8 Reasons Why a Flipped Classroom Works

Many people ask me why Flipped Learning works and so I came up with 8 reasons why it worked for me.

1. Individualized instruction

It is amazingly rewarding when I can sit down with all my students and discuss their work one-on-one. I can invest the time in each student because I now have the time. I’m able to focus more of my attention on every student.

2. Community

In a flipped class students have more time to collaborate with each other. My students are constantly reading and revising each other’s work, brainstorming ideas together, and making the working process communal. They want to work together and help each other. They are all invested in each other’s success. My students became a community!

3. Self-pacing or Guided-pacing

I do have deadlines that must be met, so I call my class “guided-pacing”, as opposed to totally self-paced. However, what students work on when is up to them. If their creativity isn’t sparked that day, they work on something that may require some lower level skills like watching a video or completing some grammar exercises. Others will storm into my room beaming with energy. They are enthusiastic to get working right away because they just can’t wait to get these ideas out. When I see a student with unbridled enthusiasm, I can release the reins and let them run with it. When I see a student with motivation problems, I can discuss and problem solve with that student. The students aren’t bound to wait for me to give any direct instruction and I am not either.

4. Choice in activities/alternate assessment

The ability to individualize instruction also gives the ability to individualize assessments. I can offer my students multiple options in how they show learning. When I teach concepts, students aren’t constrained to one way of showing me understanding. My requirements are objective-based and not assignment-based. The student’s goal then is to show proof of understanding the objective. Many will choose the assignment I’ve set up for them because that is what years of schooling has taught them. But, not all will. Students always surprise me with their creativity.

5. Focus on the “fun stuff”

We may have said it once in our career, “Students, I know this is boring, but we have to get through it.” Let’s hope we’ve only said it once. Put this material on video. Now, I’m not saying your videos having to be boring. For me, the “fun stuff” is the activities we do. The application of the material and watching the students grow and make deep connections to the material. With a flipped class, very day we do the “fun stuff”.

6. More Effective Grading

After flipping, I take significantly fewer papers home to grade at the end of the day. I don’t want to say that I don’t still work hard. I just work harder in different areas. When I assess students’ work, many times I’m able to read it in class with them. I can give them feedback immediately. If I want more time to digest it, I’ll make myself a note to look at it again later. And, since I’m not reading stacks of papers all in one or two sittings just to get them a grade, my feedback is more targeted and richer

7. Efficiently use time

Some skills can be taught in a relatively short time frame. Other advanced skills cannot. While I can teach the basics of MLA formatting in a few classes; teaching proper research skills takes much longer. Now, I shorten the time needed to teach these skills. I’m sitting there with the students as they’re doing research. This contact with each student allows the entire class to move through the content more efficiently with deeper understanding. But, saving that time is not worthwhile if the students aren’t learning. I can confidently say that they are more engaged in the process and learn it much better at a level I didn’t see before flipping.

8. Autonomous learning

A flipped class is student-centered and can create very autonomous learners. With the model,

teaching students how to learn becomes a big part of the instruction. Teachers can now spend the time to talk with their students about choices they make in their own learning process. Students have a larger responsibility to manage their own time and, with necessary support, can learn crucial time-management strategies.

Because of these 8 reasons, the freedom and rewards I now feel as a teacher are because of the environment flipping has helped me create. It constantly evolves and gets better all the time. I can’t express emphatically enough how much this change has revolutionized my teaching.

Image credit: Moise Nicu

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