The traditional classroom model has been the standard for education for many years. Teachers present information during class, and then the expectation is students are to go home, and review and practice the material. However, the flipped classroom model turns this approach on its head. The flipped classroom model is an instructional strategy that reverses the traditional teaching approach. In a flipped classroom, students receive instructional materials, such as video lectures or readings, before coming to class. The expectation is that the students review and study these materials independently at home. Then, during class time, students engage in interactive activities and discussions together that allow them to apply the knowledge they have gained. The teacher acts as a facilitator, guiding students through these activities and answering any questions they may have.
As teachers look for new ways to create engaging and interactive classes while embracing the opportunities made possible by technology, the flipped classroom model is quickly emerging as an exciting new approach that offers many benefits for both teachers and students.
Flipped Classroom Benefits for Teachers
Let’s first take a look at four of the top benefits of the flipped classroom approach for teachers.
1. Teachers Spend Less Time Introducing New Topics
A Montana State University investigation found that traditional teaching models allocate a large portion of time to the dissemination of information, which can often leave a very limited amount of time for deeper exploration and application of knowledge. In the flipped classroom, students receive introductory information through self-study prior to class, allowing teachers, who are experts in their fields, to spend less time covering the basics and more time exploring topics in far greater depth.
2. Teachers Can Create More Engaging Lessons
A number of studies have demonstrated the importance of fun within education, as it can help to improve knowledge retention and recall. With the flipped classroom model, students attend each class with the basic information, meaning there is more time to inject a sense of fun and excitement into lessons. Flipped classrooms allow more time to be dedicated to interactive learning, investigations, experimentation, and practical application.
3. Teachers Can Reuse Their Created Content
With the flipped classroom approach, teachers may opt to distribute information via third-party content. However, many teachers instead create their own videos, making the initial learning experience more personalized. This has the added benefit of being able to optimize and reuse content, and enabling teachers to spend less time on lesson preparation for basic information and more time on tailored lessons for deeper exploration.
4. Teachers Can Provide a More Tailored Approach
Finally, one of the biggest benefits of a flipped-classroom approach for teachers is that teachers can provide a more tailored approach to helping students learn. As an article for eLearning Industry highlights, the flipped classroom model gives teachers the freedom to decide on the amount of time they spend on each student, based on their own individual needs. This is possible because classroom time is used to develop students’ understanding of the topic, making it easier to identify those who have fully grasped the information, those who may need additional guidance, and those who may need to revisit the basics.
Flipped Classroom Benefits for Students
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of the flipped classroom for teachers, let’s explore the four top benefits of the flipped classroom approach for students.
1. Students Develop Independent Learning Skills
Independent learning is undoubtedly a valuable skill for any learner to develop, especially within middle school and high school students. With the flipped classroom approach, students obtain the initial information independently, at home, often through video content. This enables them to get used to the process of self-study and allows them to learn at their own pace. However, it’s important for teachers to be aware that not all students take to the concept of self-study equally and active steps will need to be taken to support those who struggle.
2. Students Who Are Absent Do Not Fall Behind
Absenteeism at a school level is common, yet the negative effect this can have is often overlooked. In fact, in the United States, more than eight million students miss close to a month of school over the course of the year, which will have a significant impact on learning outcomes. While the flipped classroom cannot fully counter the problem of absenteeism, it can help to reduce learning gaps as introductory information will always be available online for students to catch up on in their own time.
3. Students Are Able to Build a Deeper Understanding
Another major benefit for students when learning in a flipped classroom is the ability to build a deeper understanding of the topic at hand through active learning. This contrasts with more passive learning experiences, such as lectures, because students are actively involved in the construction of the knowledge they acquire. In the process, they build a better understanding, with teachers coaching them along and helping them to expand upon their knowledge.
4. Students Find Classroom Time More Interesting
Finally, one of the single biggest benefits of a flipped-classroom approach for students is the fact that it can help students to find their time in the classroom more interesting. This, in turn, can assist with student engagement, allowing students to become more emotionally invested in a subject while typically increasing overall class attendance too. This transpires because classroom time is spent on more meaningful discussions rather than simply listening to information.
Summing It All Up
The flipped classroom model is gaining traction within K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and other academic environments; students take in information at home and then attend the classroom to put their knowledge into action. Crucially, the various benefits of a flipped-classroom approach extend to students and teachers alike. It promotes active learning, personalized learning, and increased student-teacher interaction. It also helps to improve student outcomes, which can lead to greater success in college and beyond. Meanwhile, for teachers, the approach allows them to make better use of their expertise and skills by spending less time lecturing and more time helping to develop students’ understanding. As educators continue to explore new and innovative teaching approaches, the flipped classroom model is one that is likely to continue to gain popularity in the coming years.