FLIPPED LEARNING IMPLEMENTATION THROUGH GOOGLE CLASSROOM AT HIGHER EDUCATION
During the last years, especially since Bergman and Sams “started” the Flipped Classroom basis in 2008, the traditional lecture-based deductive approach in the classroom has moved to a more student-centered inductive stage. Also active learning, cooperative learning, problem-based learning are concepts that points out to that change. All these can be incorporated to the Flipped Learning or Flipped Classroom pedagogical approach for improving it.
The ‘Flipped’ approach means an important change in education: the students do the homework previously and later, in the classroom, the teacher can use it to discuss, answer questions, gain deep in concepts and improve skills and competences. But also the Flipped Learning way means a great challenge to the teacher. How to design the homework materials to obtain the maximum of students’ potential and achievement? How to tune the homework to discuss more thoroughly in classroom? How to send the homework to the students? How to pick the students’ homework results? How to evaluate it? How to know the students’ homework achievements? How to design the classroom activities depending on those achievements?
Firstly the teacher should get ready a good learning environment… in a digital way, of course.
Today there are a few in a hand good Learning Management Systems (LMS). Since some decades ago Moodle and Blackboard have become the classic LMS. They are powerful tools for helping the teacher and the students in the common tasks involved in learning.
Another interesting LMS is Google Classroom, which has the advantage of using all the Google other apps (G Suite for Education) useful for learning. G Suite for Education contains all the interesting apps as Drive, Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Calendar, Forms, and others that allows Google Classroom to be strongly enhanced.
Google Classroom is easy to handle and very simple to use. Its appearance is more friendly than Moodle or Blackboard and though it is probably less powerful than those, it is a great option for the common tasks involved in education. Few options means no dizzy tabs with a lot of links. For many teachers it is enough and they do not want excessive options that they will not use ever.
The Google Classroom app can improve the Flipped Learning pedagogical concept. It allows the students to get easily the homework through an internet connection by different devices: laptop, PC, smartphone… The homework can be created by different ways: presentations, text documents, interactive documents, spreadsheets, videos… All of them can be attached to the Google Classroom class by creating tasks to the students. These tasks may be scheduled and a deadline can be included on them. The students can also upload files as photo-scanned documents by smartphones, text documents, filled spreadsheets… The student-teacher feedback is enhanced by the possibility of making comments, to all the class or in private.
For the classwork, different tasks can be designed by the teacher to take advantage of the homework and to obtain the most of the students. All these tasks can also be implemented inside the Google Classroom app or they can be supported to some extent by Google Classroom.
Google Classroom appears as an easy and powerful tool to enhance the Flipped Classroom approach implementation and to contribute to a more active learning.