The flipped classroom_the_full_picture

1. The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture Based on an Experiential Model of Learning By Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D. 2. Copyright © 2012 Jackie Gerstein This work is licensed…
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  • 1. The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture Based on an Experiential Model of Learning By Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.
  • 2. Copyright © 2012 Jackie Gerstein This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
  • 3. What is the Flipped Classroom Due to Khan Academy’s popularity, the idea of the flipped classroom has gained press and credibility within education circles. In its simplest terms, the flipped classroom is about viewing and/or listening to lectures during one’s own time which frees up face-to-face class time for experiential exercises, group discussion, and question and answer sessions. It’s called “the flipped classroom.” While there is no one model, the core idea is to flip the common instructional approach. With teacher-created videos and interactive lessons, instruction that used to occur in class is now accessed at home, in advance of class. Class becomes the place to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning. Most importantly, all aspects of instruction can be rethought to best maximize the scarcest learning resource—time. Flipped classroom teachers almost universally agree that it’s not the instructional videos on their own, but how they are integrated into an overall approach, that makes the difference (The Flipped Classroom by Bill Tucker). The advantage of the flipped classroom is that the content, often the theoretical/lecture-based component of the lesson, becomes more easily accessed and controlled by the learner. Cisco in a recent white paper, Video: How Interactivity and Rich Media Change Teaching and Learning, discussed the benefits of video in the classroom: Establishes dialogue and idea exchange between students, educators, and subject matter experts regardless of locations. Lectures become homework and class time is used for collaborative student work, experiential exercises, debate, and lab work. Extends access to scarce resources, such as specialized teachers and courses, to more students, allowing them to learn from the best sources and maintain access to challenging curriculum. Enables students to access courses at higher-level institutions, allowing them to progress at their own pace. Prepares students for a future as global citizens. Allows them to meet students and teachers from around the world to experience their culture, language, ideas, and shared experiences. Allow students with multiple learning styles and abilities to learn at their own pace and through traditional models. One of the major, evidenced-based advantages of the use of video is that learners have control over the media with the ability to review parts that are misunderstood, which need further reinforcement, and/or those parts that are of particular interest. (Using technology to give students “control of their interactions” has a positive effect on student learning,)
  • 4. Problems and Issues with the Flipped Classroom Two noteworthy problems exist when thinking about using the flipped classroom in education settings. 1. If video lectures drive the instruction, it is just a repackaging of a more traditional model of didactic learning. It is not a new paradigm nor pedagogy of learning. 2. Educators need to be re-educated as to what to do with the class time that previously was used for their lectures.
  • 5. Repackaging Old Paradigms As Cathy Davidson noted in Why Flip The Classroom When We Can Make It Do Cartwheels? In some ways, the flipped model is an improvement. Research shows that tailored tutoring is more effective than lectures for understanding, mastery, and retention. But the flipped classroom doesn’t come close to preparing students for the challenges of today’s world and workforce. As progressive educational activist Alfie Kohn notes, great teaching isn’t just about content but motivation and empowerment. Real learning gives you the mental habits, practice, and confidence to know that, in a crisis, you can count on yourself to learn something new. The flipped classroom isn’t likely to change the world. Energized, connected, engaged, global, informed, dedicated, activist learning just might. Transformative, connected knowledge isn’t a thing–it’s an action, an accomplishment, a connection that spins your world upside down, then sets you squarely on your feet, eager to whirl again. It’s a paradigm shift. Harvard Professor Chris Dede stated in his Global Education 2011 keynote in response to a question directed about the flipped classroom . . . I think that the flipped classroom is an interesting idea if you want to do learning that is largely based on presentation. You use presentation outside of the classroom. Then you do your understanding of the presentation and further steps from the presentation inside the classroom. I think it is a step forward. It is still, in my mind, the old person. It’s still starting with presentational learning and then trying to sprinkle some learning-by-doing on top of it. I am interested more in moving beyond the flipped classroom to learning by doing at the center than a kind of the intermediate step that still centers on largely on tacit assimilation.
  • 6. The Class Time Void That Was Once Lectures One of the problems with flipping the classroom is that educators, who are used to and trained in using class time for lectures, do not know how to transition from a lecture-based classroom to one that includes more student-centered and interactive activities. The message being given to teachers is that when students review the lectures on their own time, they now have time to do whatever they want during class time. A major roadblock or barrier to the implementation of this model is that many educators do not know what to do within the classroom, with that “whatever they want to do” time they now have. The problem is that educators, as a group, know how to do and use the lecture. When educators are asked to replace their in-class lectures with videotaped ones (either their own or others) that learners watch at home, educators may not know what to do with this now void in-class time. Those who advocate for the flipped classroom state that class time can then be used for discourse and for providing hands-on, authentic learning experiences. In a recent interview Khan stated. “If I was a teacher, this is exactly the type of class I’d want to teach, I don’t have to prepare in a traditional sense. But I do have to prepare for projects and all that, so I have to prepare for creative things” (Meet Sal Khan). As Frank Noschese notes: Sal Khan is not showing any examples about what students and teachers are doing beyond Khan Academy. The news stories are not showing the open-ended problems the kids should be engaging with after mastering the basics — instead they show kids sitting in front of laptops working drills and watching videos. The focus is on the wrong things. Khan Academy is just one tool in a teacher’s arsenal. (If it’s the only tool that is a HUGE problem.) In other words, the message being given is that teachers can do what they want to during class time. Now educators have time for engagement and interaction with the learners (#EdCampChicago presentation). This problem is especially relevant in higher education where faculty are hired based on their content expertise not their expertise in being facilitators of learning. There are many reasons professors who lecture don’t want to give it up. Tradition may be the mightiest force. A lot of them are not excited about the idea that they might have to move out of their comfort zone. Professors stick with traditional approaches because they don’t know much about alternatives. Few get training or coaching on how to teach. It’s kind of ironic that professors don’t have any type of training in any way, shape or form. It’s the only teaching degree that you don’t need to go through any actual training in teaching to do. ( college.html) For educators, who are used to and use the didactic model, a framework is needed to assist them with the implementation of the Flipped Classroom.
  • 7. The Flipped Classroom in the Context of the Experiential Learning Model This section describes a model of flipped classroom learning that addresses the concerns discussed in the previous chapter. In order to minimize the flavor of the month syndrome (e.g., Success for All, Character Education), the use of video lectures needs to fall within a larger framework of learning activities – within more establish models of learning, providing a fuller and broader context for educator implementation. What follows is an explanation of the Flipped Classroom Model, a model where the video lectures, vodcasts, and podcasts fall within a larger framework of learning activities. It incorporates the use of videos and other online content in the flipped classroom fashion described by current proponents but also includes methods, strategies, and activities for the face-to-face and/or synchronous class time.
  • 8. Basic Tenets The tenets that drive The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture are . . . The learners need to be personally connected to the topic. Student engagement is the key to learning. Engagement is more likely to occur through experiential activities. In today’s world, informal learning today is connected, instantaneous, and personalized. Students should have similar experiences in their more formal learning environments. Almost all content-related knowledge can be found online through videos, podcasts, and online interactives, and is often better conveyed through these media than by classroom teachers. Learning institutions are no longer the gatekeepers to information. Anyone with connections to the Internet has access to high level, credible content. Lectures in any form, face-to-face, videos, transcribed, or podcasts, should support learning not drive it nor be central to it. And from Doug Holton, “Lectures do still have a place and can be more effective if given in the right contexts, such as after (not before) students have explored something on their own (via a lab experience, simulation, game, field experience, analyzing cases, etc.) And developed their own questions and a ‘need to know.” ( with-moocs/) A menu of learning acquisition and demonstration options should be provided throughout the learning cycle to address and engage a diversity of student needs, interests, and passions. The educator becomes a facilitator and tour guide of learning possibilities – offering these possibilities to the learners and then getting out of the way.
  • 9. Foundational Learning Theories Along with the tenets above, the Experiential Flipped Classroom Model has it roots in several theories. Older models of experiential learning can be updated to include technology tools and build off of the tenets proposed for the flipped classroom model. Experiential Learning Cycle The Experiential Learning Cycle models emphasize that the nature of experience is of fundamental importance and concern in education and training. It is the teacher’s responsibility to structure and organize a series of experiences, which positively influence each individual’s potential future experiences. In other words, “good experiences” motivate, encourage, and enable students to go on to have more valuable learning experiences. Experiential Learning Cycles can be seen as providing a semi-structured approach. There is relative freedom to go ahead in activity and “experience”, but the educator also commits to structuring other stages, usually involving some form of planning or reflection, so that “raw experience” is packaged with facilitated cognitive (usually) thinking about the experience. ( Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle David A. Kolb (with Roger Fry) created his famous experiential learning circle that involves (1) concrete experience followed by (2) observation and experience followed by (3) forming abstract concepts followed by (4) testing in new situations. (
  • 10. For more information, see The 4Mat System 4MAT® System is a teaching model which combines the fundamental principles of several long-standing theories of personal development with current research on human brain function and learning. 4MAT is a process for delivering instruction in a way that appeals to all types of learners and engages, informs, allows for practice and creative use of material learned within each lesson. A very important component of this method is the need for teachers/instructors to understand and present their material conceptually, presenting the big picture, and the meaning and relevance of material to be learned. The instructional events of the 4MAT system can be divided into four categories: orientation, presentation, practice, and extension/evaluation.
  • 11. See for more information about the 4MAT model. The problem with the flipped classroom is that the major focus is on the didactic presentation of information that it is still at the center of the learning experience. The flipped classroom, given that is currently getting so much press, provides an opportunity to change the paradigm of learning, whereby learning–by-doing, the experiences along with the understanding and application of those experiences become core to the learning process.
  • 12. The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture What follows is an explanation of the Flipped Classroom Model, a model where the video lectures and vodcasts fall within a larger framework of learning activities.
  • 13. Experiential Engagement: The Activity The cycle begins with an experiential exercise. This is an authentic, often hands-on learning activity that fully engages the student. It is a concrete experience that calls for attention by most, if not all, the senses. Learning activities are designed that are immersive, so they experience the now. The goal is to assist learners in becoming interested and engaged in the topic through personal connection to the experience and desire to create meaning for and about that experience (i.e., constructivist learning). Students become interested in the topic because of the experience. They develop a desire to learn more. This is in line with John Dewey’s thinking regarding experience and education. ”The nature of experiences is of fundamental importance and concern in education and training. People learn experientially. It is the teacher’s responsibility to structure and organize a series of experiences, which positively influence each individual’s potential future experiences” ( Examples of Experiential Engagement include Experiential Learning Activities, Science Experiments, Simulations, Games, and Art-Based Activities. Setting: These activities are designed for in-class time and often occur in a group setting. In a blended course, these are synchronous activities conducted during face-to-face instructional time. In an online course, students could be asked to go to a community event, museum, or the educator could provide some type of hands-on activity or simulation for students to complete during a real-time synchronous webinar session via Adobe Connect, Elluminate or through a 3D Learning experience such as Quest Atlantis.
  • 14. Conceptual Connections: The What Learners are exposed to and learn concepts touched upon during Experiential Engagement. They explore what the experts have to say about the topic. Information is presented via video lecture, content-rich websites and simulations like PHET and/or online text/readings. Bernice McCarthy, the 4MAT developer, reinforces that concepts should be presented in accessible form. By providing learners with online resources and downloadable media, learners can control when and how the media is used. This is the major value of flipping the classroom . . . content-based presentations are controlled by the learner as opposed to the lecturer as would be the case in a live, synchronous, didactic-driven environment. This is the time in the learning cycle when the learners view content-rich videos. These videos are used to help students learn the abstract concepts related to the topic being covered. Archived free educational videos can be found at: YouTube Education, Khan Academy, Neo K-12, WatchKnowLearn, Teacher’s Domain, and other video hosting sites. Teachers can also record their own lectures for student viewing. Some tools to do so include: Camtasia Studio (PC) or Camtasia for Mac, Jing, Snagit, Screenflow, Screencast-o-matic, Screenr, Educreations, and ShowMe. (Note: Describing the specific technologies and how one can record one’s own lectures is not the intent of this book. I recommend doing further research to decide which tools would be most appropriate.) In a more learner-centric environment, students could be asked to locate the videos, podcasts, and websites that support the content-focus of the lesson. These media can then be shared with other students.
  • 15. Part of this phase includes an online chat for asking and addressing questions about the content presented via the videos, podcasts, and websites. Through a “chat” area such as Primary Pad, Edmodo, or Google Docs, learners can ask questions with responses provided by co-learners and educators. Videos could even be embedded into a Voicethread so students can post comments/reactions to the content. Obviously, in a face-to-face setting, students can bring their questions into the real time environment for group discussions. Setting: The learners in their own setting on their own time use these materials. In other words, students have the opportunity to access and interact with these materials in a personalized manner. They can view them in a learning setting that works for them (music, lighting, furniture, time of day) and can view/review information that they find particularly interesting or do not understand. It is asynchronous learning and as such permits the learner to differentiate learning for him/herself.
  • 16. Meaning Making: The So What Learners reflect on their understanding of what was discovered during the previous phases. It is a phase of deep reflection on what was experienced during the first phase and what was learned via the experts during the second phase. During this phase, the educator can demonstrate reflection strategies and offer choices for student reflections, but the focus should be on the learner constructing his or her understanding of the topic. Learners can articulate and construct their understanding of the content or topic being covered through written blogs or verbal-based audio or video recordings. Learners can articulate and construct their understanding of the content or topic being covered through a variety of technology tools: Blogs such as WordPress or Blogger Audio and Video Recordings Facebook Group Page: Facebook introduced Groups for Schools. Voicethread: The advantage of using Voicethread is that students can hear review the ideas of other students and have a choice in the type of medium used: video, audio, or written. Within the standard school system, this would be the phase when students are tested about their understanding of the content. If this is the case, it is recommended that the tests target higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy – evaluation, applying, synthesizing. Setting: If possible, learners should be given the opportunity to reflect upon and make me
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