New Study Reports Benefits of Flipped Classrooms

 By Sarah Chan

Data released today from a study by Project Tomorrow and the Flipped Learning Network shows 28 percent of principals and administrators in 2,600 districts identified flipped learning as having a significant impact on transforming teaching and learning.

The report’s finding marked a 3 percent increase from 2014. Now, 46 percent of school administrators want pre-service teachers to be trained in flipped learning.

Moving away from traditional classroom lectures and adopting flipped learning techniques was FLN Founder and Founding Executive Director Kari Arfstrom’s advice during her Thought Leader session, “To Flip or Not to Flip: Administrators’ Dilemmas,” at the AASA national conference in San Diego, Calif., on Saturday morning.

“Teachers need to ask themselves: What is the best use of my face-to-face class time?” Arfstrom said.

Flipped learning is a teaching technique that moves direct instruction to the individual learning space, and the resulting classroom is transformed into an environment where students apply concepts and engage creatively in subject matter-- in essence, school work at home and home work at school.

In most cases, teachers will make educational videos for students to watch at home, so they can come to class ready to apply their new knowledge. Arfstrom stressed the four pillars of flipped learning: flexible environments, learning cultures, intentional content and professional educators.

She placed the audience in the learner’s seat by having members watch an instructional paper-folding video and following along. The ability to slow down, pause and rewind the video correlated to how students use flipped learning to their advantage.

She added that teachers with similar teaching styles can combine their flipped learning curriculums by sharing virtual material such as videos, regardless of their locations. Some teachers also use a hybrid method, where they introduce the material personally and then use a video supplementary video from the Internet.

Students benefit from flipped learning as they can learn at their own pace, take ownership of their learning and accommodate their individual learning styles, Arfstrom said. Because of this, they are more likely to complete assignments.

While addressing misconceptions about flipped learning, Arfstrom acknowledged that a potential problem is the need for all students to have devices and Internet access with parent permission. However, the at-home learning environment can even benefit parents, as it can show them how to better help their child learn or even teach the parent new material.

Arfstrom stressed flipped learning methods do not require an excessive amount of technology. The basics include a laptop or mobile device, a camera, a microphone and any subject-specific instruments. She acknowledged that fully transitioning to flipped learning can take up months or even years.

More information on flipped learning can be found at www.flippedlearning.org.

(Sarah Chan is a junior at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, Calif.)

Access the presentation slides on Conference Daily Online.