Nicola Heath, Psychology Subject Advisor
Flipped learning can be a great tool to use in your classroom, at least some of the time. I’m going to explore here the basic premise of how and why this pedagogy can be useful. I’ll also provide some links to websites and tools that can provide some engaging ways to add technology into the curriculum.
Flipped learning is a technique that is gaining popularity within schools and colleges. Teachers provide enriching material and tasks for students to complete in their own time and at their own pace. The lessons following this are then used to focus on stimulating discussion and/or application of the material covered. The core purpose of flipped learning is to shift the role of the teacher in the classroom from lecturer to coach.
Students attend lessons primed with the content for the topic and ready to engage in more sophisticated learning activities that promote deeper thinking. Lesson time with the teacher is spent completing active learning tasks and providing more meaningful feedback and support to those who need it. Simultaneously, this allows other students to carry on with tasks that apply the knowledge they have gained and further extend their understanding.
For the student:
For the teacher:
Flipped learning often involves the use of videos, podcasts and/or information on the topic that the students digest outside of the classroom as homework. You can then ask them to use this information to create notes, participate in a virtual mind map, create a discussion board or respond to a question. It’s useful to provide a clear outcome for the task. Students can then work at their own pace while learning this content for the first time.
Flipped learning may be completely new to students so it’s important to let them know how to get support whilst completing their task, along with clear instructions and a set deadline. The information they have learned through flipped learning will then be used in a classroom activity where you can further check their knowledge and understanding.
As with traditional lessons, practitioners have reported that students work best with a set structure for their flipped learning lesson, and many adopt the strategy of providing a pre-recorded lecture followed by discussion tasks or further reading/watching to extend their knowledge.
There will be lots of existing resources for your subject that you can use for flipped learning tasks. Hirsch recommends keeping in mind the end goal and what students will do with the knowledge in the following lessons to make sure you set the most appropriate homework task.
One of the benefits to flipped learning is that your students are doing the groundwork outside the classroom. This means you can focus on higher order thinking skills such as evaluation and application during lesson time. As an expert facilitator, your skills and knowledge are being used most effectively during these lesson tasks and students are getting the most out of you and their time in class.
It is useful to note that although all students will have accessed the basic content beforehand, they will arrive at your classroom with a range of needs. Some will be able to access the next task without further input, but others may need more support to fully understand the material or more challenging questions and activities to extend their knowledge. The benefit to flipped learning is that you can spend more classroom time devoted to differentiated tasks and focus your attention on those individuals and small groups who need it the most.
As well as using your own virtual learning environment, you may find the following websites and tools useful. They are not essential, as you can use any existing resources you have, but they can be an excellent way to improve engagement with tasks and material.
Have you tried flipped learning in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @ocr_psychology. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Nicola joined OCR in 2022 as the Subject Advisor for Psychology. Prior to joining OCR, she taught Psychology for over 10 years and had various other responsibilities in that time including being Head of Year. SENDCo and Subject Leader for PSHE. Nicola has a personal interest in mental health and wellbeing and enjoys reading, baking and spending time outdoors to relax.