How to implement flipped classrooms online

Flipped classroom
How the flipped classroom approach benefits students & how to implement it for your in-person or online class.

Previously, I wrote about the benefits of utilizing active learning during in-class instruction as a compliment to lectures. But learning doesn’t stop once students leave the classroom (or close the Zoom window as a result of online learning;) how students learn once they get home, is equally an opportunity for innovation and enhancement, as the changes active learning provides to in-class instruction.

The flipped classroom, a learning approach recently gaining momentum, is a pedagogical approach in which instructional learning is moved to outside of the classroom, and the resulting classroom sessions are focused on applying learned concepts through creative and interactive approaches. [1] This means that students will listen or view lecture recordings prior to the actual class; therefore the concepts that need to be understood are done so prior to the class itself. This in turn allows the lecture to be used as a space to apply concepts; this can be done with group discussions, mini-assignments or even problem-solving activities. 

The four pillars of F-L-I-P

  1. Flexible Environment

Flipped learning allows students to consume and understand knowledge in a way that is most conducive to them. Instead of a scheduled lecture slot, learnings can occur anytime of day or week depending on the student's schedule. The role of the professor is not to simply record and post their lectures, but in addition, they will also help guide students through their learning, and provide different opportunities for students to display understanding of course concepts. 

  1. Learning Culture

Flipped learning shifts learning away from the instructor and to the students; students are now not just consumers of knowledge, they have the opportunity to curate knowledge. In order to ensure students are on the right track, many professors will utilize peer assessment as a way to gauge student progress and an opportunity for students to apply their learnings. 

  1. Intentional Content

Free from the constraints of in-class scheduling, flipped learning allows instructors to curate learnings that will be the most effective for their students. Professors can add videos, or relevant case studies to supplement their students' learning. Flipped learning forces instructors to only select the content that is most beneficial to their students. 

  1. Professional Educator

Flipped learning adjusts the role of instructors away from lecturing or actively teaching, and shifts it towards a moderator or facilitator of learning type-role. In this case, educators actively check-in with their students through routine assessments and observations. [2]

Online flipped learning? Yes it’s still possible!

With the closures of schools as a result of the COVID Pandemic, many educators who were interested in deploying the flipped classroom approach may be unsure how to do so now. Let’s outline a few approaches that will allow educators to offer flipped classrooms with remote learning.

  1. Utilize Class Discussion Boards

Features like Kritik’s discussion board will allow educators to post questions, poll the class and allow students to answer each other's questions. Interactive technologies like these, help to foster the in-class engagement,  the flipped classroom approach requires.

  1. More Team-Based Assignments

Placing students in groups to discuss class concepts or to complete assignments helps to expose students to differing points of view. Team-based discussions can occur remotely over interactive video & chats. 

  1. Peer Assessment

Tools like Kritik’s peer assessment platform helps students receive the level of feedback they’ll require for self-directed learning. Instructors should adopt the scaffolding approach for assignments which breaks down large assignments into mini-ones, to provide students the feedback they need quickly and frequently. Peer assessment will also help educators reduce the stress incurred onto them for grading students’ assignments. 

The flipped classroom approach is an effective way to structure courses to maximize student understanding of concepts and engagement. It empowers students to take-charge of their own learnings and mould it in a way that is unique and beneficial to how they choose to understand concepts. 

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[1] Michigan State University

[2] What is Flipped learning?

Chris Palazzo
Marketer & Educator. Blending the two here at Kritik