Each week we meet via Twitter for #IOLchat to discuss current issues related to online learning. Participants include students, instructors, eLearning companies, schools, publishers, and instructional designers.
This week's topic was suggested by our chat participants! Thanks to all who weighed in with ideas through our mid-year survey. This chat was also the first in our official summer schedule, with a 30-minute mini-chat format.
The idea of the flipped classroom is making headlines at many levels of education. This ideology (the originators do not think of it as a method per se, but a collection of techniques and strategies) moves more passive learner tasks, like listening to lectures, to online environments, and more active tasks, such as completing "homework" and participating in small group activities, to a face-to-face setting. Take a look at what our group had to say about flipping the classroom:
What are the essential components of flipped learning?
- Flipped classrooms focus on: "1) student-centered learning, 2) collaboration between students and teachers, 3) a supportive environment."
- The flipped classroom is "not a pedagogy, but a tool…requires good pedagogy."
- Keep goals and objectives in mind from the outset. Identify these before moving into the design of a flipped classroom.
- Sort out the components of the existing course – active and passive learning activities.
- What is now called the "flipped classroom" is not new, and could also be called "making better use of time available."
How can communication and collaboration tools enhance active student learning online? What are your favorite strategies?
- Learning management systems include functions, such as discussion forums, that can be used for active learning tasks.
- Consider Web 2.0 and social media options like live chat (i.e., Skype), virtual meeting rooms, and student and class blogs.
- Collaboration and exchange should be the focus. "The tools become secondary, used for a specific purpose instead of defining boundaries" of what can be done.
- Staying organized is key, for both instructors and students. Provide a central hub for all of the available options so that they can be easily found and put to use.
What do instructors need to know about the potential benefits and challenges encountered with a "flipped" strategy?
- Don't decide to apply flipped techniques "just because you can pull it off," do it "because it's a good idea that meets the needs."
- "Technology use is ancillary in a flipped class, not central. If it doesn't support learning in some way, don't include it."
- Following "Insert Video Here'" templates takes the focus away from students and learning.
- Everyone – students, instructors, support teams – need to be familiar with the tools that are being used. Technology could go from being a benefit to a challenge if users lack skills.
- "Rethink everything done in class." Make wise use of "class time to enhance learning, not just to do traditional homework."
- Ensure that face-to-face and online components are integrated. "Otherwise, students may feel like there are two separate classes."
- Understand the amount of time and effort involved. This strategy "requires a transformation of the course, not just putting convenients online."
Thanks to @TamraExcell, @ION_UI, @bennettscience, @GroshingMary, and @jackiegerstein for participating in the live event! Help us to continue the discussion by adding your thoughts via the comments area on this page.
For more from the most recent live session, review the chat feed below. Our past chats can be found on the archives page.
This week's read aheads:
This week's chat feed:
Image credit: flattop341, Flickr, CC-BY