If parents learn that their children will receive instruction via a flipped learning format, some of them may look back on their own school experiences and draw a blank. If it’s been many years since mothers and fathers set foot inside a classroom, they shouldn’t feel bad about not knowing about flipped learning, as it’s relatively new.
Despite its newness, flipped learning, which some refer to as reverse instruction and reverse teaching, has clear benefits.
The basics of flipped learning
This approach to learning gets its name from the way students’ work is assigned to them. In a flipped classroom, pupils complete the types of assignments that peers in traditional learning environments would normally do for homework. Time that would be reserved for homework is used for learning about the type of material normally covered by teachers in class.
Flipped learning typically involves the use of technology in classrooms and in students’ homes. As pupils watch video lectures from the comfort of their own homes, they have more opportunities for hands-on learning experiences. Ultimately, they have more control over their education and can dedicate more time with their instructors to working through problems at school.
Students and teachers can benefit
Forbes featured an infographic that highlights the immediate advantages to embracing the flipped learning approach to instruction. For example, in a flipped classroom, teachers don’t have to spend an entire period talking at their students. Instead, instructors have an opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with their pupils as they help them work through problems.
In traditional classroom environments, students cannot pause a teacher’s lecture. However, if they are viewing a video their teacher has made, they can pause or go back as many times as they would like. As a result, the flipped learning approach to instruction allows students to acquire knowledge at their own pace.
The possibility of higher grades
While every student learns differently, those who are more independent and thrive using instructional technology could do especially well in a flipped classroom. In fact, these are the findings of a recent study from the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, which was shared exclusively with The Atlantic. Although the researchers behind the study looked at students pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy, the results could apply to learners at all grade levels.
Over the course of the three-year study, researchers worked with data from doctoral students who took a class in a standard format in 2011 and through a flipped approach in 2012 and 2013. Based on the results of their final exams, there was a 5.1 percent increase in exam performance between 2011 and 2013.
“As I always like to say, we flipped their preference,” Russell Mumper, vice dean at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, told the news source. “They went from largely wanting and valuing lectures to just the opposite.”
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