Flip Classroom

Flip Classroom

Flip it so you can reserve your time with the students for the richest learning experiences

The Subject is:

EEL416 – Learning and Teaching at CSU (Kellie Smyth, Lecturer).  This is a probationary subject for all new full-time staff members. It is required that all new staff complete this subject.  The subject aims to situate learning, teaching theory and practice within the context of teaching at CSU. This subject is only offered online, however the flip classroom model discussed here can be applied online and as well as on campus.

The students will learn:

Participants explore the integration of CSU technologies, systems, and processes into the design of CSU subjects and reflect on the unique needs of the CSU students.

Describe what happens in class, (the problem):

For many of the participants, this can be their first experience with studies in the field of education. Couple that with the pressure of finding your feet in a new workplace, and often this subject can feel like a burden rather than an opportunity, with competing priorities of family and work.  To lessen the burden, but still provide a level of teacher presence and peer interaction, online classroom (Adobe Connect) sessions are delivered at key times: usually the first week for Introductions, then 1 for each module to align with the assessment.  These sessions are recorded for those who couldn’t attend the synchronous option. Over the session, as the participants get busier, this can affect attendance and class contribution.  Lectures were still available, but they struggled to prioritise time out of their busy schedules to attend.  Instead, they watched the recording when they could, then just emailed for clarity, whilst lamenting the lack of time they had to turn up to the live session, as they found the interaction with peers valuable.

This is what it looks like (solution):

The Flipped classroom is a pedagogical approach where traditional classroom (on campus or online) based learning is introduced prior to the classroom session as ‘homework’, and classroom time is then used to help students master those concepts and deepen understanding through discussion with peers and problem-solving activities.  Lectures are pre-recorded, uploaded it to Interact2, then several short Q and A sessions were offered in times that I knew would work for particular cohorts.  For instance, the Policing cohort run their subjects at very different times.  They start work at 7am, are having lunch at 11.30, and finish up by 3pm.  So fortnightly Q and A for them at 11.30 was best.  Other faculties have timetable breaks at 12pm, others at 1pm, and so Q and A sessions were offered at times that suited this cohort.  These sessions were short, half an hour sessions that were held more frequently.

The effect of learning this way:

Implementing this strategy definitely generated more discussion amongst the participants as it became very student-led.  They came pre-prepared and often armed with questions. Generally, more experienced participants could give an example from their practice which created positive shared learning experiences.

How can this be applied to other classes/student cohort?

This can be implemented on campus in classrooms or online.  Interact2 is used to deliver materials to students before class (whether this be via media such as videos, H5P, quizzes, power points, or just text-based readings) so that you can spend the valuable time you have with your students in more productive and meaningful ways by solving problems that they learn from the online content.  With video recordings, try and target key concepts, important ideas, linking content to the assessment. For the purpose of engagement, duration should be 20 – 30 mins max.