Strategum Eduserve has been advocating the concept of Flipped Classrooms to teachers of schools it has consulted. A lot of people too are talking about this, let us look into what flipped classroom really is all about, its advantages and should you as a teacher try out this for your students.

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and the homework elements of a course are reversed. A short video lecture/podcast is given to the student to view at home before the class and the in-class time is used for exercise, projects or discussions. A short 7-10 mins video is made by the teacher which the students watch at home at their own pace, communicating with their peers and teachers via online discussion. Concept engagement takes place in the classroom with the help of the instructor. The value of a flipped classroom is in the re-purposing of class time into a workshop where students can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying their understanding of the concepts being discussed and interact with one another in hands-on activities. Teachers during class time act more as advisors or coaches encouraging interaction and collaborative efforts.

Traditional lectures students try to capture what the instructor is saying and rarely get time to ponder and reason the concept. They do not get the adequate time to reflect. Hence, the student mindlessly try to memorize the concept with no real understanding of the Whys and Hows. By contrast, the use of videos and podcasts lets the students regulate the lecture time. They have the power to rewind, refer and fast forward material. Now, devoting the class time to application of the concept might give instructors a better opportunity to detect errors in thinking, particularly those that are widespread in a class. At the same time, collaborative projects present real life scenarios to the students and better prepares them for the future.

Though flipped classrooms seem like a no brainer, however, it has its downsides. Creating an effective flip requires careful preparation. Recording lectures requires effort, time and some acting skills! The out of class and in class elements must be carefully integrated for students to understand the model. As a result, introducing flip requires additional work on part of the faculty and management.

Students, for their part, have been known to complain about the loss of face-to face lectures, particularly if they feel the assigned lecture is available to anyone online or if the lectures do not cover the important topics or key ingredients. Some might start assuming skipping classes is safe as activities might not be viewed with the same importance as that of the lecture. Finally, poor internet connectivity and lack of access to fast data might hinder the progress of some students.

The flipped classroom constitutes a role change for instructors, who give up their front of the classroom position in favor of a more collaborative and cooperative contribution to the teaching process. There is concomitant change in the role of the student, many of whom are used to being cast as passive participants in the educational process, where instruction is served to them. The flipped model puts more of the responsibility for the learning on the shoulders of students while giving them greater impetus to experiments.

Strategum Eduserve (P) Ltd. has helped over 50 schools across India to help incorporate this model in various levels of school education. If you are contemplating the use of flipped classrooms in the capacity of a teacher or introduce the concept in your school as a whole, we can help device classes and courses which will help both your teachers and students to experience the flipped classrooms.