Friday, 23 October 2020

How to organise a Flipped Lesson

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On 21 October 2020, I was invited by The Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education to share viewpoints on flipped learning with a group of teachers at Birzeit University.

As expected, the live session was a flipped session itself, so we started watching a key clip on Flipped Learning by its founder:


After the triggering video, collaborative brainstorming occured for several minutes at this common board, for participants to wrap up the basics of Flipped Learning:


Hecho con Padlet

So, what is Flipped Learning and how can we start?

The 4 Pillars

Flexible Environment 

Educators create adaptable spaces where students choose when and where they learn. In addition, educators who flip their lessons are flexible in their expectations as regards  learning times and at evaluating students.



Learning Culture 

The Flipped learning model deliberately shifts instruction to a learner-centered approach, in which class time is spent exploring topics in greater depth and creating more learning opportunities. Students are actively involved in the construction of knowledge as they participate and assess their learning in a way that can be personally meaningful.


Intentional Content

Educators continually think about how they can use the FL model to help students develop conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Teachers use intentional content to maximize class time in order to adopt active student-centered learning methods and strategies.


Professional Educator 

Professional educators continuously observe their students, providing relevant feedback at all times as well as assessment of their work. Professional educators are reflective in their practice, interact with each other to improve the quality of their teaching, accept constructive criticism, and tolerate "controlled chaos in their classrooms."



Step by Step

“Flipping” the class reverses the traditional class setup: students acquire basic content outside of class, and then work together in class on application-oriented activities.  

Transforming a course takes both time and commitment, so starting with a single class session by focusing on what and how students are learning at that scale often works well. Flipping is an iterative process, so as you implement these practices, reflect on what works well and what needs to be modified.



Step 1: Identify where the flipped learning model makes the most sense for your course


The following questions may help you identify a good place to start, whether you have designed your course around learning outcomes or by units:

In which class sessions do you currently have an in-class activity that you rarely have time to complete during class and requires the students to apply their knowledge and skills?
What concepts or topics do students struggle the most to understand, based on exam scores and/or assignment grades?

On what topics would students benefit from the opportunity to apply concepts under your expert guidance in the classroom?

Step 2: Spend class time engaging students in application activities with feedback

The crux of the issue is figuring out for your class how class time could be repurposed in ways that provide students with an appropriate level of challenge while leveraging your expertise as a coach or guide. There are many possibilities for infusing a class with collaborative learning experiences. All in all, it comes down to finding an approach that works best for your students and your course content. (To learn more: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/how-flip-class-time)

Step 3: Clarify connections between inside and outside of class learning


The point of the Flipped Learning model is to move the application-oriented "homework" into the classroom and to move the "lecture" to before class. Here are a few questions to get you started in this process:

What do I want my students to know and be able to do as a result of completing this sequence of the course? 
How does it fit into the bigger picture of the unit and course?
What part of the current "homework assignment" could be moved inside of class to help students practice applying the content? 
What in-class learning activity is being rushed because there is currently not enough time to do it well?
What practice do students need inside of class to prepare them for the larger assignment that will be completed after class? 
Will students make the connection between what is happening inside of class and the assignment they are working on after class?
What content do students need to know before class to successfully engage in the learning activity during class?

The after-class portion may consist of a wide variety of activities including completing the work started in class or reading deeper about the topic or working together on a larger assignment that extends several class periods or practicing on one's own.  Keep in mind that the after-class portion from the last class occurs at the same time as the before-class portion of the next class, so helping students manage the workload is important.

Step 4: Adapt your materials for students to acquire course content in preparation of class

The dynamic and active environment that is created within the flipped lesson, means that it is essential for students to come prepared for class. 
Once you have a clear idea of how students will be asked to apply their knowledge and skills during class, begin considering what students will need to read or view in advance. While online video content is associated with the Flipped Learning model, one can flip a lesson by repurposing traditional materials. 
Some common ways students prepare for class include:

Reading materials (e.g., textbook chapters or relevant articles)
Online video and audio content (e.g., podcasts, videos, online micro-lectures, simulations, or demonstrations)
Keep it simple at first by either relying on your current resources or using existing online content rather than creating your own. If you have time, explore what content currently exists online that may help you supplement your resources. 

Whatever path you take, make sure that you:

Hold students accountable for completing the pre-class assignment, and provide students a way to pose questions about the content they are learning outside of class.

Step 5: Extend learning beyond class through individual and collaborative practice


How will the content and skills learned before and during this class prepare students for extending their learning after class (e.g. finishing the problem set,  starting work on a project or a portion of an assignment, building upon what was begun in class to delve deeper into the topic, practicing alone or collaborating with peers, etc.)? 

Students gain experience applying course content during class time, but they may also need additional practice after class. Extending what happens inside the class to outside the class is a crucial step for students to gain mastery and meet the learning outcome. Some ideas for deepening student understanding include:

Use discussion boards or academic social media to elaborate on ideas developed inside class.

Present additional problems (on Canvas, course website, or from the textbook) for students to gain further practice on their own outside of class. Online assessment systems can be used to provide immediate feedback to students.

Create assignments that require students to take the skills and knowledge developed in class and apply it in a new way or to a new situation not covered in class.

Assign additional readings that further expands upon the concepts discussed in class.

Encourage students to create informal learning groups.

Develop a peer-led undergraduate study where students come together once a week to work additional problems that expand upon the concepts being learned in class.



The role of the teacher



The reason Flipped Learning makes teachers more valuable is that it changes the dynamic of the classroom.  No longer is content delivery the focus of the class, nor is the teacher’s main responsibility the dissemination of knowledge. Instead, teachers take on the role of a facilitator of learning.  They are able to work with students in small groups and have more one-on-one interactions.  The simple act of removing the direct instruction (lecture) from the whole group changes the dynamic of the room and allows the teacher to personalize and individualize the learning for each student. Each student gets his/her own education which is tailored to his/her needs.  Instead of a one size fits all education-each student gets just what they need when they need it.


Anticipating difficulties


1- Recording the videos takes more time than it seems. It is not just about recording it, you have to edit and publish them, check that access is easy for students, etc.

2- You can use what others have done, don't try to do it all by yourself at once, use what other professionals have published on YouTube, TeacherTube, Vimeo and share yours, we all benefit. Thus, you save time to help students.

3- Do not be surprised if some of your students do not like your methodological change, it is very comfortable to listen to the teacher relaxed in class instead of working. Do not be discouraged with this, changes have their cost.

4- Do not try to do it all the whole first year, go little by little, take a couple of topics to start, you learn and your students also work in a different way. You will advance. If you try to go for it all, you may be discouraged when you see that you are not reaching everything.

5- Plan tasks for class time, this is the key, never run out of activities, especially knowing that it is about developing the maximum potential of your students.

Remember that recording or searching the video is not the strength of flipped learning. What is really important is what comes next.

Are you ready?

Like any innovative change, embracing Flipped Learning can generate mistrust among your students and their families, sometimes even among the rest of the educational community. Thus, it is important that they understand why you are going to go for this model.

That’s why, based on what has been learned along the session, about what Flipped Learning is, its benefits and its effectiveness in the classroom, I am asking to prepare a speech with which to propose the introduction of this model in your classroom.

Join the FlipGrid Group:



Find the “Why Flipped Learning?” topic:



Record your speeches. You can record up to 10 minute speeches. 

Enjoy!



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