Improve the Education of Every Student With a Flipped Classroom

Does your school have a strategy for helping students who fall behind? Does it actually work? What about advanced students? How do you ensure that they are challenged and learning to their full potential? Have you ever heard of a flipped classroom?

The flipped classroom model is revolutionizing teaching methods and strategies around the globe, addressing these concerns by creating time for individualized 1:1 instruction between teachers and students.

Keep reading to learn what flipped classes are and how they can make your school’s teaching strategies more impactful. If you would like to speak with an account representative who can answer your questions, please call us at 877-219-1537 or click here to contact us online.

What is the Flipped Classroom Model?

Flipped classrooms are a reversed teaching model that “flips” the settings for instruction and homework.

In a flipped class, instruction is provided to students at home through video or Internet based lectures and class time is used to complete homework-like assignments. By moving instruction to the home and homework to the class, students are given more 1:1 time with their teacher to work through their assignments.

This 1:1 time helps to ensure that each student fully understands the key concepts presented in each lesson plan before moving on to the next lesson.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Teachers provide students with digital instruction to watch at home (or after school)
  2. Students watch the instruction to familiarize themselves with concepts to be covered in class the following day
  3. Students spend class time completing assignments, based on the previous night’s instruction, with the assistance of teachers
  4. Students with a firm grasp of the lesson are encouraged to move on, and students who need assistance have a teacher readily available to help
The concept seems simple, but the benefits cannot be overstated. 

Why Do We Need New Classroom Management Strategies?

Traditional classrooms utilize class time for instruction and homework to practice or reinforce concepts taught in class. This works well for some, or even most, students. But certain students learn differently, and unfortunately some will fall behind or get confused.

If a student doesn’t understand a homework assignment and can’t find help at home, he or she might even stop trying in school. This is a situation that many educators struggle with, and are constantly seeking solutions for.

On the other hand, there are some students that excel, and aren’t challenged to their full potential. It can be argued that these students are receiving as much of a disservice from traditional classrooms as the struggling students. They are forced to wait for the instructor to accommodate the rest of the classroom, and don’t reach their full potential.

This is the problem with a traditional classroom setting—it is designed to teach to the average student. Shouldn’t we teach to every student?

Fortunately, flipped classrooms aim to resolve this situation that almost all schools encounter on a daily basis.

How Does Flipped Education Improve Learning?

The reason flipped classrooms are improving education around the world is because the role of the teacher has been flipped from a lecturer to a tutor. The focus of the classroom transforms one-size fits all instruction into individualized coaching.

Flipped classroom models provide the following benefits to students:

  • Personalized educations for slow and fast learners
  • Greater opportunity for 1:1 help from teachers
  • Stronger bonds with teachers
  • Encouragement to collaborate on ideas and projects with other students
  • Ability to rewind, save, review lesson plans at any moment (especially useful for students who are absent from class)

Using this model, if a student doesn’t understand a math problem the teacher is readily available to provide individual instruction. Using the traditional classroom model, the student would have to raise his or her hand, interrupt the instruction and ask a question in front of the whole class.

Using this model, if a student doesn’t understand a math problem the teacher is readily available to provide individual instruction. Using the traditional classroom model, the student would have to raise his or her hand, interrupt the instruction and ask a question in front of the whole class.

As you can imagine, that hand will rarely be raised. Most likely, to save embarrassment the student will pretend to understand and as a result will never truly learn. The difference between the two classroom models is obvious from the student’s perspective.

A Flipped Classroom Success Story – Byron High School

One of the most impressive success stories chronicling the transition from a traditional to flipped classroom occurred at Byron High School in Minnesota.

Faced with antiquated textbooks and a budget cut that wouldn’t allow for replacement, Byron’s math teachers came up with a profound idea. With their principal’s permission, they began to develop their own textbook-free curriculum from scratch and implemented it into a flipped class.

Teachers found they could teach a lesson on a 15-minute homework video that would normally require a whole class period to explain. This allowed them to use the class time they saved to ensure that each and every student completely understood the concepts portrayed in the video.

 

If students needed more time or more individual instruction to understand a concept, it was readily available. If a student understood the concept quickly, they were welcome to move on to the next video and continue learning at an accelerated pace.

This meant that no students were falling behind or being held back. It was an eye opening moment for the school and education in general. Since implementing the program, Byron has received recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education and a “School of Distinction” by Intel.

Math mastery, as measured by the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, increased from 29.9% in 2006 to 73.8% in 2011.

Most importantly, these awards and statistics prove that all levels of students are truly learning more than ever before.



 

What Educators Are Saying

Some of the top educators around the country, including major University staff members, are raving about the results they’ve experienced after flipping their classrooms.

Charles Prober, MD, the senior associate dean for medical education at the Stanford School of Medicine says of his experience transitioning to a flipped classroom:

The proportion of student course reviews that were positive increased substantially from the previous year. And the percentage of students who attended class shot up from about 30% to 80% — even though class attendance was optional.

Harvard Physics professor, Eric Mazur, notes:

A course can be a communication across time about a discrete topic, with a different temporal existence than the old doing-the-homework-for-the-lecture routine. Students now tap into a course through different media; they may download materials via its website, and even access a faculty member’s research and bio. It’s a different kind of communication between faculty and students. Websites and laptops have been around for years now, but we haven’t fully thought through how to integrate them with teaching so as to conceive of courses differently.

Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, states:

There was nothing practical that anyone could do about this broken "learning" model until recently. But we can now deliver on-demand content to any student for nearly zero incremental cost. The video content can be paused and repeated as needed. Students can focus on exactly what they need to know. They don’t have to be embarrassed to fill in remedial gaps. They don’t need to take notes.

How to Implement Flipped Learning in Your School

School wide transitions from traditional to flipped classroom models require extensive preparation, teamwork and time. Fortunately, it’s easy to test the merits of reversed teaching by starting small.

Programs can be tested on individual classes, or even on specific lessons of a particular class. You don’t have to flip your whole school simultaneously.

Students usually adjust to the different instruction style overnight. Teachers, on the other hand, have to transform from lecturer to learning coach. This can take time and understanding.

Using a pilot program for certain problem area classes provides teachers with experiences and philosophies to share with other teachers planning a flip. Gradually flipping an entire school will become easier if you start the process small.

However, there is a program available to make this transition even smoother.

Let Us Help You Flip Your School

If you’d like more information or are interested in transitioning your school to a flipped classroom model, call SkillsTutor today at 877-219-1537 or click here to contact us online.

We’ll be happy to explain how flipped classrooms can help your school and provide you with the tools to get started.

SkillsTutor is a leading cloud-based, digital instruction company. We focus on personalized education and assessments designed to increase student’s learning and achievement. Let us help you make the leap from a one-size fits all classroom, to a classroom that maximizes the potential of each and every student through data-backed instructional techniques.

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