Flipping your classroom without flipping out

Publisher:
SEFI
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
SEFI Annual Conference 2013, 2013, pp. 1 - 9
Issue Date:
2013-01
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There is some contention as to who are considered to be the pioneers of flipped learning. Within the secondary school system Bergman and Sams, who used live video recordings and screencast software in 2007, are frequently mentioned [1- 3]; while within the tertiary sector, Mazurs work on peer instruction is often highlighted [4, 5]. While the phrase `flipped learning may be relatively new it has been practised by numerous academics and teachers for decades, and is the disciplinary norm in some contexts, for example, it is extensively used in social science classes. To find a popular accepted definition of flipped learning we consulted Wikipedia, which describes it as ...a form of blended learning that encompasses any use of technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing [6]. We would modify this definition to omit the need for the use of technology, while it is common practice to replace in-class lectures with online video or audio files, out of class readings from text, notes or inquiry-based activities using non-online resources may also be used. Hence the requirement for flipped learning is that didactic transmission-based lectures are at least in part replaced with out of class tasks allowing class time for participative learning activities. Additionally, we would suggest that it should be referred to as flipped instruction as the learning should occur at all stages of the process. Flipped activities should preferably require students to engage in dialogue and include assessment (typically formative) to allow students to evaluate their understanding or progress. Furthermore, flipped instruction should not merely create an opportunity for academics to provide more personal feedback and assistance to students, but also to receive feedback from their students about the activities that they are undertaking and what they dont yet understand. In this way the learning environment is socially constructed as the academic responds to the learning needs of students and hence together they combine to influence the nature, focus, complexity and timing of activities undertaken. This paper reports a pilot study investigating flipped instruction. This study enabled us to explore some of the misconceptions associated with flipping, and provide insights and recommendations to assist instructors to successfully flip their classrooms without flipping out.
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