Flipped Classroom is a concept revolutionising the education system with the increased use of smart teaching-learning techniques and digital technology. Both advantages and disadvantages exist for this method like any other but we are advancing towards a future where this method can become the “New Normal” in the education industry.
Flipped Classroom – Concept
“Flipped Classroom” refers to an instructional strategy involving a blended learning method. In flipped classroom learning strategy students are supposed to be introduced to new topics at home, unlike the conventional way where students start learning a new topic through a teacher’s lecture in class. Students are directed to watch pre-recorded lectures on a topic, research the same to gather basic ideas from digital and physical sources, such as texts, books, articles, and papers and go through course materials available online, prepare questions and queries regarding the topic – all at home. In fact, they can participate in online discussions conducted on a specific topic while at home using digital technology.
In class, on the other hand, the students are supposed to interact with classmates and teachers, clear doubts, get answers to their queries through these interactions and express their understanding and opinion through class debates and discussions. Following this strategy, more classroom time for experimental work, and practical activities including presentations, lab work, exercises, station learning, etc. can be achieved.
This way the focus of attention shifts to the students, the main components of a classroom from the teacher or lecturer who will assist and guide the students to get deep knowledge of a subject concerned through this system using different teaching and learning methods.
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The implementation of Flipped Classroom strategy has shown significant betterment in student performance and the overall education system. The advantages of this method include –
More Engaging Classrooms: Flipped Classroom method provides the institutions and the classes with increased time for fun and interesting learning activities which the students find more interesting than lectures. These interesting activities engage more student involvement, increased attendance, and better understanding resulting in betterment in overall student performance.
Independent Learning Skills: As the students get to be familiar with a new topic by themselves they tend to develop Independent Learning Skills. These skills help a student understand, memorise, and imply a subject practically in their own way.
Maintaining Regularity: In this strategy, the unavoidable absence of a student does not greatly interrupt or affect their studies as the learning contents and lectures are always available online. The regularity in learning lessons can easily be maintained at home.
Student Development: As the students reach the classroom with the basic ideas of given subjects, teachers are getting more time to focus on student understanding and development individually. They are getting more time to understand individual student’s understanding patterns and weaknesses, and the amount of guidance they require.
Personalised Learning: Flipped Classroom promotes personalised learning to a great extent. In this method, teachers can create their own learning content to support student learning which the students can use anytime they need outside the classroom. This way the time consumption for the basic introduction of lessons and initial knowledge is lowered and time for deeper research is increased.
Access to a Wider Source of Knowledge: Since the method involves several digital technologies, students can access a plethora of learning resources and have a deeper understanding of a subject.
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Challenges in Implementing Flipped Classroom
Availability of Digital Devices: For this method availability of digital devices, especially computers or laptops, phones, etc. at home is important. Half of the learning activities are conducted using such devices and also, and they are important for students to access learning materials. This makes the availability of digital devices inevitable for this academic strategy.
Screen Time: As the learning in flipped classroom method involves digital technology the screen time is eventually increased. This may cause addiction, vision issues and other physical and mental illnesses.
Increased Involvement of Teacher: The teachers need to create their content for students to go through at home apart from class exercises and plan learning activities according to the advancement of a lesson, teachers are having to put more effort and time compared to conventional teaching methods.
Unequal Student Preparation: Since the method relies upon the students for initial understanding and learning of a subject the student preparation in a class is unequal. While the sincere students gather more knowledge on the subject, reluctant students remain clueless. This can create a great disturbance in teaching all the students in the classroom and involving them in activities that require a basic understanding of the subject.
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Every system in the world comes with its own sets of pros and cons and Flipped Classroom Strategy is no exception. If we want to progress we need to get along the advanced technology and its usage. To implement Flipped Classroom successfully the most required elements will be enough care on the usage of devices, restricting students from abusing technology, and constant trials and development of each technique involved in the strategy. As a result, this learning strategy can and will benefit the education industry with optimum student development and overall performance.
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