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The Flipped Classroom: The Pros and Cons

Posted on April 29, 2014.

Many of us can recall instances in our lives where we found ourselves idly sitting in a classroom, eye glazed over, half listening, half pretending to listen to our teacher as they lectured in front of the room.

These scenes are all too familiar in today’s schools, as the traditional model of learning has primarily revolved around a teacher-centered classroom, where instructors focus on conveying information, assigning work, and leaving it to the students to master the material. Fortunately, with the development and improvement of education-based technology, online platforms, learning management systems, and more and more electronic devices, a new learning model has merged, the “flipped classroom”.

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model where students watch short video lectures before the class session, while in class time is devoted to discussions, exercises, or projects. There are numerous advantages to this style of learning. However, as the flipped classroom has become one of the hottest debated concepts in the academic world, there has been some criticism to this bold new model of teaching and learning.

With that said, below I have listed some of the top pros and cons to the flipped classroom model. Keep these in mind if you are toying with the idea of making the flip.

 

Pros2

  • Students have control
    • By providing short lectures at home, students are given the freedom to learn at their own pace. Students may pause or rewind the lectures, write down questions they may have, and discuss them with their professors and peers in class.
    • This also allows students who need more time to understand certain concepts to take their time reviewing the material without getting left behind.
  • Accessibility to lectures
    • By providing lectures to students online, students who are forced to miss class can catch up quickly.
    • This also gives teachers more flexibility when they themselves are sick.
  • Promotes student learning and collaboration 
    • The flipped classroom model allows more free class time to master skills through collaborative projects and discussions. This encourages students to teach and learn concepts from each other with the guidance of their professors.
    • Professors are more available for one-on-one interaction.

Cons

  •  Relies on student trust
    • There is also the concern that since flipped classrooms are dependent on student participation, one must trust students to watch the lectures at home. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee students will oblige or cooperate with the flipped model.
  • Increase of work load for professors in the beginning
    • There is a concern that implementing a flipped classroom adds an extra workload on teachers.
    • Responsibilities include taping and uploading lectures, which take time and skill, and introducing activities in the classroom that will enhance the subject matter as well as motivate students to participate and prepare for class.
    • Though teachers can gradually integrated flipped elements into their classrooms, it will still require additional time and effort from teachers.

 

Post by Kaitlyn Reish, Training Specialist at HPU.

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