I am so excited about the concept of the Flipped Classroom. What is it? The Flipped Classroom is a pedagogical paradigm where the bulk of the course content is available outside of class, frequently through video instruction. Those videos can be online open content (http://www.khanacademy.org/) , commercial (http://www.lynda.com/) , or individually created by each instructor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H4RkudFzlc). Then, face-to-face class time is used for problem solving, discussion, debate, application, and so forth – class is where you come to practice your new knowledge with your peers under the guidance of your teacher.
One of the key reasons I’m so excited about this is that it puts an umbrella over much of what we as a teaching and learning community at Dominican have been talking about for a couple of years:
- Dee Fink’s workshops via the CTLE where we’ve been learning about creating Significant Learning Experiences;
- A focus on Team Based Learning, again through Jodi’s work in the CTLE and via Dee Fink;
- Trends in society and in higher education that continuously point to ubiquitous online connections and anytime/anyplace electronic access to tremendous amounts of information and educational content;
- More trend information that emphasizes collaboration, both in education and in organizations.
What does this involve in regards to technology? Content creation is one big way. There are many, many resources online that we can take advantage of – commercial and open content (see above). But to truly get great at this, we at Dominican could extend our relationship-based culture by creating our own [high quality!] recorded lectures and instructional videos. I know many of you are already doing this, with great success. I’ve created and posted instructional videos with JingPro, and many of you use Camtasia Studio. Most of us do this with our online teaching, but the Flipped Classroom emphasizes the use of these tools for face-to-face classes as well, thus opening up the classroom time for those Significant Learning Experiences, problem based learning, and team projects.
The Flipped Classroom does raise come questions, of course: what if the students don’t watch the videos, how does this affect accountability and grading, how do I as a teacher learn these new skills, and so forth. There is a lot of conversation about all of this online – just do a quick search for “flipped classroom” and see the long list of returns in your search results. I think it would be wonderful to talk more about these questions, and discover some answers for our own community. Here are two excellent resources to get the conversation started:
1) TED talk by Salman Kahn (of the online teaching resource Kahn Academy) at http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html
2) See also what some of the conversation is in Higher Education about this concept, at Higher Ed / Chronicle: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/debating-the-flipped-classroom-at-stanford/34811.