Traditional classroom instruction is ineffective. It is passive, with teachers that simply lecture to the class and students who don’t engage and only absorb about 20 percent of the information. It lacks techniques or systems to guarantee engagement with the concepts students are there to learn. Fortunately, this traditional method is starting to be replaced by a better one: blended learning. In particularly, we want to focus on the benefits of one type of blended learning known as flipped learning.
Flipped Learning Is a Type of Blended Learning
Flipped learning offers a newer and better way for students to engage and learn compared to the traditional classroom setting and approach. This is a type of blended learning, which is one of the different delivery concepts many universities have recently been exploring to create more effective, flexible and student centered teaching. This type of teaching takes advantage of technology, is better for engaging students, and gives teachers new opportunities to rethink education and try new methods.
Blended learning offers a combination of online learning and in-person instruction. This blended approach has benefits over traditional classroom learning because students engage more and gain a mastery of the content while participating in their online assignments like homework and research. They’re not just listening; they’re actively participating in their assignments.
Blended learning is also beneficial over a fully online approach because those teaching methods focus on independent learning without the support of an in-person teacher. They rely heavily on technology, which should not be an end goal, but instead a tool for learning. With blended learning, the educator can think about the best way to teach students and then use technology to achieve their goals.
Through blended learning, students gain the best of both classroom and online teaching and learning styles. They receive online resources with in-person instruction. Each has strengths that complement the other.
About Flipped Learning
Flipped learning is a specific type of blended learning. To an extent, this new paradigm flips the role of the teacher and student. It is based on the idea of a flipped classroom, which is where the name comes from. The student prepares for the class and engages with the course material, while the teacher is there to guide the student’s activities.
With this method, the traditional learning method is flipped. Traditionally, the teacher would explain concepts during class, and then the students would engage with the concepts on their own through homework. With flipped learning, students usually watch a video with course content before they go to class. Or they may read articles, follow e-learning modules or carry out research. Whichever activity the teacher assigns introduces them to concepts in advance. Then, when they come to the classroom for in-person instruction, teachers can get them to actively learn and master the material. Class time generally involves work and projects that the students participate in to better reinforce and apply the concept they learned on their own before class. Instead of applying the concept on their own through homework, they have the support of the class and the teacher. This flipped method engages students better than the traditional method of learning the concept through classroom listening and applying it through homework. This paradigm encourages active learning rather than passive learning.
Doing this work in the classroom setting provides access to the expertise of the teacher. Rather than lecturing to a class that is not fully paying attention or absorbing the information, the teacher prepares the videos or other content for the students and then guides students during class. Face-to-face interaction between the student and teacher can happen both in the classroom and online. There is even the opportunity for one-on-one interaction online and personalized interaction during class, which are often not possible in the traditional classroom setting. Through this learning paradigm, the teacher acts more as a coach than a lecturer. Education becomes more learner-focused than teacher-focused.
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Pros and Cons of Flipped Learning
Flipped learning, as a type of blended learning, has many advantages over traditional teaching methods, yet it comes with some disadvantages as well. The following list gives you a better idea of this paradigm’s strengths and weaknesses.
Advantages of Flipped Learning
- Students can learn concepts at their own pace and revisit content as often as they need to
- Students gain an understanding of a concept prior to class, so they can feel confident during classroom discussions and activities
- Students learn skills for self-regulating their school and work activities
- It gives room for personalization and putting students into groups based on their level of understanding
- It encourages group participation and learning
- It makes learning more fun and interesting through hands-on activities, which makes learning more effective
- It facilitates more in-depth learning since classroom time can build upon what is learned on one’s own
Disadvantages of Flipped Learning
- Educators have increased demands for creating videos or other content for students to review before class
- Some students view it negatively because it requires being more active rather than passive
- Classroom activities are impacted if students did not carry out their self-paced assignments
- The flipped learning style is not the best way to teach certain subjects
Blended learning brings exciting opportunities for new ways to teach and learn. Flipped learning in particular creates a reversed experience where the student learns the concept on their own and then applies and reinforces what they learned during classroom time. This method encourages self-paced learning and students who are in charge of their educational journeys. Teachers become facilitators who guide students. This method of teaching and learning can help students better absorb information and gain a higher understanding of how to apply it. Overall, it tends to be more effective and more enjoyable, improving the learning experience for everyone.