FLIPPING YOUR CLASS - THE LATEST TOOL TO ENGAGE STUDENTS
This article is planned as a introduction to the art of "flipping" your class. "Flipping" a class is the latest tool used by many faculty as part of their never ending efforts to engage their students in the course and in the course material. As a faculty member who has "flipped" her classes for more than one year now, I think the idea of a “flipped classroom” actually has as many meanings as there are professors who are class flippers. In this article I intend to take a look at the scholarship involved in "flipping," and some of the experiences that faculty have had.
What are some of the ways in which faculty are “flipping” their classes; what are some of the reasons for all of the “flipping” today; how much work is involved in creating a “flipped” class; what are some of the goals of “flipping” a class; and, finally, does “flipping” achieve those goals? These are some of the questions I will try to outline and answer in this piece by looking at the research and practices in play today at colleges and universities. My personal experience contributes to this analysis as well, as I have tried to “flip” my classes in a few different ways.
There are several elements that have combined to make “flipping” a phenomenon currently. These include, first, the importance of finding new ways to engage today’s college students. Today’s college students are social media and technology users of the highest order. They receive most of their information that way. For many students, the traditional time spent in class is not interesting or engaging. As a result, teachers are searching for more exciting ways that their students can use the time spent in class.
Secondly, students today learn in many different and unique individualized ways. One of these ways is by sharing ideas and thoughts with other students in a class or in a discipline. “Flipping” a class allows more class time to be available for this kind of sharing, whether the student to student sharing is synchronous or asynchronous. Students are learning from each other and “flipping” facilitates that important process.