What is Flipped Instruction? Theoretical and Practical Foundations

Trend or not, the growing desire for college instructors to “flip” their courses is a good sign for teaching in higher education. It indicates a burgeoning belief that the traditional design of the college course is overdue for change, and that a lecture-based format should be enhanced or extended with more active, participatory, or project-based pedagogies. Combining these pedagogical beliefs with the capabilities of emerging technology has led to the development of what many call “Flipped Instruction,” a loose term that covers a range of teaching and learning strategies. It is precisely this range of strategies that makes flipping a nebulous idea for many instructors. In this post, we pose answer to the commonly asked question- what is flipped instruction?

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Are you flipping out about flipped classrooms?

Flipped classrooms are currently getting a huge amount of media attention in the edusphere and beyond. Are you for? Against? Do you know what it means to flip a class? Its probably time to find out. I am a big fan of the Educause “7 things” series and they of course have a “7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms” article. Three key points they make in the article are: “Devoting class time to application of concepts might give instructors a better opportunity to detect errors in thinking”, “an effective flip requires careful preparation“, and “There is no single model for the flipped classroom“.

The Sloan Consortium Institute started a Bundlr 1 collection of resources on flipped classrooms that I recommend browsing as well.

The traditional flipped class is one where you videotape the lecture portion of the class, the students review it out of class time and you spend class time discussing, reviewing and solving what traditionally was “homework”  done outside of class by the students. In reality educators are creating all types of flipped models. You can start out small and just flip a concept or an assignment rather than an entire class.

Whether you are flipping with joy over flipping or not, its time to find out what all the noise is about. If you would like more information about how you might begin to flip your course, contact itg@brown.edu for a consult.

1 Bundlr is a tool to organize your favorite web content. They want to help Internet users select relevant multimedia content and share it with their network.