The flipped classroom model is quickly gaining popularity amongst educators around the world for the fresh approach it brings to traditional ways of learning and the numerous benefits attached to it. Yet, while the concept of the flipped classroom may seem simple at first glance, there are in fact many variations that teachers can adapt to meet the learning goals of each of their classes.
Keep reading for eight flipped classroom examples and how they differ from one another or visit the ViewSonic Education page for more educational insights and EdTech solutions.
In our definition of the flipped classroom, we explained how the model essentially ‘flips’ the two fundamental stages of traditional learning. Instead of students being taught the foundations of a topic in the classroom and then using homework and assignments to individually expand and explore the topic, the flipped classroom model requires students to acquire foundational knowledge through self-study at home before using class time to delve deeper into the topic under the guidance of the teacher.
Amongst other benefits, the flipped classroom allows teachers to spend less time explaining foundational knowledge and more time using their expertise to dig deeper into topics and further explore concepts. This new approach has proven popular with both teachers and students as it removes a large amount of lecture-style teaching and opens class time to a variety of group-based activities where students can take a more active role in their learning.
But how teachers choose to use the additional time they now have in class is what defines each of the variations of the flipped classroom model. In the next section, we’ll look at eight specific flipped classroom examples, what they mean, how they work, and when they might be most useful or viable.
1. Conventional Flipped Classroom
The first example of a flipped classroom is the conventional or standard flipped classroom approach, which is what people tend to think of when discussing this topic. The basic model here is that students are given access to learning materials, usually through online video and content, allowing them to attend the class with a basic knowledge of the topic. Classroom time is then spent with students putting their knowledge into practice and expanding their understanding.
In many cases, this approach leads to more enjoyable and more interactive classroom-based lessons. It enables teachers to spend less time disseminating basic information and more time developing students’ understanding.
2. Group-Based Flipped Classroom
A group-based flipped classroom model is similar to the conventional flipped classroom, but an emphasis is placed on group activity. This means that once they arrive in the classroom, students are placed into groups so that they further their understanding of the topic together. This allows them to challenge one another, while their comprehension can be improved by learning how to explain a topic to their peers.
Some teachers choose to emphasize the group aspect of this model even further by including teamwork elements within the home-learning stage.
3. Debate-Focused Flipped Classroom
A debate-focused flipped classroom works as follows: students take in the initial information at home, then attend the class and engage in a debate, or a series of debates, with their peers. Various studies have found that the act of debating can enhance student engagement, while also improving learning outcomes. Debates can also strengthen understanding by revealing some of the complexities and different viewpoints that exist within a topic.
Furthermore, debates help to reinforce information learned at home, resulting in superior knowledge retention.
4. Discussion-Focused Flipped Classroom
In a discussion-focused flipped classroom, students acquire information about a topic at home, often through the deployment of educational video content. From there, they attend the classroom and engage in much more in-depth discussion about the topic, revealing some of the nuances, broadening their understanding, and learning about different perspectives. However, this occurs in a more relaxed environment than you might expect from a formal debate.
This particular approach can be especially valuable for subject areas where context plays a crucial role and where questions may not have a simple or correct answer, with examples including History, English, Politics, and Art.
5. Micro-Flipped Classroom
The micro-flipped classroom is essentially a way of combining the traditional and flipped classroom approaches, affording teachers some time for more conventional lecture-based instruction while still providing students and teachers with some of the benefits of flipping the classroom. A 2017 study on the subject explains that the benefits of the micro-flipped model, such as it not being subject-dependent and still allowing for more interactive classroom sessions.
The aforementioned study also compared exam results for those in a micro-flipped classroom with those in a traditional lecture-based classroom. It found that the students in the micro-flipped classroom enjoyed a two-point improvement to their course grades, with the benefits of this approach seemingly increasing over time.
6. In-Class / Faux Flipped Classroom
Much of the criticism of flipped classroom-style courses focuses on the idea of the digital divide and what happens when students do not have reliable, frequent, or equal access to the technology they need at home. The in-class flipped classroom, or faux flipped classroom, aims to solve this. The basic approach is still the same, with online information followed by a more practical lesson, but the initial learning is carried out using computers in the school.
There is also flexibility here, as teachers can show the entire class the learning material or provide a period of time at the beginning of the lesson for students to all acquire the information independently. Alternatively, students may be asked to use computers in the school, but still do the initial work in their own time.
7. Virtual Flipped Classroom
As the name suggests, the virtual flipped classroom follows the basic flipped classroom approach, with students taking in information from online resources first, but the key difference is that the lessons that follow are also carried out online in a virtual environment. This essentially allows the flipped classroom model to be utilized in situations where classroom attendance is not possible and for distance and hybrid learning courses too.
Depending on the situation, this can also be combined with in-person classes or one-to-one sessions. These may be held regularly or at agreed intervals in order to allow teachers to check progress more closely.
8. The Flipped Teacher Approach
Finally, one of the most unique flipped classroom examples comes in the form of the flipped teacher model, which is sometimes referred to as the double flipped classroom. Here, students are asked to create learning materials, such as a video, in order to demonstrate their understanding of the topic. Much like the debate and discussion-based flipped classroom, this approach helps to reinforce what students have learned.
This approach also has supplementary benefits, such as helping to develop technology skills and allowing students to gain experience in academic instruction, which can be valuable for those who wish to pursue academic careers.
One of the biggest challenges educators face is how to keep students engaged during the presentation phase of foundational knowledge, which is often done using lecture-style teaching. The flipped classroom model largely reduces this challenge by allowing students to take in foundational knowledge at their own speed at home, therefore opening class time up to a number of more active ways of learning, such as discussions, debates, and group activities.
However, this is a broad framework with a variety of models for teachers to use. Debate and discussion-based models work well with subjects where context and opinion count, like History and English, while the faux flipped classroom is ideal for students who may not have regular access to a computer at home. Therefore, teachers will still need to decide which of the flipped classroom models are best suited to their students and the learning outcomes they hope to achieve.
To understand more about how technology is shaping modern education, read Blended Learning in Education 3.0, or visit the ViewSonic Education page for further insights and EdTech solutions for your classroom.