To Flip or Not To Flip? That is the Question

To Flip or Not To Flip?  That is the Question

The flipped classroom is a new and innovative way to present students curriculum in a “blended format.”   Unlike old school ways of listening to lessons in the classroom and doing rudimentary homework after school, students watch lectures online and work on problem sets with other students in class.   This approach allows teachers to spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing and allows for students have 1-on-1 teacher access if they encounter problems with their assignments.
I think this teaching is genius, however, like any great idea, it may encounter some problems.  Not the typically problems one might immediately think of such as access to computers at home, but challenges more for the future of our students.  Take for example our graduate classes.  How many of us would have benefited from having watched class lessons at home?  Personally, I know I would have, it would have saved me time and money and not to mention stress driving from Maryland to Virginia; however, I know that I would have had to actually sit down and carve out the time to watch them.  Driving to Virginia forced me to be present for the instruction, it was time away from cooking dinner, three screaming kids or driving to soccer, I am not sure I would have benefited as much as I have if all of my instruction was flipped.
How often are college courses solely online or hybrid for that matter?  There are some, but as of yet, not as commonplace as one might hope-trust me I have looked!  With this said, using a flipped classroom solely does not prepare students for the “typical” classroom setting.  I believe having flipped instruction all through high school and walking into a university biology class with over 200 students leaves a student unprepared and having realistic expectations.
After reading the article To Flip or Not Flip, I see the benefits of this classroom teaching style, however, just like anything it is good in moderation.  Using this in conjunction with “traditional” teaching (homework at home, lesson in class) will be most beneficial for our students until the flipped classroom is more common place.  I look forward to seeing the future of the flipped classroom and how it is used at different grade levels.

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