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The flipped classroom method

Information about the flipped classroom method and how you kan use this method to improve your lectures.

Norsk versjon - Flipped classroom i undervisning

Topic page: Plan, administrate and evaluate teaching

Overview of trends in teaching and learning

When studying scoping reviews and empirical literature, both from the higher education sector and the primary and secondary schools, we do find there are some benefits for the students in using the flipped classroom method. In this article you can read more about the why´s and the how´s when using the flipped method of teaching.

Why use the flipped classroom method?

Summarising literature, such as The use of flipped classroom in higher education: A scoping review, points to the possibility of conducting student-centered education with inn-depth learning as some of the gains. Student-centered education can also improve student engagement and motivation, which in turn provides a good base for active læring.

  • Highly motivated students involve themselves more in classroom situations and seeks to understand the subject at a deeper level.
  • Prepared and committed students is a key element of active learning and collaborative learning
  • By taking out the review of basic knowledge out of the classroom, releases time in the classroom to work with developing critical thinking among students
  • You can train the higher cognitive activities to analyze, reflect, consider and discuss in the classroom (Bloom's taxonomy)

Preparations before using Flipped classroom

Flipped classroom requires you to do some work before you get started:

  • You need to consider which parts of the course and curriculum are suitable for flipping. This may take some time, but you save time the next time you want to flip. But it will be time well spent if you continue using the flipped method.
  • You need to consider whether to use technology and what type of technology you want to use. This should be considered on the basis of the subject, the student group, curriculum, available LMS (Learning Management Systems or e-Learning Systems) and what kind of you digital tools you master.
  • Gather information about the support network and use this information based on your needs. Uniped, Multimedia Centre and Section for teaching, learning and digital services could provide important support
  • Put together a good system, where both the material to be flipped and activity in the physical meetings with students are considered thoughtfully. Think variation: There is more than one way to do this.
  • Teaching program with flipped classroom should be planned using a holistic approach; what the students do outside the classroom, should form the basis for further work in the classroom. It is not fruitful to ask students to watch videos or give feedback on the subject matter, if this is not an essential part of the set-up in the classroom
  • Talk to the students and prepare them on the flipped classroom method and what it entails for them: this method will require some work outside the classroom on their part

Remember: You do not need to flip the whole subject, during the whole semester or in all of your lectures. Flip wisely!

Various tools to flipp the classroom

You need not always use professionally produced video of your lectures, but can rather create materials by using

  • PowerPoint
  • video recordings prepared with your own computer / mobile phone
  • audio files prepared with your own computer / mobile
  • introductions / tutorials from TEDTalks / TedEd / YouTube
  • other web resources, quizzes, interactive video
  • texts on various subjects

Make sure you do not violate copyright, Copyright Act or IP regulations. Feel free to use, University Library or wiki pages on Innsida

Imagination and the subject’s unique character sets the limits. If you want to flip on a larger scale, with professional video for instance, you should engage the support units for guidance and development of a holistic set-up for your flipped course. NTNU Support Centre for Teaching and Learning and NTNU Multimedia Centre would be relevant partners.

How to implement flipped classroom

Prepare the students

You as teachers have arranged a flipped classroom-plan. Whether you have done it alone, with colleagues or with support units that are available. Feel free to use enough time with students to explain the method, let them know the idea behind the plan, possible gains and prepare them regarding the work they have to do outside the classroom.

You can also go through the learning objectives here, or let these be part of the flipped material.

Outside the classroom

Students can watch / read / listen to the material you have produced or acquired. This gives them the opportunity to use and repeat/train the material on optional digital tools at their convenience and as many times as they like.

It is important that the activity outside the classroom is useful. This can be anything from:

  • interactive video
  • listing of difficult concepts / terminology
  • production of a drawing / mathematical calculation / notes
  • answering questions based on their own knowledge or material in particular that you have flipped
  • short tests or questionnaires that can be completed on-line

In the classroom

You should have a well thought out plan for the activity during the teaching situation. It should build upon the material and tasks students have done at home, and there should be activities that trigger active learning.

This can be achieved through:

  • group work on issues based on the flipped material
  • teacher-directed interaction where you have prepared questions
  • individual tasks to be solved and to be discussed in groups
  • plenary discussion after team work / group work
  • short lecture where you clarify difficult concepts or theories based on what students find difficult to understand
  • continue working with student-produced issues based on the flipped material

You now have the opportunity to let students work on tasks that give in-depth understanding of the subject with you as supervisor and in collaboration with their fellow students.

Involve the students

You may find that not all students come prepared, or are thrilled about the method as you would have wished. But do not abandon the method immediately. It takes time for both students and teachers to get used to new teaching and learning methods.

You can use rewards as incentive: Offer an extra session with guidance or teacher-directed group at the end of the semester for the students who have gone through a certain percentage of the material beforehand and have come prepared for class.

You can, for example, obtain an overview of this by making short tests or questionnaires in the flipped material, which students submit before teaching sessions. Such tests and questionnaires can also be used to tailor a plan for your teaching sessions

Background for the flipped classroom

Brief explanation of the flipped classroom

  • Flipped classroom is not a new and revolutionary method; teachers and educators have done this long before the digital tools came into play.
  • The concept is based on Eric Mazur’s ideas about peer instruction
  • Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams are viewed as two pioneers of The Flipped Classroom method
  • They flipped the classroom so that the students who were absent could follow the subject matter.
  • They filmed their teaching sessions and made these available online.
  • Bergman and Sam found out that both students who were absent and those who had met for lectures, used the videos.

Flipped classroom makes it possible to utilize the time you have with the students in a different way. Where you previously would spent time in the classroom to undergo basic knowledge and time outside the classroom to let the students work with the complex tasks, you would invert this process when using the flipped classroom method.

Here, the basic knowledge is presented outside the physical learning environment, while the work to understand, apply and reflect on this knowledge will take place when teachers and students meet. The teacher will be able to go from a role of being a traditional promoter of the "right answers," to become a coach, a mentor who can help, provide for and train reflection and critical thinking towards their students.

Literature and sources

Result/uDig: Flipped classroom: What is it?

Result/uDig: How to plan for and execute the flipped classroom on flipped classroom

Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus Active learning

BI: Active Learning

Wikipedia: Flipped Classroom