Our Take on Favorite #FlipClass Practices from Published Experts … and Tools and Techniques for Implementing Them
The flipped classroom has been gaining momentum since Sams, Bergmann, and others first started writing about it online, well before the first “FlipCon” style conference back in 2008. As countless teachers and administrators in the US and across the world have turned to the practice, many have shared their flipped learning journeys in the form of web-based blog posts and articles.
Time rolled by, and “Flip 1.0” evolved to “Flip 2.0” and beyond, and Best Practices began to emerge. I’ve noted an increase over the last year or so in particular in articles that focus on or discuss best practices. For this article, I searched out many of these and bought together practices that have helped many educators achieve success with the flipped instruction.
In many of these examples, I’ve taken an idea expressed in an article and bought my own spin to it. In researching, writing about, developing course materials for, and teaching about the flipped classroom over the last four years, I have come across many examples that I think help to illustrate the practices being encouraged by experts.
In this article a several to follow, I group and present selected practices by applicable areas of focus as one approaches flipped instruction, starting with Content Creation.
Select Best Practices for Creating Flipped Learning Content
Use existing technology to ease faculty and students into a flipped mindset (Demski)
The idea here is to try to use familiar, readily accessible technology where possible for creating (and delivering) flipped content. For example, if you’re institution uses lecture capture tools, this can provide a known, available means for creating flipped content. Of course, not all schools use lecture capture (this technology is practically unheard of in K-12), so voicing over PowerPoint slides is another approach that can leverage a relatively simple technique to start with, taking advantage of content many teachers have.
Allow yourself time for experimenting with tech tools (Provini)
If you’re using new tools to create flipped content, use class time in a different way, or change how you assess, be sure to give yourself extra time to learn and work with them. You know how it goes … you sit down at the computer and before you know it, 2 hours have flown by! Don’t leave yourself backed into a corner because you only have an hour to create content and end up creating sub-par materials. Here are 3 easy tools that help you get started using content you may already have or have access to.
Keep video lectures short (10-13 minutes is ideal) (Provini)
This is a common recommendation that you should really heed. If you have longer content to deliver, break it down. There’s a reason lecture capture tools automatically “chapterize” content. Delivering content in smaller chunks just makes it easier to digest and deal with. And if you are using screencasting tools and techniques to create video content, these Tips & Techniques for Creating High Quality Engaging Screencasts can be a big help!
Buddy up with one or more teaching partners (Provini)
This is a great practice – working with another teacher can be a benefit in so many ways! For example, some teachers pair up to create content. Having a conversation with each other in front of the camera can be a much more natural way to create lesson content than just staring into a web cam and doing the “talking head” thing. Even if you’re just critiquing each other’s work or lending an ear, working with a partner can be such a help.
Set a specific target for the flip (Demski)
In the online flipped classroom workshops that I run several times a year through EmergingEdTech, I strongly advise teachers to start small. Approaching the flipped classroom thinking that you have to flip your entire course as quickly as possible is a sure formula for frustration. Target a chapter, a lesson, a week, and then learn and evolve your practice from there.
Don’t try to do too much at once (Provini)
This really lines up with the “set a target” and “start small” mentality. Ease in, don’t overdo it.
If you’ve been flipping for a while, what practices do use to create quality flipped learning content? Tell us about techniques and tools that you’ve have success with!
In our next installment, we’ll look at best practices, techniques, and tools to help ensure that students engage with learning content.
Demski, Jennifer. “6 Expert Tips for Flipping the Classroom.” 23 January 2013. Campus Technology. <http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/01/23/6-expert-tips-for-flipping-the-classroom.aspx>.
Provini, Celine. “Best Practices for Flipped Classrooms.” 2014. Education World. <http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/best-practices-flipped-classroom.shtml>.