With hundreds of free online courses available and easy access to information through the Internet, what still draws students to attend colleges and universities?
This is the question Tapscott and Williams (2010) address in their article, “Innovating in the 21st Century University: It’s Time!” One of their calls to action is for faculty to shift to collaborative, social learning models. Let’s face it, lectures are boring. Students can find a lot of the information they need from the Internet nowadays. There are countless YouTube videos, Wikipedia articles, and websites covering a vast array of educational topics (gene splicing, the history of Mesopotamia, ecodepletion).
One of the ways to make learning at a university truly valuable is to engage students in collaborative projects, group discussions, problem-solving tasks, or critical thinking challenges. That is where “flipped learning” comes in.
Flipped learning (or flip teaching, reverse instruction, reverse teaching), is when the students watch the material they need to learn (i.e., the in-class lecture) at home and do their homework at school. To create a flipped learning environment, you record a lecture or screencast, upload it to a video hosting website, and require your students to watch the video at home. When students come to class you engage them in activities using the knowledge they learn from the videos.
Students benefit from flipped learning in many ways:
- They can watch the video at their own pace (rewind, pause)
- They can re-watch the lesson at a later date
- In class activities help students think more in-depth about the topic, which builds a better understanding of the material.
Flipped learning is not the silver bullet solution to education. It’s a tool you can use. If you do decide to try flipped learning in your section or plan on using this learning model as a faculty member, read Andrew Miller’s article, “Five Best Practices for the Flipped Classroom.” This article discusses some things you should think about before flipping your classroom.
Tools for Flipped Learning
Read The Digital Sandbox’s “Flipped Classroom” website for more information about the tools for flipped learning.
Free screen recorders usually have a 5-minute time limit.
- Use a digital camera with a video mode or video camera
- iSight camera (Macs) or webcam