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Flipped learning

In a flipped learning setting, teachers make lessons available to students to be accessed whenever and wherever it is convenient for the student, at home, in class, on the bus, or even from a hospital bed. Teachers can deliver this instruction by recording and narrating screencasts of work they do on their computers, creating videos of themselves teaching, or curating video lessons from trusted Internet sites. 

The flipped learning model: A white paper

Traditional vs flipped classroom

Traditional classroom

In the traditional classroom, the teacher delivers new learning to the students face-to-face. Students listen, interact, take notes, and then consolidate new knowledge during homework or followup tasks.

Flipped classroom 

In the flipped classroom, students do the basic learning prior to working with the teacher and then cover the applied learning and any problems in class. This means there is less passive learning in class and more active and personalised learning. Students access a teacher-created website and/or watch teacher-created/sourced videos on their devices. They are able to stop and rewind the information as often as they need until they understand the concept.

"Flipped learning creates a student centred environment."

Education Review

Class time is freed up for:

  • student-centred learning activities
  • inquiry-based learning
  • project-based learning
  • collaborative work
  • teacher-assisted learning.

Teaching for tomorrow: Flipped learning

In 2007, chemistry teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams began making video recordings of instructional lessons. The idea was to help absent students catch up on what they'd missed. Realising the transformational potential this could have, they began their pioneering work into flipped learning. In this video, Aaron Sams discusses how flipping the classroom transformed his practice.

Video source: Good magazine, YouTube channel    

More information » 

  • The flipped classroom (2014)
    Article by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, the teacher-pioneers of flipped learning explaining the why and how of flipping the classroom. 

How to flip your classroom

Before you start:

  • consider – how will flipping benefit your students?
  • check your students have access to the internet at home. If not, can they have access to the school's wifi after hours through the library or a computer lab?

Start with a concept your students are having difficulty with.

  1. Identify the learning objectives and instructional strategies. Decide on how you will present the new material for students to interact with and gain familiarity prior to the class. Ask yourself: 
    • what is the best way to communicate and present the new instructional material e.g., video, podcast, narrated PowerPoint, text, animation, simulation, online multimedia module? 
    • will my students be able to process this content in this format effectively?

      Think about your students:

      • Do you have students with English as a second language? Is the language clear and easy for them to understand? 
      • Do the videos have closed captions for students? This will help students with hearing difficulties and ESL learners.
      • Make your instructional material short and clear, a video should not be longer than 10 minutes.
  2. Design activities that motivate your students to engage with the content and prepare before class, for example ask students to: 
    • respond to open-ended questions online about the instructional material before class 
    • prepare questions 
    • attempt to solve some problems.
  3. Plan in-class activities that provide students with opportunities to deepen their understanding, this maybe individual or collaborative practice.
  4. Determine what students should do after the in-class activity to continue learning or bridge to the next topic, this may include an ongoing student inquiry or collaborative work. 
  5. Plan for ongoing formative and summative ways to assess student understanding. Based on previous teaching, did your students' learning improve as a result of the new flipped approach?
More information »

Tamaki College maths teacher, Noelene Dunn has set up a Google site for her students to support a flexible and inclusive approach to learning. She and her students explain how they use it. Students value having a lot of different activities to choose from. Students can personalise their learning and select activities to support their learning focus.

“The activities are designed so that they (the students) can work autonomously if they want to. They don’t need me to lecture them – sometimes we’ll have small little snippets of me talking to them and the rest of the time I’m moving around the room, checking up, seeing how they are going, giving them help, talking in small groups or in one to one, and I find that so much more effective”.

Caleb Allison, teacher – social studies and geography, Tamaki College

The flipped class: Which tools are right for you?

The flipped classroom is greatly facilitated by making use of technology. It is an e-learning approach to learning and teaching.

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical solution with a technological component. Flipped learning pioneers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams give an overview of the digital technologies you can use to flip the classroom.

Tools for flipping learning

Learning management systems

Learning management systems (LMS) like Moodle  are interactive spaces where you can build activities, host group chats, and share a range of resources and materials. LMSs are powerful tools for flipped learning because of the interactive tasks you can place around instuctional videos to reinforce learning.

More information » 

  • Flip your classroom with Moodle tools  – A blog post from Moodlerooms.
  • Google classroom  – An online tool to create classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and see everything in one place. Student work can be followed up easily with discussion and collaborative analysis. Integrates easily with other google applications such as gmail, docs, and forms.

Create a website

Free and easy-to-use website creators like Google Sites  and Weebly  can be effective tools for hosting content and flipping the classroom.

NZ school examples 

  • Mrs Dunn maths  – A Google site supporting student learning by Noelene Dunn, Tamaki College.
  • DigiTech  – A Google site supporting years 7-13 focusing on digital technologies by Hinerau Anderson, Tamaki College.
  • Bloomscool  – A weebly supporting L2 and L3 Science by Graeme Bloomfield, Nayland College.
  • Nayland College mathematics  – A website supporting student learning from years 9-13 by Max Riley, Nayland College.

When teachers create their own videos, students identify more with their learning (Clement, 20141 ).

Screencasting

Screencasting is a video recording of what's happening on your computer screen. Screencasting allows the teacher to speak directly to students while presenting them with visual content through a recording of their computer's desktop.

PE teacher, Carl Condliffe from Rongatai College shares a screencast with students

Screencasting tools

  • Jing
    Basic tool for screencasting, free. 
  • Camtasia Studio
    Sophisticated screencasting tool with lots of options. Requires an account.
  • Educreations
    Tool for making and sharing screencasts. For iPad.
More information » 

Making videos using a smartphone

Teachers can use their smartphones to make videos anytime, anywhere.

Andrew Ricciardi from Waimea College has a YouTube channel  for maths instruction. 

More information »

Creating animations

PowToon  and GoAnimate  are easy-to-use animation building tools for creating your own videos. They're also creative presenting tools for students.

Hosting and sharing videos

Investigate setting up an online channel for your videos. This keeps them in one space and makes them easily accessible for viewing, downloading, or embedding on a website or LMS. Students can download them to their device at school for viewing at home if they do not have internet access. 

Upload video to YouTube
Putting your videos on YouTube and creating a channel carries the advantage of housing your content together in an easily accessible space that are generally used to using.

  • Example: MrRicciardi73  is Waimea College teacher, Andrew Ricciardi's YouTube channel for maths instruction.

Upload video to Vimeo
Vimeo is a video upload and sharing platform that is free to use (with a basic account). It's ad-free, unlike YouTube.

SchoolTube
A free-to-use moderated video sharing platform, specifically designed for students and educators.

Select pre-existing videos to share with your students

Teachers can draw on the ever-growing pool of instructional video resources online. Link to them or embed them onto your blended learning platform to share with students.

Khan academy
1000s of hours of instructional videos on a range of subjects, including maths, computing, and art history. Exercises are included to consolidate knowledge. 

 

TEDEd
Contains lessons and videos around particular topics.

Crash course
YouTube channel with an extensive range of well designed instructional videos and animations covering a range of topics. 

Resources

  • 1The Flipped Classroom
    This 2014 article on Education Aoteroa by Diana Clement discusses flipped learning in New Zealand. 
  • flippedlearning.org
    Educators hub for flipped learning. Contains resources, how-to's, and information about flipped learning. 
  • Flipped Institute
    Flipped Institute is an online resource providing assistance to benefit teachers moving from a traditional classroom lecture model to a flipped model.
  • Flipping for beginners
    This article from the Harvard Education Review gives detailed models of teachers' methods for flipping the classrooma

Benefits of flipped learning

Students personalise their learning

Students can access instruction anytime, anywhere on their devices. They can return to the instructional material, pause, rewind, and playback as often as needed to develop understanding. This gives students control over their learning.   

The teacher is available to help students with higher level learning

Teachers have more time during class to focus on higher-order thinking, personalise learning, and assist students understanding.

Absent students don't miss out on key content

Because you have made key content available online, helping absent students catch up on missed lessons can be as simple as giving them the links to your online materials. 

Whānau can engage with their child's learning

Providing whānau with access to your flipped classroom and encouraging them to watch your instructional videos and discuss the content with their child fosters engagement with their child's learning, as well as helping to clarify learning.

Inclusive

Some barriers to learning are removed. Students are provided with multiple means of representation on a website, they are able to control the pace they learn, and where and when they learn. 

Promotes independent learning

Students can work at their own pace and personalise their learning. Students who need to spend more time on a particular topic can use the resources made available to them to master content and revisit content as often as needed. Flipping the classroom can help students take ownership over their learning.  

Promotes digital fluency

Many flipped learning tasks are supported by LMSs, chat forums, and other online tools. Putting learning materials online and encouraging students to collaborate using digital technologies, select tools for presentating and sharing their learning supports the development of digital fluency.

Benefits of flipped learning – further reading

Challenges of flipped learning

It can create or exacerbate a digital divide

Flipped learning can exclude students who don't have ready access to internet-enabled devices. This is particularly hard on students from families who already have limited access to resources (Acedo, 20132 ). School and community support need to address this issue in a way that works for their students.

Possible solutions are:

  • providing students with access to computer facilities and wifi after school
  • putting materials on USB flash drives and burning onto DVDs.

Mary Hertz3  questions, "How much of the day can a teacher devote to burning at least 10-15 DVDs at a time?" She also argues that extending computer facilities, "would require an after school program to be put into place."

Students not engaging with content prior to class

Blended learning can be a way to address this. Demonstration of content knowledge can be measured through quizzes and production tasks built around the video. Also, a growing number of LMSs like Moodle offer analytics that show, for example, whether a student has accessed your online material.

Increased teacher workload

Creating and managing a website and/or video resources for your students takes preparation, planning, time and skill. This can increase teacher workload.

However, once the videos have been made, they can be re-used reducing time spent on planning for the delivery of content knowledge, revising key content with students, and catching up absentees.  

Challenges of flipped learning – further reading

Resources

Examples of flipped classrooms in New Zealand

  • NZPETeacher Carl Condliffe
    Carl Condliffe from Rongatai College shares resources and insights about flipped learning, as well as demonstrations from his flipped learning YouTube channel. 
  • MrRicciardi73
    Andrew Ricciardi, Waimea College has a YouTube channel for maths instruction. 
  • Mrs Dunn maths
    A Google site supporting secondary school students learning maths by Noelene Dunn, Tamaki College.
  • DigiTech
    A Google site supporting years 7-13 focusing on digital technologies by Hinerau Anderson, Tamaki College.
  • Bloomscool
    A weebly supporting L2 and L3 Science by Graeme Bloomfield, Nayland College.

How to flip your classroom

Flipped learning hubs

  • flippedlearning.org
    Educators hub for flipped learning. Contains resources, how-to's, and information about flipped learning. 
  • Flipped Institute
    Flipped Institute is an online resource providing assistance to benefit teachers moving from a traditional classroom lecture model to a flipped model.

Instructional video collections

Khan academy
1000s of hours of instructional videos on a range of subjects, including maths, computing, and art history. Exercises are included to consolidate knowledge. 

 

TEDEd
Contains lessons and videos around particular topics.

Crash course
YouTube channel with an extensive range of well designed instructional videos and animations covering a range of topics. 

What is flipped learning?

  • The Flipped Classroom
    This 2014 article on Education Aoteroa by Diana Clement discusses flipped learning in New Zealand. 
  • Flipping for beginners
    This article from the Harvard Education Review gives detailed models of teachers' methods for flipping the classroom
  • Education review
    This 2014 article on Education Review discuses flipped learning in Kiwi classrooms.

Benefits of flipped learning

Challenges of flipped learning

Video sharing tools

Upload video to YouTube
Instructions for uploading videos to YouTube. YouTube is free.

Upload video to Vimeo
Instructions for uploading videos to Vimeo. Vimeo is a video upload and sharing platform that is free to use (with a basic account). It's ad-free.

SchoolTube
A free-to-use moderated video sharing platform, specifically designed for students and educators.

Blended learning platforms

Moodle

Moodle is a learning management system. It provides browser-based access to all functions, so that students and teachers can access it at anytime.

Google classroom

An online tool to create classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and see everything in one place. Student work can be followed up easily with discussion and collaborative analysis. Integrates easily with other google applications such as gmail, docs, and forms.

Website building tools

Google sites

Google Sites  

Google Sites allows you to create a website without having to know how to code it yourself. It is free and part of the Google suite of products.

Weebly

Weebly is a website building tool. It has a range of packages, including a free one for basic use. 

Screencasting tools  

  • Jing
    Basic tool for screencasting, free. 
  • Camtasia Studio
    Sophisticated screencasting tool with lots of options. Requires an account.
  • Educreations
    Tool for making and sharing screencasts. For iPad.

e-Learning community discussions

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