The Flipped Classroom

In a few weeks, I am going to “flip” one of my classrooms.  It will not involve any heavy lifting of furniture, but it will involve turning my students’ learning experience upside down.

In a traditional classroom, the teacher/professor teaches the course material in the classroom.  Students are then expected to digest that material and apply it in homework activities, assignments and tests.  In a flipped classroom, the learning of course material occurs before the class even starts.  Students on their own use online resources such as video lectures to learn the material.  By the time they arrive in the classroom, they are ready to try to apply that material in class discussions or exercises.

I first heard about the flipped classroom on the radio while driving in my car last week.  Spark on CBC Radio One had a fascinating show focused on learning and education. Apart from the flipped classroom, the show also examined “laptop distractibility” which I will talk about in a future blog post.

I will try the flipped classroom with one of my sections of a business law course that I am teaching this semester.   I will provide my students in that class with online access to two sets of video lectures on contract law.  Each set consists of 4 or 5 video lectures of about 10 to 15 minutes in length. Luckily, I happen to already have those video lectures which I recently prepared for an online course that I design and teach.  These video lectures are animated powerpoint slideshows with audio narration.

I will need to stress to my students the importance of preparing for each class by watching the assigned video lectures.   The obvious risk is that some (or many) of my students may not do that preparation.  In class, I will apply case method teaching techniques (see my previous post) to engage students in discussions of case problems.

I will experiment with this for two classes in a few weeks.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


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About Wayland Chau

Post-secondary educator involved in teaching and course design for face-to-face and online learning.
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3 Responses to The Flipped Classroom

  1. jojacobuk says:

    Good luck – it sounds like an interesting experiment. I may need to do this with a small group work work-based learners I have coming up, so would be interested to read about your experience.

  2. Wayland Chau says:

    Thank you. Luck I will likely need. My students will need to adjust fairly quickly to a new way of learning. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

  3. Pingback: The Less I Talk, The More Effective I Am | The Reflective Prof

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