The idea of “Flipping the Classroom” holds a great deal of appeal for me. I like to keep the lecture portion of my classes to twenty minutes or so, in order to prevent students from tuning out. I also find it challenging to keep my focus sharp after lecturing for longer periods of time. It seems more beneficial to have students do some exploring and reading before class, and then review and discuss the material during class time. However, since I am a full time, freelance commercial artist and a part-time instructor, the time required to adapt the curriculum to this teaching style can be difficult to find. This situation led me to read this article, which seemed to offer a lower stress path to implementing a flipped classroom.
The author provides five recommendations on flipping the classroom for those instructors with limited time and/or experience. The first two recommendations–find flippable moment and make small changes–are a great courses of action to start with. Both recommendations require a thorough examination of the curriculum in order to identify flippable moments. They also get you thinking about how you would like to flip these moments, and what preparation is required. At the end of this process you should have a plan for flipping that won’t overwhelm you once you begin.
The third recommendation gives advice on planning for the dynamic learning environment that arises in a flipped classroom. Basically, allow more time for review, problem solving and discussion, and be more flexible. This will allow you to retain a sense of control and not feel stressed out about covering a specific amount of material in a limited amount of class time.
The final two recommendations involve seeking, and appreciating the time benefits of flipping the classroom, and being aware that not everything needs to be flipped. If certain teaching approaches and assignments are working well for you, don’t flip them. Although flipping the classroom can involve more upfront work and planning, the payoff is more effective time spent interacting with students during classroom learning activities.