Episode 5 – Flipped Learning

In this Episode, I talk about why you should flip your classroom and some of the best practices for how to do it. I discuss using Insert Learning or EdPuzzle as tools to help you identify student knowledge and differentiate your teaching and learning in the classroom, as well as provide advice on what to do when the students don’t watch the video or do the reading before class. Listen to the audio above or read through the summary below.

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Flipped Learning by Daniel Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Rough transcript

Hi and welcome to episode 5 of the Effective Teaching podcast. Today I want to talk to you about flipped learning as an effective method for producing life-long learners.

I have been flipping my classrooms since 2010 when I was first introduced to the concept. The idea just made sense to me… Get the students to go through the content before they come to class and then there is more time in class to do the fun things that I wanted to do as a teacher… at least that is what I thought.

After I did some more research and a bunch of professional development I realised that it wasn’t just the fun stuff that I could do now, I now would be able to help my students when they most needed it. For so long, I had been giving lectures for most of my lessons and helping students know the content, but in reality, they didn’t need me to provide the content, they needed me to help with its application, critiquing and creating. My traditional approach had only really allowed my students to get the lower levels of Blooms Taxonomy, But they really needed me at the higher levels, the deeper thinking as Hattie says. Students can consume content on their own quite fine, learning new ideas, but they need help relating, applying and critiquing those ideas.

This new perspective on flipped learning made me more committed to the approach as a meta-pedagogy. That is, I began to use it as my umbrella approach and now in my classroom, I could use project-based learning, critical inquiry approaches, case studies, collaborative tasks, and more. I now had time to prepare my students for exams and help them with assessment tasks.

So…let’s talk about some of the best practices for flipping your classroom and creating life-long learners.

Firstly, you will get better engagement from your students in the flipping if you tell them why you are doing it and teach them how to engage with videos or readings for learning, rather than for entertainment. This means teaching them to take notes, pause, rewind and re-read or watch sections. If you’re feeling good, you could also send something home to let the parents know about this approach as well.

Secondly, it is best if you make your own flipped content, whether that be videos or text, but you can also gather and use content from other places, such as textbooks, websites, youtube, Vimeo, Ted videos and more. You don’t have to do it all at once to start with.

Next, you should find a way to check that your students have engaged with the content before class. This can be as simple as checking they have notes as they enter the room or using tech such as Insert Learning or EdPuzzle. The tech also allows you to check that they understood the content, which you will need to do before you do anything else in the classroom.

The most important thing that you need to do when you flip your lessons is to change what you do in your classroom. If you have half your students not watch the video at home, for example, DO NOT then present the information to the whole class, this will stop the students who did watch it from watching next time. And don’t just give questions from a textbook. Remember, you now have time!

I start by getting the students who didn’t watch my video at home to sit at the back with earplugs and watch the video. While they do that I do something fun with the rest of the class, some type of game-based revision is always easy. This will help make sure students do the work next time.

I then differentiate my lesson according to where the students are at. Did they watch the video but not understand it, then I will reteach the difficult bits a second time to THOSE STUDENTS ONLY. The students who understand the content can move on to more difficult tasks, such as relating the new content to old content, beginning a project, creating something based on the content or whatever you can think of that suits your content.

I will also make sure that throughout my lessons I DO NOT sit down. I constantly walk around, look at what my students are doing and provide them with feedback to help them continue to progress forward in their learning.

So… give it a go. Find a piece of content and ask your students to engage with it at home. Maybe use a video on Youtube or TedEd. Get them to take notes and then start your lesson ready to make some of them watch the video, while others play Kahoot or something similar based on the new content. Then differentiate your lesson according to the student’s level of knowledge, give them a project and reteach anything the students have not understood. And remember, once the students are working, you need to make yourself available to them by walking around and providing feedback. And if you’re up for it, you could even do a formative assessment at the end to see if they learnt anything if they enjoyed the learning that day (at least compared to other days) and if they have any other feedback they can provide. But be prepared for them to tell you they prefer to be passively listening to you talk… traditional teaching allows for lazy learning… if you can call it learning at all.

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