How To Begin Flipping Your Classroom
Below are 12 simple rules to follow when flipping your classroom:
- To flip or not flip… That is the question.
Why do you want to flip a lesson? How will “flipping” benefit your learners? How will it add value to your class? You should be able to answer these questions before begin flipping your classroom.
- Start with the tough stuff.
Not sure where to begin “flipping”? Choose a topic your students struggle with. Show a video that explains this concept and then use class time to answer their questions, have them teach each other, or tutor small groups of students.
- Make sure students have sufficient broadband access.
Do your students have strong home internet access? If not, can they use the school’s computer lab after school? If the answer to both questions is no, think of other ways your students can access video content (or skip video content and use good old fashioned print!).
- Length matters!
Choose videos that are short and sweet! Anything longer than 10 minutes and your students will stop watching. Another good rule is that 1-2 good videos are better than 3-4 mediocre ones.
- Teach video viewing skills.
Don’t assume students know how to watch school-related videos. Go over with them how to watch a video. They should first watch the whole video (no notes). Then watch again taking notes. Finally a third time, adding any information to their notes.
- Make students accountable.
If students don’t have to demonstrate that they’ve watched the video, they won’t (especially if you violate Rule #7)! Have them take notes and turn in notes for credit. Use formative assessment tools like Schoology to set up a pre-class quiz about the video. Use an “entrance ticket” at the beginning of class that asks them to share main ideas of the video. Give surprise quick quizzes.
- Easy stuff outside of class…
Don’t show the video outside of class and then inside class. That defeats the purpose of flipped learning and it wastes valuable instructional time. The point of flipped learning is to push easy stuff (lecture) outside of class so you can do Rule #8…
- Don’t lecture twice.
They’ve watched video outside of class that explains content, so when they come to class, don’t lecture again. Instead TEACH! (I don't remember, but I am pretty sure I may have stolen and adapted this mnemonic from a Nancy B. Love workshop I once attended):
- Target instruction to address the source of their errors or confusion.
- Engage learners in higher-level thinking (discussions of what-if scenarios, problem solving, analyzing a topic, summarizing key ideas.
- Assess student understanding of the most essential points of the topic.
- Challenge students with more rigorous examples, problems or tasks.
- Help students who need it with assistance and more practice.
- Pay attention to language.
Think about English language learners or those whose first language is not English. The majority of video content is in English, so you’ll probably be forced at some point to use English-language videos. When you do, make sure the language is clear and slow and understandable. Where possible, turn on YouTube’s closed captioning feature so that learners see –and hear– the English. This will help with understanding.
- Start creating your own content.
Begin by narrating PowerPoints; use Podomatic to create free podcast; screen case with Echo360; or use simple free tools like Zaption or Jing to create your own video.
- You don’t need video.
Students don't need to watch videos – they could interact with multimedia, experience something, read two opposing views (on paper, online) about the same issue, and come prepared to class ready to debate or caucus. Flipped learning is not about video or technology. I’s about making the best use of instructional time so students engaged deeply with content.
- Don't Flip Out!
(Sorry. I couldn't help myself.) Don’t be overwhelmed, start small, keep it simple, and see how it goes. Have students find high-quality videos for you.