The flipped classroom model is getting much attention of late. Some say it is the most radical move by education in years. Others say it hinders teaching and doesn’t work. I am not going to get into this debate, but just present some of the flipped classroom pros and cons that have become apparent as I’ve studied this classroom methodology. The only items I will bring up is the faculty member needs a decent technical background to implement a flipped classroom efficiently and manage the process. If you are one of the ones who think flipped classrooms have no place, first look inside yourself and be honest as to whether this opinion may be coming from your shortcomings.
Flipped Classroom Pros
Some of the positives of flipped learning include:
- Helps kids stay on track and work at their pace. When a child is sick or out of class for another reason, they can still keep up with the coursework as long as they have an internet connection.
- Students have opportunities to review material multiple times until they understand the concepts.
- Easier for faculty to share teaching materials and techniques with their peers.
- Can utilize a variety of assessment tools, such as Google Forms to check quickly for an understanding of the material.
- Students are in control of their education- Students have more control by moving ahead as soon as they are ready. The same applies to students who need more time can use it.
- Parents can easily review what material their children are learning and even provide help with the content if required.
- There is a level of efficiency with Flipped learning that is difficult to achieve with a traditional model. For example, once an online resource for a topic is created, it will not need constant revision. So the faculty member can many times do a task once, create great content, and that will give them more time to explain the concepts.
- On the same note, as the faculty member is creating content, instead of just assigning reading in a textbook and spouting out a lecture, they become more in tune with the material and thus increase their education.
Flipped Classroom Cons
- Flipped Classrooms require a higher technical background for faculty. The flipped learning model requires faculty to create online content either with web pages or more often video publishing. This can be difficult for less technical savvy faculty to do. There are some great tools for creating videos for use in classes, but it still requires a skill set that many faculty has never mastered.
- It can be difficult to ensure students are watching the videos and doing the work at home. This is where real analytics and a little technical knowledge can help.
- Faculty does not get immediate feedback from students on the material presented. This makes it difficult to change tactics midstream and modify lessons to increase learning.
- Poorer Students may not have reliable internet connections or proper equipment to consume the lessons. This is one of the cons that is a problem and something that will have to be addressed in some manner for flipped learning to be accepted universally.
- There is too much work at the beginning before you can even figure out if your content is compelling. This is true; there is some front end risk, but there is also less work in the end.
- Testing can be more careful as not all students learn a the same pace. This is also a problem in traditional classroom settings.
- Students do not have as much in classroom interaction with their peers and miss out on those peer discussions to increase understanding.
These are just a few of the flipped classroom or inverted classroom pros and cons that have become apparent as more people have implemented the model. These are all valid on both sides, and some significant issues are facing widespread adoption of the inverted classroom. There are also many substantial benefits, and the inverted, or flipped classroom model can drastically enhance the delivery of education and bring knowledge to more people. There are still areas where internet connectivity is not ideal and since this is the first technology required. There is also the need for an effective learning management system and that can be a costly endeavor. Google has helped with this issue by offering their Google classroom for free to educational institutions.
Regardless of where you stand on this debate, it is clear that there are enough steam and people who are experimenting with inverted classroom strategies, that it will be around for a while.