Flip Your Class for More Engagement and Less Time Wasted

College professor using tablet in the classroom to teach students.In the traditional language-learning classroom, a professor might lecture or show videos, and then send students home to work things out, solve problems, and experiment. In a flipped classroom, the curriculum gains a technology advantage.

Students are assigned video-watching and reading as homework. In class, they collaborate with their professors, and with one another. The approach has been successful at Stanford University, the Kahn Academy, and even at 48 middle schools in Idaho.

Why Flip a Course?

From noteworthy higher education blogs to messages straight from the White House, the use of technology in education is a hot topic. A flipped course is one way that faculty can use technology help bridge learning gaps, while making the most of limited classroom time.

According to one high school Spanish teacher from Colorado who keeps a blog about her flipped Spanish-language classroom, she began the flip because, “…even though we…have 90 minutes, I never had time to do the things I needed to do to help my students succeed. As I look back now, I wasted so much class time in lectures, it was almost criminal! Now, I can work with the students that need me, and really challenge my super-smarties!”

How Does it Work?

It can work in whatever way works best for you, and for your students. There’s no one prescribed methodology.

A good way to begin may be to identify those aspects of your syllabus that are static. For example, can your lectures generally be broken up into 5-9 minute videos? If that’s possible, maybe your students can watch those at home on their own time.

Next, consider the homework assignments that usually follow those lectures. Could those be brought into the classroom for greater experimentation or collaboration?

If the answers to these questions are yes, you might have just taken the first step to a flip!

Would you consider flipping your classroom? Have you already tried? Share your challenges and successes.

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