Last Wednesday, I co-facilitated a webinar for South Dakota State University focused on how to FLIP online classes. Since the topic was specific to online learning environments, I teamed up with my colleague, Sarah Glova, so we could combine our experiences and explore this topic from different perspectives. Sarah is a Flip It Associate and President of Reify Media, and she teaches professional writing courses online at NC State University. This time, The One Takeaway is co-written by both of us!
When we met to plan our webinar, we immediately noticed problems with the language typically used to describe flipped learning when it comes to online environments which led us to The One Takeaway for this event.
Current discussions involving the flipped approach tend to focus on how time is spent in class. Many educators describe flipping as reversing homework and lectures: lectures are recorded and viewed online as out-of-class homework, and traditional homework is completed in class with the guidance of the instructor.
In this webinar, we quickly realized that in online classes, this terminology doesn’t work. Whether we’re referring to hybrid, synchronous, or asynchronous online courses, the concept of “during class time” takes on a completely different meaning. This was the crux of our takeaway: to re-examine how we describe the FLIP and how it can be applied to any learning environment.
Many of us have started moving away from the idea of recording full-length lectures and posting them online and then calling it a flipped class. After all, a lecture recorded online is still a lecture. Just because it’s watched at home doesn’t mean it’s moving us towards the student-centered, active learning paradigm which lies at core of flipped learning.
If you’ve been following our work at Flip It Consulting, you know we’ve been on a mission to expand the definition of what it means to FLIP. We use the acronym “Focus on your Learners by Involving them in the Process” which we realize works for any type of learning environment.
Our interpretation of flipping reinforces the importance of designing learning experiences that involve and engage students as much as possible regardless of when and where the learning occurs.
Technology is a significant part of teaching in today’s classrooms. With online, blended, hybrid, on-demand, face-to-face, synchronous, and asynchronous learning environments, we are changing what “class time” looks like. Maybe our definition of what it means to flip a classroom should evolve to include what the FLIP looks like in all of these learning environments.
We walked away with a new way to think about Bloom’s Taxonomy in the flipped online classroom, and we also discussed how to make online videos and modules more engaging and interactive. These are blog posts we’ll explore in the future. For now, we’re excited to help push the conversation forward as we all analyze new ways to enhance student learning using flipped strategies. If you have stories to share about how you flipped your online class, or if you have ideas to help others flip their online classes, let us know!