3 Tips for Better Flipped Classrooms

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Studies have found students in flipped classrooms show anywhere from a 3% to a 33% increase in scores compared to those under a traditional learning model.

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The process of flipping classrooms, doing homework in the classroom, and lectures or content introduction outside the classroom, has seen increasing rates of adoption by teachers.  29% report they are already employing flipped classrooms, while another 27% say they plan on doing so within the next year.

This is probably not terribly surprising, given how flipped classrooms, and their close cousin, blended learning, have become such buzzwords over the last several years.

But with such a wide range of reported results, and a USA Today article suggesting flipped classrooms may not be the slam dunk they are portrayed as, ensuring your implementation of flipping brings the most to you and your students is paramount.

Here, then, are the top three tips for flipping your classroom successfully:

1. If you don’t have to create your own content, don’t.

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Many teachers who flip do so by recording video lectures, or creating PowerPoint or other interactive presentations for students to watch when they get home at night.

But this approach can lead to issues, especially if you’re not an experienced videographer, or familiar with the presentation tools you’re using.

Luckily, there is tons of existing course content out there that you can point students to, before going over the concepts with exercises and projects in the classroom.  From videos, to presentations, to entire free, online courses, here are a few worth checking out:

2. If you do need to create your own content, use existing technology.

Teacher working with overhead projector in the classroom

Does your organization already have a learning management system it’s using, like Moodle?

If so, you can use one of the many existing resources to design an eLearning course for your students to access from home.  From templates and graphics created by colleagues, to presentation and screencasting tools already at use within your organization, don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

3. Don’t tell students you’re flipping their course.

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This counterintuitive advice is courtesy of Julie Schell, who interviewed Jen Ebeler, a professor at UT Austin who tried out a (successful) flipped classroom.

The first time Jen tried the flipped classroom, however, it backfired.  According to Julie:

Students in [Jen]’s class started a Facebook Page with a thread titled “I hate the flipped class.” This thread was not only active, it had quite a bit of disturbing content.  Apparently, students did not complain about the content or the teacher but their dissatisfaction with the “flipped class” was vocal and aggressive.   Comments included plans to blast the class in the end of course evaluations and that students were not paying to go to a top university to watch their teacher on a video or to talk to their peers in class.

So when she tested it out for a second semester, she simply stopped using the words “flip” or “flipped.”

“Student resistance hasn’t just lessened, it has entirely disappeared,” she says.  Students now come to her office and report how much they enjoy how she teaches, whereas in the fall, they would come in and complain about their “flip class.”

The student resistance was likely due to feeling like part of an “experiment,” but when they perceived the class as normal, resistance melted away.

Others?

Have you tried flipping your classroom?  What other tips and tricks have you found useful?  Share them in the comments!

Header by Abby Kahler

Looking for Learning Management System software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Learning Management System software solutions.

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About the Author

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JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.

Comments

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You can create video tutorials using “My Screen Recorder Pro”. This is the best product for effective video creation as it allows you to record PC screen, mobile screen and webcam video. Use visual effects such as screen draw, mouse effects etc. to draw attention of users. Give it a try.

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Adrian, interesting. Do you have an example of how best to do that or how you’ve done that in the past?

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i have used the flipped classroom for years. the one thing that i have learned that makes this style of teaching successful is, to ensure that the resources used to teach the theory is woven into the assignment you use to measure the students, knowledge and comprehension levels. The material must be resources, that will be used to gather information, then that information must be directly tied to a specific activity, thenthat activity is assessed, for true learning to occur.

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