Teaching with flipped classroom
Using flipped classroom can support students to actively engage with the course content and develop relevant skills.
Flipped classroom describes a course design where students read the relevant material on their own and use seminars to solve problems and discuss in groups. Students actively engage with the course content in the seminars, and the lecturer or teacher spends the time supporting student learning by answering questions and facilitating problem solving.
Blended learning describes course design that combines digital resources and face-to-face teaching, including flipped classroom.
Example of a course organized as a flipped classroom:
- Students prepare on their own by watching videos, reading the syllabus and using relevant learning resources.
- Students can respond to a quiz or do a similar task in Canvas. In this way, students get an immediate feedback on what they have learned, and the answers give the lecturer an overview of the progress and problem areas.
- Students participate in seminars to discuss and reflect in smaller groups, and get to apply new knowledge and skills to solve problems or perform tasks together.
- Students submit a short paper, write a reflection note or contribute in a discussion thread in Canvas to demonstrate their learning. It is important that the smaller assignments are relevant to the form and style of the exam and other assessments.
Benefits and challenges
One benefit from using flipped classroom is that the lecturer gets to spend more time discussing the course content with the students. The seminars encourage problem solving and conversations between students on topics that they find challenging and interesting.
Flipped classroom can shift the students' learning from simple to more complex learning outcomes. Students read material on their own to understand the topic, and spend time together learning to discuss, analyze and reflect. (Read more about verbs for learning)
One potential issue with flipped classroom is that students may not come prepared to the seminars. Unprepared students make group discussions difficult, and the group will benefit less from the seminars. Also, some students might find engaging seminars challenging on a personal level, especially if they do not feel safe and included in the group.
For a flipped classroom design to work, it is important that the course responsible spends time building a good learning environment with the students, and help the students see the value of learning from each other. It might also be necessary to give the student group some time to get used to the format and experience the benefits on their own.