'Flipping' over classrooms

'Flipping' over classrooms

Flip teaching focuses on using technology to leverage learning and strengthen students in a stress-free manner with one-on-one attention in the class, writes Pavan Chauhan .

The flipped classroom model basically ‘flips’ the traditional teaching methods. In this reverse teaching model the instruction is delivered online, outside the classroom and “homework” moves into the classroom. The teacher’s role thus shifts from being an instructor - mostly giving one-way lectures - to a facilitator who helps the students engage with the concept inside the classroom through collaborative activities and exercises.

Flip teaching focuses on using technology to leverage learning so that the teacher can concentrate on individual problems of the students, helping them become better equipped to understand problems and find solutions quickly.

In this framework, a student will ideally be assigned to study the topic by himself by watching a video on the topic. He is then encouraged to apply the knowledge gained by the online tutorial to problems and practical work in the classroom. He is assisted by the supervisor only at the point where he gets stuck. This form of differentiated instruction uses exercises, projects, and intensive assessment models to understand the core problem faced by the student in a subject.

Advantages

The ‘flipped classroom’ approach has several advantages over the traditional teaching method.

n Better learning outcomes: In a traditional classroom space, the learner is always trying to record what is being taught immediately without actively reflecting on it. Most of the important points are missed out and those that have been recorded are not completely understood by the child because he has not been given practical, real life based problems to apply the concept.

n Higher-order-thinking skills: The increased time and opportunity that students get to engage themselves in the rich learning experiences inside their classrooms along with other students, by actively applying the concepts they have learnt to real life problems, develops their ability to go beyond ‘rote’ learning to developing higher order thinking skills such as synthesis, analysis, making inferences and the like.

n Increased flexibility: In this approach students have the flexibility to “rewind” lessons and master topics.

n Effective learning: The teacher can now devote individual time with students to revisit concepts that students did not understand and such immediate addressing of doubts and instant feedback promotes more effective learning.

n Curiosity-inciting: When a child begins to actively take interest in the topic he is studying all by himself, his learning will be more fruitful. He can read up on the topic in addition to watching the video tutorial assigned to him and can discuss his problems, observations and comments on the same the next day in class with the rest of the students and the teacher.

n Collaborative learning environment: Hands on activities and interactive games that the teacher and children can now do together in class, help to create a stress-free environment for the growth of fruitful learning. And the collaborative learning environment promotes faster learning.

n Reduced stress: ‘Homework’ gets done and students are likely to experience lesser degrees of frustration typically experienced on not being able to do the homework, because they “did not understand”. Since they will be working on the problems in the classroom, in the presence of the teacher their doubts can be immediately addressed.

n Stronger student-teacher relationships: The learning resources within a flipped classroom contain a repository of multimedia teaching and assessment tools that a teacher can use very effectively to free up some of his/her teaching time in class. The teacher can devote the additional time to help students actively engage with the concept or topic in class through projects, classroom activities and quizzes. A teacher can use the wide variety of tests available online by assigning them to the students online (or by taking a print out). Immediate feedback in terms of detailed reports, numerous real-life examples, practical questions and model tests help to strengthen the topic for a child. Thus, a teacher can effectively leverage technology to identify the weak areas of her students and help to strengthen them in a stress-free manner, with focused one-on-one attention in class.

(The writer is the managing director of an educational services company.)

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