Does Flipping the Classroom Really Work?

Flipping the Classroom is an instructional model which involves taking direct instruction and placing the onus on the individual learner. Classroom time is then spent applying the content rather than direct instruction. But does it improve learning?

In short – yes. Evidence is building that supports a flipped model for teaching. Teachers are finding it useful as well as effective. Consider the following statistics:

  • In 2012, 48% of teachers flipped at least one lesson, in 2014 it is up to 78%
  • 96% of teachers who have flipped a lesson would recommend that method to others
  • 46% of teachers researched have been teaching for more than 16 years, but are moving towards flipped classrooms
  • 9 out of 10 teachers noticed a positive change in student engagement since flipping their classroom (up 80% from 2012)
  • 71% of teachers indicated that grades of their students have improved since implementing a flipped classroom strategy
  • Of the teachers who do not flip their classroom lessons, 89% said that they would be interested in learning more about the pedagogy

These statistics point to some good reasons to “Flip your Classroom,” there are however, challenges to consider, such as how do you get students to do the homework before coming to class in order to be prepare for classroom learning activities. The Teach Amazing article “5 Challenges When Flipping your Classroom” suggests building in accountability to ensure your students actually complete the lesson. Assign a short survey after a video is watched, determine criteria for online discussions or throw in a pop quiz at the beginning of class. Active participation in home-based learning is crucial for the flipped classroom to work, and should be assessed just like you would in the classroom.

For me, the biggest challenge of the Flipped Classroom model is all the work that needs to be done. Creating online materials, corresponding classroom activities, preparing learners for a new approach, are just some of the things required. Instead of trying to implement a  whole sale change and flip an entire course, I think I might start off on a smaller scale by flipping a lesson. This approach seems less overwhelming and practical because it would give me a chance to try it out, collect some feedback, and work out the “kinks.”

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