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Bending the rules of the flipped classroom

Flipped classrooms are the bread and butter of e-learning and have defined the education landscape in the past few years or so. But sometimes we still feel there is that sorely-lacking element which could increase student engagement practices or even augment different learning techniques to enhance the learning experience. Learning after all, is a continuum.

Educators have played with the flipped classroom and applied a lot of techniques and approaches to increase student engagement and interaction. However, there are teachers which view the flipped model as merely recording videos or listening to podcasts to immerse students at home. That of course is wrong. Flipped classes don’t have to be over-reliant on videos and podcasts and all other recorded media. School learning is no longer limited to a one- or two-hour class period because it can be done beyond the physical classroom, and basically leveraging technology as an enabler for learning. I’ll share my insights on extending flipped classes. Read on.

Personalizing learning can help students design and tailor-fit their learning to meet individual needs and apply different didactic strategies. I will discuss personalized learning in a separate article soon but to give you a gist of how it works, it’s all about the teacher adapting to student interest and pace. Social learning is another possibility. These days, you’re irrelevant if you don’t have Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. As discussed here on my post about social learning, the latter provides a good area to assess how students perform. We, by nature, are social individuals and the social landscape provides us with a comfortable and open learning avenue. Students are very vocal in voicing out their opinions and are more engaged when socialized, and it’s up to the teachers to maximize the increased engagement in social media, for example by asking students to share their comments related to the course taught.

The International Society for Technology in Education has a really nice infographic which details the four strategies for flipped learning, namely: relationship building, personalized learning, passion-based learning and, project-based learning. Relationship building is all about building rapport, trust and just basically positive vibes between the teacher and student. A good flipped class is not just built around the perfect learning content but also around positive relationships. Teachers must learn how to mentor and coach their students and not just act as mere teachers who teach and see themselves as authority figures. Personalized learning is already summarized on the previous paragraph. Passion-based learning is all about deeply understanding the content and not just rote learning and memorizing.

Pre-recorded lectures can be helpful in class, but they’re not always effective. SCORM-based content can be used in lieu of videos because it enhances interactivity and decreases student boredom. Flipped classrooms also need not to be only on desktops, because we need mobile devices for increased interaction, right? When done right, modern classrooms become a dynamic avenue for learning.

Technology is a powerful enabler for learning. Flipped classrooms have literally tossed classrooms around and how learning is done at home. Extending beyond the basic concept of flipped classroom isn’t just about writing down specific guidelines or rules or debating on the best learning pedagogy for educators to apply. It’s about passion and how educators are willing to be “all-out”.

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