Flipped Lessons or the Inverted Classroom Model

My first assignment for my Educational Technology class is to create a Flipped Lesson on the basis of Bergman and Sams.Though, it is not for the first time that I encounter the idea of flipped lessons. In my home university most of the linguistic classes use the “inverted classroom model.” They are provided on a platform called “Virtual Linguistic Campus” (VLC).It does not only offer the virtual sessions for class, but a variety of tools like a dictionary, a linguistic wiki for technical terms and many more.

If you want to see how a session on the VLC works, Prof. Dr. Handke, a linguistic professor of the Philipss-University Marburg, offers a free lesson about the “Inverted Classroom Model” on the Virtual Linguistic Campus. In the video below you can see him explain the system of the “Inverted Classroom Model.” (Go to this point, 3:30, in the video to skip the part about the Phonology, Phonetics & Transcription class)

For further information about his project, but only in German: The link to the blog of Prof. Dr. Handke.

The main idea is that students are learning the content before they come into class by videos or learning websites. In class they can apply their knowledge on different tasks with the assistance of their teacher. The possible advantages of this model are that students can learn in their own pace. Scaffolding helps slower learning students, while students who are more comfortable with the content can skim over the parts they already understand. In contrast to the traditional model students apply their knowledge in class with the assistance of their teacher instead of learning content in class and applying knowledge in homeworks. Thus, frustration with homework should be avoided.

But the ideas behind flipping are not brand new. For over a decade, led by the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT), dozens of colleges have successfully experimented with similar ideas across math, science, English, and many other disciplines.

(- Bill Tucker, Education Next, The Flipped Classroom)

Even though the NCAT is developing the “Inverted Classroom Model” for over a decade, this model is not the ultimate solution for a teacher’s problems to reengage students in their teaching or to provide individual learning pace for every student – a well shot video for a flipped classroom is simply not enough. The teacher still has to worry whether his/her students watch the videos since the chances that students skip to watch the videos who did not do their homework in a traditional model are rather high. Also learning new content all on your own can be a really tough challenge for students and the “Inverted Classroom” has to be really well elaborate to achieve its high set standards. In conclusion, the “Inverted Classroom Model” literally flips the framework of teaching, but it still needs well trained teachers who spend time and effort to establish  lessons, in which you can embed this model for a successful learning experience.