What is the flipped classroom? How is it different than the traditional classroom?
In the traditional classroom, content is usually presented by the teacher during the class time. Problem-solving time usually occurs at the end of the session. “Homework” is defined as problem solving activities of the student in the home environment following the presentation of the content during the class time. The flipped classroom, in contrast, flips this workflow around. The student is presented with the content in the home environment first, then uses class time for problem solving activities.
The primary role of the teacher in the traditional classroom is usually “master of content.” The primary role of the teacher in the flipped classroom is usually “professional learning coach.” In the flipped classroom, the teacher structures the classroom activities to personalize the learning for individual students. Technology also plays a large role.
Students in a flipped math classroom need to assume a greater sense of independence over their education. Prior to coming to class, students log on to Moodle, view the video assigned for the daily lesson, then take the online quiz. In many cases, students are expected to make notes in their journal about the content in the video. Pausing and rewinding are expectations for students, especially when the content is difficult to understand.
There are several alternatives for students to access the content at home. For most students, viewing the content on a home computer with high speed internet access is the best choice. For some students, viewing the videos on DVD is the best choice. For a few students, viewing the videos from a podcast stream with iTunes on a mobile device is the best choice.
During class time, students participate in a variety of classroom activities designed by the teacher and will vary from class to class and unit to unit. These activities can include individual problem solving exercises, working with partners, small groups, or whole-class events. The pacing for activities is often designed to meet the needs of individual students.
Designing appropriate classroom activities takes on a new dimension with flipped classrooms. Liberated from delivering most of the content during class time, teachers simply have more time to work with individual students while students are solving problems.
Personalization is another key advantage with flipped classroom. When a teacher sees how a student struggles with a particular concept and helps the student overcome the obstacles in the learning process. In a traditional classroom, the primary role of the teacher is “master of content,” but in a flipped classroom, the primary role of the teacher is “master of the learning process.”