Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Flipped Classrooms

Across the nation, and here in Janesville, teachers are beginning to experiment with “flipped classrooms.”  This is a reversed instructional model where instruction is delivered at home through the Internet today, using short (7-10 minute) teacher-created videos and movies of what will be taught tomorrow. 
Moving lectures and direct instruction outside the classroom through Internet videos and movies allows for more direct 1:1 instruction time.   By “flipping” the classroom, students learn tonight what will be presented tomorrow in class.  It directly supports the best of the art and science of problem-based learning. 
Some benefits of using a “flipped classroom:”
1.       Gives teachers more time to work with each student one on one.
2.       Fosters independent learning on behalf of students.
3.       Allows students to watch and re-watch lessons until they are comfortable with the material.
When asked, “What has been the biggest benefit for you as a student in a flipped classroom?”  Student "S" in a recent blog posting said:
The flipped classroom has helped me enormously. Last year, it was really hard because I didn't get how to do the problems. This year, I know how to do them.  I get to interact with others who help me on the problems that I get stuck on.
It gave me a chance to learn in a different way that i wouldn't assume I would enjoy, but I did. The flipped classroom has benefited me by giving me a different perspective towards teachers and the way they teach and giving me a greater respect for them and what they do.
As a person I feel that it has helped me because I learn how to work on my time better.
Being able to learn at my own pace and being able to handle integrity and responsibility for my own work and most importantly learning how to manage my time.
It has benefited me as a person because I became a little more independent because I am responsible for learning my own material. If I choose not to, then I am missing out on a whole lesson.
If you’re interested in learning more, TechSmith published a recent article showing how one instructor flipped her classroom with AP Statistics. You can read or watch a video about her work with flipping her classroom. 


  1. I can see that this could be great, However, it probably should not be assumed that everyone has internet access at home. Hard as it may be to believe, not everyone has a computer and even those who do sometimes have trouble with it or maybe even their internet access has been cut-off due to their parents not having the ability to pay the bill - these are the times we live in.

  2. Thank you for your comment. We do make provisions for students without internet or computer access in their homes.

  3. My son was taught Geometry honors using this method last year. He was not thrilled with it to say the least. Anytime he or someone asked the teacher a question they were told to re-watch the video. Not sure if this is the best method for teaching. I think it would be valuable to be able to re-watch video after being taught by the teacher in the first place, but this was not the case.

  4. Dr. Shulte, Have you ever looked into lynda.com? I've found it to be a wonderful resource for students and teachers, especially when used in tandem with the "flipped classroom" concept.

  5. Two comments:

    1) In answer to the person about home access, or lack thereof, I provided videos on a flash drive for students who didn't have Internet access. Both (there were only two, in a class of 35) had computers, just not an active Internet connection. If they hadn't had computers, I was ready to burn DVDs. I promise to always make sure no one is forgotten or left behind.

    2) While reading the comment about the teacher telling her son to re-watch the video, I thought about the times I might have asked the student to do just that, while I assure you that was not the norm. It was important that students understood the viewing of the lesson as required homework, not an optional assignment. If only half your class does their homework, flipping a class has no benefit. A few times, when a student's question would seemingly indicate he or she had not done their "homework," I followed up with another question or two that would validate my suspicions. Only at that point would I tell them to go watch the video. My hope was that the child would develop a sense of accountability, and not skip the viewing in the future. The ability to answer students' questions of comprehension the next day is actually one of the biggest benefits of flipping.

  6. This is a very interesting concept and has not yet caught up in India. Would like to know more. Here is something I read up recently and found it very interesting. http://www.howzzit.com/2012/08/29/flip-the-classroom-and-set-teachers-free/
    However, this doesn't mention the names of the top such classroom concept to tap and how much do they charge etc. Any help will be welcome

    1. Some good resources:

      Flipped Learning Network: http://flippedclassroom.org/

      Flipped Classroom Edmodo group: http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edmodo.com%2F&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFrqEzcypg3mjktxHdtrjklF4yQK9lYzSA
      Log in: Sign up as “I’m a Teacher.” If you already have an Edmodo account, you can simply join the Flipped Conference group using this code: k7by03.

    2. Sorry, the last link is kind of messed up. Just go to www.edmodo.com and create an account, or log in if you already have an account. Then search for "Flipped Conference" and use the code k7by03 to join.


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