The Flipped Classroom: A Framework for Student Learning
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The Flipped Classroom: A Framework for Student Learning

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For more than a year, I've been using a hand drawn diagram (seen here: http://www.cirtl.net/node/7788) to help explain the idea of the flipped classroom. While preparing for a recent presentation, I ...

For more than a year, I've been using a hand drawn diagram (seen here: http://www.cirtl.net/node/7788) to help explain the idea of the flipped classroom. While preparing for a recent presentation, I decided it was time to create a cleaner version of this diagram. The resulting series of diagrams seemed useful in that presentation, and so I now share them here.

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  • The traditional approach to structuring learning in and out of class, using Eric Mazur’s terminology. Class time is spend transferring information from professor to student, typically via lecture. After class, students assimilate that information by working through problem sets. Note that this framework has the most resonance with math, science, and engineering courses, although it’s often used in lecture-based courses in other disciplines, too.
  • As Mazur argues, the assimilation step is the harder of the two, so why not shift that to class time, when everyone (instructors and students) is around to help? This requires shifting the transfer step before class, typically by having students read textbooks or watch lecture videos. Note that lecture videos might be created by the instructor, but they might also be ones created by other instructors. This approach has come to be called the “flipped” or “inverted” classroom. (See http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/teaching-activities/flipping-the-classroom/ for some of the history of these terms.)
  • The flipped classroom usually refers to an actual classroom, but the ideas translate just as well to online education, as long as you think of the “classroom” as synchronous activities that involve all the students.
  • Recently, there’s been some useful critique of the notion that the learning process should start with “transfer” activities, like reading textbooks and watching lecture videos. See http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/july/flipped-learning-model-071613.html for some initial research on this issue. Instead of “transfer,” perhaps it’s better to think of the before class activities in the flipped approach as “first exposure” to the content of the day. Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson use this term in the book Effective Grading. Instead of “assimilate,” let’s be slightly more concrete and say “practice and feedback,” since we know that’s critical to student learning.
  • Finally, we should acknowledge that rarely does the learning process end when the bell rings. Students usually need time for further exploration with a topic after class is over. This can include tackling harder problems, studying for exams, and applying knowledge through papers and projects, among other options.There you have it: the flipped classroom framework for structuring student learning.

The Flipped Classroom: A Framework for Student Learning The Flipped Classroom: A Framework for Student Learning Presentation Transcript

  • The Flipped Classroom: A Framework for Student Learning Derek Bruff Center for Teaching Vanderbilt University
  • Class TimeClass TimeClass TimeClass Time Transfer Assimilate Traditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional Approach Before ClassBefore ClassBefore ClassBefore Class After ClassAfter ClassAfter ClassAfter Class
  • Class TimeClass TimeClass TimeClass Time Transfer Assimilate Transfer Assimilate Traditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional Approach Flipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped Approach Before ClassBefore ClassBefore ClassBefore Class After ClassAfter ClassAfter ClassAfter Class
  • Class TimeClass TimeClass TimeClass Time Transfer Assimilate Transfer Assimilate Traditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional Approach Flipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped Approach Before ClassBefore ClassBefore ClassBefore Class After ClassAfter ClassAfter ClassAfter Class (Asynchronous) (Asynchronous)(Synchronous)
  • Class TimeClass TimeClass TimeClass Time Transfer Assimilate First Exposure Practice & Feedback Traditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional Approach Flipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped Approach Before ClassBefore ClassBefore ClassBefore Class After ClassAfter ClassAfter ClassAfter Class (Asynchronous) (Asynchronous)(Synchronous)
  • Class TimeClass TimeClass TimeClass Time Transfer Assimilate First Exposure Practice & Feedback Traditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional ApproachTraditional Approach Flipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped ApproachFlipped Approach Before ClassBefore ClassBefore ClassBefore Class After ClassAfter ClassAfter ClassAfter Class (Asynchronous) (Asynchronous)(Synchronous) Further Exploration