“Flipped” Classroom

There’s a very nice infographic over at Knewton about the “Flipped” Classroom idea. I won’t summarize it here; go read it, it’s worth your time if you haven’t heard the idea before.

Good thing: Puts the burden of learning new material on the student. Forces them to pursue answers to their questions rather than just get them answered by “the authority.”

Bad thing: Harder to implement in larger courses. Motivation to pursue answers needs to be explicitly addressed.

Good thing: Has the potential to break up larger courses, which are typically lousy anyway.

Bad thing: Home time and school time would need to be rebalanced, especially in highly-structured environments like boarding schools. It really does take some time to get new material. Five hours of class a day and then five hours of homework would be a little more onerous than what we usually have in the US.

Good thing: The rebalancing is worth doing. Also, for some countries (esp. China, Korea), that would be a decrease in the homework load.

Bad thing: Directly collides with other homework-related initiatives (e.g. Race to Nowhere)

Good thing: Does not collide with the spirit for most of those things, just the way they’re usually presented, because they’re presented in relation to the existing standard for homework.

So, overall, I think it’s a neat idea that needs a support structure around it before it can succeed at the institutional level. Worth trying out at the individual-course level.

(Originally found the link through GraphJam.)


About Colin Fredericks

By day I help to create online courses at HarvardX. By night I write roleplaying games.

Posted on November 21, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. If I learned anything from my educational leadership courses this term, it’s that *any* major change needs a support structure before it can succeed at the institutional level.

    As for the “flipped classroom,” I love the idea, but it rests on the hefty assumption that students have easy high-speed Internet access at home. In the schools I’ve taught in, that’s definitely not a given.

  2. Dan: It does as it’s presented right now. However, even if all you have is textbooks (or well-written popular books on the topic, like The Way Things Work), you can still implement the general idea.

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