Are you looking for a teaching approach that can increase learning opportunities at home? One that is easy for students and their families to access, provides instruction using virtual learning activities while it increases opportunities for engagement in the classroom. How about an approach that may work well with a reduced student capacity scenario? As noted in the VDOE document, Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020, blended learning models should be considered. If you work with students with disabilities, the Flipped Classroom approach may be a teaching approach for you and your students.
The Flipped Classroom was developed by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams and is described in their book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (2012). Basically, a flipped classroom has students review recorded lectures or video content at home prior to the class. Students then complete participation and/or project based activities in their classroom where their teachers can be available to help or guide students as needed or desired. In our traditional version of classroom learning, teachers introduce new material to students in a lecture style while in the classroom. Students are responsible for homework centered in the upper levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (see visual below). Students often bring their creating, evaluating, or analyzing projects to class after completing at home.
In the Flipped Classroom approach, new material is introduced to students outside of class as their homework. This gives extra time if needed for understanding and remembering new material. Students and teachers then work together during the school day on activities based on the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Assistive and Instructional Technologies can be a great help when developing the Flipped Classroom approach for your classroom. Teachers can record their lectures as a podcast or video. Or, turn a PowerPoint slide show into a video or collect YouTube videos to share academic content. These videos are then made available for students to review as homework. While in the classroom, the teacher can review the lecture (for students who might not have viewed the content prior to the class) and then have guided activities designed to give hands-on learning experiences.
Once you decide to try the Flipped Classroom approach, you will need to consider a method for sharing your pre-recorded lectures with your students. Some schools have a learning management system (LMS) that could be used to share links. If your school does not, try a bookmarking utility website like Symbaloo or Portaportal to share links with your students and their families. To learn more about these bookmarking utilities refer to Sending Schoolwork Remotely. Having a consistent format for educational activities makes it easier for parents and students to access.
The Flipped Classroom approach can be beneficial for students receiving specially designed instruction (Special Education services). Academic content can be broken up into sections/videos with students viewing one video each day of the week. This can give students small bits of information to digest at one time and more classroom time to get guidance or extra help as needed.
Flipping your classroom or lesson takes a good amount of planning to determine the appropriate videos or pre-class activities and then to develop interactive classroom learning activities. But once learned, this student-centered classroom approach can provide students with the approach they need to learn.
Check out these resources to get more information on using the Blended Learning and/or Flipped Classroom approaches:
Borrow Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day from the TTAC ODU Lending Library
Flipping the Classroom Guide from the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Flipping the Special Ed Classroom Portal of links to websites, resources, and/or activities for remote learning
Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: reach every student in every class every day. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
Brame, C., (2013). Flipping the classroom. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved March 20, 2020 from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/flipping-the-classroom/.
McLeskey, J., Maheady, L., Brownwell, M. T., & Lewis, T. J. (2019). High leverage practices for inclusive classrooms. New York: Routledge.