Flipped Teaching Tools, Resources, How-Tos

Flipped Teaching Techniques + Active Learning = Excellent Educational Possibilities!

I was enjoying reading this article in Wired.com, Rethinking the Lecture: In the Information Age, It’s Time to Flip the Classroom, and it inspired me to write about the relationship of flipped teaching techniques and active learning in the classroom.

Much as Ryan Craig suggests, I find that the benefit of flipped teaching and learning is magnified by the use of active learning in the classroom. By pushing some of the learning content consumption outside of the classroom, one frees up time in the classroom to use in a different way. Active learning is powerful way to use that time. “Integrate active learning techniques like group problem solving, experiential learning, and project-based learning to improve understanding of key concepts”.


Let’s explore further by sharing some resources that examine the how various Active Learning constructs can be integrated into the flipped classroom:

Inquiry Based Learning: In the article, The Flip: Why I Love It, How I Use It teacher Shelley Wright explains her perspective that “inquiry learning is where it’s at”. She states that she doesn’t believe in “assigning videos every night as a substitute for my own lecturing. To me, that’s simply the traditional classroom rearranged, not flipped”. Good flipped instruction should include a full cycle in which new ideas are discussed in the classroom before students are asked to consume related digital content.

Experiential Learning: Dr. Jackie Gerstein developed this excellent visual model illustrating experiential learning as part of a well designed flipped teaching model. In her article, Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture for Higher Education, she looks at how this model can work within the higher education setting.

Project Based Learning: Project-based and problem-based learning are two of several methods that emphasize hands-on application of academic content, to reinforce the material and bring the student through the full cycle of learning. Watch as Sal Khan discusses how the flip frees up class time for PBL. To learn more about Project Based Learning, check out Edutopia’s Project Based Learning page.

Constructivism: This web page from the University of Oregon explains, “Constructivist learning is based on students’ active participation in problem-solving and critical thinking regarding a learning activity which they find relevant and engaging. They are “constructing” their own knowledge …”. Teacher Mark Isero discussed Constructivism and Flipped Teaching in Educational Theory: A move toward constructivism. “The idea … is simple: Construct knowledge together in the classroom, rather than having students do so at home.”

Of course, another big benefit of the flipped classroom is using class time for differentiated learning approaches like this example, You Can Be in Five Places at Once – Differentiation Made Easy. Another article I came across this week that brings additional perspective (and what may be my new favorite made up word) to this concept is this one by Joe Hirsch, “Fliperentiated” Instruction: How to Create the Customizable Classroom.

The ways in which technology can enable these teaching methods has inspired many educators to create and share resources like those I’ve shared here. Technology really can help to move education forward and overcome the challenges inherent in the age old model that still dominates much of modern education. I sure am glad I’m not the only one who thinks so :).

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