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Flip teaching (or flipped classroom) is a form of blended learning which encompasses any use of technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing. This is most commonly being done using teacher-created videos that students view outside of class time. It is also known as backwards classroom, reverse instruction, flipping the classroom, and reverse teaching.
The traditional pattern of teaching has been to assign students to read a section of a textbook after-school, which will then be discussed the next day in class. Students would then be assigned an assessment for homework to demonstrate their mastery of the topic. In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself, typically using video lessons created by the instructor or shared by another educator, such as those provided by the Khan Academy. In the classroom, the pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work. The role of the classroom teacher is then to tutor the student when they become stuck, rather than to impart the initial lesson. This allows time inside the class to be used for additional learning-based activities, including use of differentiated instruction and project-based learning.
Flip teaching allows more hands-on time with the instructor guiding the students, allowing them to assist the students when they are assimilating information and creating new ideas (upper end of Bloom's Taxonomy).
Some of the earliest work in this field was done by Eric Mazur at Harvard, who developed Peer Instruction in the 1990s. Professor Mazur found that computer aided instruction allowed him to coach instead of lecture, he wrote "As a result, my teaching assistants and I can address several common misconceptions that would otherwise go undetected." He concludes, "I believe that we are just seeing the beginning of the process and the computer will soon become an integral part of education. Computers will not replace teachers, but they will certainly provide them with an important dynamic tool for improving the quality of education."
Maureen Lage, Glenn Platt and Michael Treglia published the paper "Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment" in 2000. They discussed flip teaching (called "Inverted Instruction" or "Inverted Classroom") in introductory economic courses at Miami University. The authors emphasized how flip teaching enabled differentiated instruction to accommodate a variety of student learning styles, although neither "flip teaching" nor "differentiated instruction" were referenced by those names.
J. Wesley Baker presented the paper "The classroom flip: using web course management tools to become the guide by the side" in 2000 at the 11th International conference on College Teaching and Learning. It has been quoted many, many times since, with the catch phrase "become the guide on the side" instead of the "sage on the stage" – the mantra of the classroom flipping movement. In it, Baker presents the model of classroom flipping where teachers use online web tools and web course management programs to present instruction online as the student "homework" assignment. In class, then, teachers have time to move more in-depth with active learning activities and collaborative efforts with other students.
Starting in Fall 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison started using eTeach software to replace lectures in a Computer Science course with streaming video presentations that combined video of the lecturer with coordinated PowerPoint slides. Having lectures online allowed students to watch lectures when they had time on their schedule and when they felt the most attentive and focused. It also allowed students and professors to spend class time on problem solving, increasing interaction between students and their instructors.. In 2011, two Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning Centers (wiki entry) were built to focus on flipped and blended learning.
In 2004, Salman Khan began to record videos at the request of a younger cousin who felt that if the lessons were recorded she could skip through parts she had mastered, yet replay other parts that were troubling her to learn. Khan’s model is to essentially provide tutoring on a one-to-one basis. Recently, Khan Academy videos have been used by some educators as part of their flipped teaching strategy.
In the presentation "The Classroom Flip" (2006), authors Mike Tenneson and Bob McGlasson demonstrate which choices teacher should make when considering flipping their classrooms. In particular, teachers need to ask questions about what they most want to change in their classrooms, and the presentations helps to determine how flipping using different mechanisms can enhance the teaching process for that individual. This presentation presents the reasons that learners can grow more given the well-planned lessons and activities as it relates to learning theory and motivation. It also explores different forms of computer course management systems that may be chosen.
Jeremy Strayer's doctoral dissertation "The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment: a comparison of learning activity in a traditional classroom and flip classroom that used an intelligent tutoring system" in 2007 considered the flipped or inverted classroom in the university setting. The author taught Statistics and Pre-Calculus courses in which he videotaped himself giving introductory lessons that he then assigned for homework. Students then did engaging project work in class, and the courses involved use of in-class activities as well as Blackboard interactive technology. The author believed that students would control when they watched the video, thus they would be most likely to be alert and able to take in new information.
Woodland Park High School chemistry teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are driving forces in flip teaching in secondary education since 2007. Bergmann believes that the biggest impact of flip teaching in his classroom is to increase human contact.
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