Tips for Flipping Learning

Flipped classrooms are proving to have a positive impact on learning and engagement. Both students and teachers can benefit from flipping the classroom. Here are a few tips to get the most out of flipping traditional classroom teaching and learning.

blue oneOutline your overall strategy.
Before jumping into a flipped classroom model, outline exactly how you plan to make the flip. Having a plan will help you remain organized and set expectations properly for you and your students. Design a blueprint that details the following:

    • what lessons or subjects to flip;
    • what tools to use; and
    • what to do with freed up classroom time.

blue twoDig deeper into your video strategy.
Decide whether you will create your own videos or whether you will enlist someone else for the job. You might also consider using curated content for your videos. In any event, be sure to make this decision up front, and checkout the variety of tools available for incorporating video in the classroom.

blue threeFind a home for the videos.
Students will need a dedicated area to go to when they need to watch the videos for your class. If your school uses a LMS, that would be a great place to start. If not, you can use tools like YouTube or Google Drive to host your videos.

blue fourRemember students’ attention spans.
More than likely, students will not want to sit through an entire hour-long lecture. Besides that, conveying a learning objective through a video can be done much more quickly. The rule of thumb is to keep the video to about one minute per grade. So a video for a fifth grader will be about 5-7 minutes, whereas a high school sophomore might be 10-12 minutes. If you have multiple objectives to cover, consider doing one video per objective instead of overloading the students with an excessively long video.

blue fiveKeep in mind that everyone may not have technology.
As a part of your initial flipped learning plan, outline a strategy to address students who might not have adequate technology in the home. Come up with options for these students, such as allowing them to download the videos to their devices if they have unreliable internet connections at home. For some students, you might even need to provide USB media or DVDs.

blue sixBegin the class with a how-to session.
Don’t assume students will immediately grasp how to watch the videos. Initially, they may not know what to watch, and pay attention to, and without much guidance once they’re outside the classroom, help them understand how to be intentional as they watch the videos. A great way to do this is to use a class session to watch a video together, demonstrating to students good pause points and note taking skills.

blue sevenCome up with consequences for non-compliers.
As a teacher, there’s no getting around the fact that there may always be one student who simply chooses not to do the work. What are the consequences if you’ve provided the means for every student to have access to the videos, but still have students who choose not to do so? When students come to class and haven’t watched the videos, your flipped model becomes at risk because you might be tempted to re-teach the lesson, which means students who have watched the video now miss out on their enriched learning experience.

Instead of re-teaching the lesson, consider having computers and headphones setup in the classroom for students to watch the video during classroom time. And any of the students who need to do this can lose a certain number of points for the day. Whatever you come up with, make sure it’s clear to students that there will be consequences if they do not watch the videos before coming to class.

blue eightStay on top of the flipped conversation.
Try not to isolate yourself when flipping your classroom. Network with other teachers in your school as well as at other schools. Follow blogs on flipped learning and read as much as you can. All of these steps will help you stay on top of what’s new and exciting around flipped classrooms across the country.