Flipping Your Classroom

Lately, I’ve received several articles in my RSS feeds, Zite feed, and elsewhere promoting the concept of the flipped classroom.

Two articles, Wong’s “Colleges Go Proactive with Flipped Classrooms” and Educause’s “7 Things You Should Know about Flipped Classrooms” are particularly helpful in explaining the concept.

According to these articles, in a flipped classroom, lectures and other content are delivered outside the classroom, usually via the Internet; work that is traditionally done outside the classroom (e.g., homework, group work) is done during class time.

The thought is that if students come to class with conceptual knowledge, they can spend their time in class in practicing skills or gaining applied knowledge related to those concepts. The instructor’s role is to facilitate the hands-on learning.

Wong notes that the flipped classroom is not a new concept but says technology has made using the flipped classroom much easier for instructors because they can put lectures online or work from electronic textbooks.

According to Educause, the flipped classroom presents many advantages. For example, students are not likely to get all of the information they need from listening to an in-class lecture once, but in a flipped classroom, they can visit a video lecture on the Web as many times as they need to. In addition, by using class time for hands-on work, instructors can gauge how well students understand the material. Further, in the flipped classroom, students must take charge of their learning as they become responsible for leading discussion, participating in a group, or completing their work. Challenges for teachers, however, include finding the time to create video lectures and motivating and training students to engage in the flipped classroom model.

I am guessing that many business communication instructors spend at least some of their time flipping the classroom. In my class, for example, students read the text and complete a guided reading quiz outside of class and then come to class with their computers, ready to draft or peer edit. I can visit with students and provide feedback before they have to turn in an assignment for a grade.

Do you flip your classroom? If so, what do you do? Please share your ideas. We look forward to learning from you.

And for those of you who find yourself on a semester break, may you enjoy your opportunity to recharge and regroup. We wish you a very happy and successful new year!

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