If you’re in front of the classroom in today’s academic world and have been for any amount of time, you know that there is a consistent pendulum swing between the “best pedagogical approaches” and the obsolete practices. The switch between pedagogies in academic instruction makes it difficult for instructors to develop thorough, mile-deep lesson plans when standards and best practices are constantly micromanaged by administrators based on government demands. But one of the newest approaches, flipped learning, may have some merit, according to recent studies.
Flipping the classroom, better known as FTC, hasn’t made its way through every school district, but where it has, improved academic outcomes have been noticed. Because of the small impacts already shown, some experts suggest that the FTC approach should be accepted and tweaked for continued improvement in order to become even more effective.
What is FTC?
As the lion’s share of students turn to distance learning for their education in a post-pandemic world, “Flipping the Classroom” is becoming more embraced by instructors who need new approaches to share their subject knowledge. FTC effectively “flips” the normal way of teaching in a classroom by taking the direct instruction part out, moving it to the individual’s responsibility.
With FTC, the student’s “homework” becomes familiarizing themselves with the content of the upcoming lesson plan. Then, the group learning space becomes an area in which they apply the knowledge they reviewed in an interactive approach. Students take the concepts they were to have learned in their homework and apply them in a creative, dynamic lesson. Because they are already familiar with the subject matter, they know what they didn’t understand and what they did, can build further on their new knowledge, and can ask relevant questions to improve their comprehension of the lesson objective.
Flipped Learning Benefits
As more teachers incorporate the practice flipped learning in their lessons, the advantages continue to spread. A well-thought out FTC lesson has benefits such as:
● Easily implemented accommodations for multiple learning modes, including group, partner, and independent work
● The opportunity for students to choose their learning style flexibly, with a less rigid timeline of when an individual must learn the lesson and be assessed on it
● A move away from the traditional teacher-centered lesson plan model to a learner-centered method of instruction in which the student takes responsibility for their knowledge by actively participating in the higher quality classroom learning opportunities
● Instructors are able to focus on creating meaningful content in which students work to develop understanding of the concept and fluency in using it; individualized instruction is maximized
With so many benefits to FTC instruction, the idea is taking root in schools and higher learning institutions around the world.
Using Flipped Learning in Higher Institutions
The stereotypical college and university classroom is lecture-based, with dozens of students taking notes as the instructor drones on in front of the room, often writing key points on the board but rarely using active participation from the students. This approach is common, but not preferred, and definitely not the best method of engaging learners and improving academic outcomes. Because of the need for a transformation, some administrators are looking at using FTC in the classrooms.
Since older students are already used to the requirement of studying outside of the classroom, they’re already in the perfect mode to implement the FTC approach. Instead of spending hours studying content they already learned, students are assigned the upcoming lesson’s content. The classroom learning time, then, is spent using those concepts in application activities in which they are required to participate and engage in meaningful, relevant independent and group lessons.
By utilizing frameworks of the FTC model already in existence, instructors then become tasked with ensuring the lessons they design are created with the intent of improving the academic performance of students and working towards better learner satisfaction with their education. At the higher institution age, this helps cement the passion for lifelong learning and builds further skills that learners need in their new 21st century job and life roles.