passing on knowledge to passive learners. Instead, you are asking questions, finding out what the students understood of the homework and what they didn’t – understanding what they can apply and what they need help with. This kind of knowledge of the students helps you to prepare them for the future ore because not only can you plug those gaps of knowledge, but you can see their strengths and weaknesses much clearer and predict where they might stumble in the future – thus helping you to differentiate better.
A body of resources to refer to in the future
As you progress you create a body of resources that you can return to every year. So instead of every year planning how to deliver the material you want to impart onto the students you need to plan how the students a going to evidence what they’ve learnt. Your planning can be a lot more creative, not only because you’ve got more time to plan it but also because there’s more time in the lesson.
Repeat your lessons
When you stand in front of your class and speak, detailing x, y and z of a subject, giving little details here and there and going of on tangents (that are relevant). However brilliant it is, new it’s done – it is done. The moment is gone and hopefully your students will have written it all done or remembered it. However, both of those are unlikely. However, if you film all of these presentations, students can watch it again and again, in their own time, and make sure that they haven’t missed anything. In fact, I made one about how to create their coursework and students where listening to it whilst they were writing it.
Students own the learning and engages more
The students take ownership of their learning – it takes place on their terms and not in the lesson. It takes place when and where they want it to. They feel empowered with knowledge as they enter the classroom excited about how it going to be developed, how it is going to be explored and applied. They are engaged in their learning in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
All of these positives lead ultimately to higher grades. The additional time in the lesson allows you the opportunity to spent more time with your students, helping you to understand them more which in turn helps you differentiate better. You can challenge the students to apply their knowledge more appropriately to the assessment criteria, because that is the centre of the the lesson rather than the development of knowledge.