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A first-hand look inside a flipped classroom

Global open house exposes the 'flipped learning' approach to the public

A first-hand look inside a flipped classroom

Attendees were asked to give their thoughts after the open house. Bergmann recorded some of the comments on his blog “Flipped Learning“:

“There were at least four different activities going on in the room at one time,” explained one attendee. “There were multiple small groups, but also individuals. … I was amazed at the students. A couple of them asked him if he had any more worksheets to help them understand the concept. … He was very organized and very flexible. I want to try this because it seemed to work so beautifully in his class, but I also know it will take time to accomplish something like this.”

Another attendee said flipped learning might be a great option for students with special needs.

“I really like the flipped model. I started doing a similar thing on my own this year, but felt I was missing a component I did not know how to fix. Now I know. This is the type of classroom I need for my visually impaired students. When they go to the dorm or home after school, they often make a lot of mistakes on their work, and no one knows if they are not doing it right. With this model, work is done in class, and I have more opportunities to make sure the students are successful and learning.”

One attendee said he was skeptical at first, but appreciated the focus on “learning by doing.”

“I was really impressed with how well it was working. At first, I doubted the reality of the students actually going home and listening to the ‘vodcasts,’ since they rarely complete their regular homework, but I was wrong. They listened, then in class they completed the homework. Plus, by doing the homework with the teacher right there to answer questions, I feel you eliminate the need for coming in for extra help. The only downside: For me in particular, I ask a lot of questions during lectures, and without a teacher while I’m learning, I wouldn’t learn the material as well. And even if you write down the question to ask later on, the probability that you will remember what you were wondering is slim. However, you really learn by doing, and that’s when you need the most help, right? So, all in all, I think it’s a great way to teach, definitely the way of the future, and the improvement in scores at least for Ms. Duncan’s class speaks for itself.”

Stillwater is analyzing the data collected during its flipped learning pilot and hopes to make the results available sometime in February. Besides test score data, other factors were included, such overall student reactions.

For example, many students said they preferred to watch videos that used their own teacher’s voice and face instead of an actor, actress, or another teacher. Students also liked cultural references to their own school environment in the question sets, such as references to the school sports team.

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  1. vlwren

    February 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    This sounds fantastic I work in CTE and it is very hands on I can see a huge benefit to both the student and the teacher. This is focused and productive being a kinetic learner myself I would love this type of classroom. I am currently finishing my Master’s in Education and hope to see more models like this appear in education.

  2. sfdehart

    February 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I think this is a great idea. As a parent we can watch and see what the lesson is and assist our children when needed. Sometimes it takes multiple exposures to the lesson for them to comprehend.

  3. fosteronomo

    February 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Love that you covered the student and parent perspectives, too!

    Last week a bunch of us at TechSmith got together to publish a set of how-to guides and video stories for “flippers.”

    We hope it’s useful content for teachers and administrators and are keen to hear ideas for other resources we could develop!

    Daniel Foster
    New Media Specialist, TechSmith

  4. lazz04

    February 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The flipped classroom started with Jon Bergman and Aaron Samms. The twosome continue to develop this methodology to include mastery learning.

    Jon Bergmann moved to Illinois this past school year. Just learned that the 2012 Flipped Conference will be in the Chicago area from June 18 -20th.
    Here is the link with more information:

    Check out this video on mastery learning using the flipped model, which I believe helps with assessment and student accountability.

  5. viaacademies

    February 14, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Fantastic video. Thanks for sharing. I posted on my blog to help spread the word.

    Mark Burke

  6. Bev

    February 14, 2012 at 2:04 am

    This looks good…but I do find great value in seeing the faces of the students as I introduce a lesson. It’s a way to constantly “check for understanding.” I would certainly miss that.

  7. mathlady

    February 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    How do you ensure students have access to devices and the Internet at home that can play these teaching videos? I saw some tablets in a few of the scenes and can tell you that the majority of schools in AZ and perhaps across the country do not have that level of technology. Where can I find more in-depth info on the Flipped Classroom concept and some data that supports it?

    Thank you! Deena

  8. jsimmons851

    February 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    This certainly sounds like a great way to increase one-on-one time with students. My question is, what kind of technology does each student have to have available at home to be able to access the information. My school district has a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students who don’t have computers at home. How are these students watching the videos?

  9. lmagnuson

    February 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I spent 2 months at a high school in Xi’an, China last spring, and this is the model that Chinese schools use. (Their students spend 5-6 hours a night on homework.)I find it interesting that China is sending delegations to the U.S. to observe and possibly implement our teaching strategies and here we are changing to theirs!

  10. ballen97

    February 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    This amazing classroom transformation can only occur if ALL STUDENTS have ACCESS to the internet outside of school hours.

  11. dtbeck1964

    March 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    This is really cool stuff. I agree with ballen97–if the kids don’t have access, they are sort screwed. And if their parents, like too many I know, have night jobs in addition to the day job just to make ends meet, the value of parent interaction is lost. Again, that is far more kids than it should be. I suppose the increased one-to-one time in class accommodates that issue, but with so many kids already underserved. I’m leery of potentially increasing instead of decreasing the existing gaps or making more gaps to tackle. But, largely, this is a great innovation to be sure.