Flipped learning – which requires pupils to engage with instructional content in their own time, before undertaking corresponding tasks in the classroom – is helping to deliver a more personalised learning experience for pupils.
However, the flipped classroom model is about much more than creating a few videos for pupils to watch at home. Rethinking the way teachers teach and pupils learn, a recent study found that 75% of teachers surveyed witnessed greater student engagement after implementing flipped learning in their classrooms.
But, while the benefits are compelling, implementing flipped learning is not without its challenges.
Four challenges of flipped learning
1. A lack of student discipline
For pupils who haven’t had any exposure to flipped learning, the less conventional setup can be a challenge. Students can struggle with self-discipline and may turn up to class without having absorbed the lesson; rendering the method pointless.
Teacher tip: When attempting to introduce the flipped classroom, it makes sense to start small, building student confidence with flipped tasks that let you practice and prepare for the bigger change. This softly-softly introduction gives pupils and teachers the chance to learn without becoming overwhelmed.
2. Lack of teaching resources
Content is vital to creating a successful flipped classroom. However, a new approach often requires fresh resources. With spare time the one thing few teachers have in excess, the thought of designing and creating new content can be enough to turn even the most enthusiastic of teachers off.
Content is vital to creating a successful flipped classroom.
Teacher tip: With many educators now creating and sharing resources online, teacher-authored content designed to support flipped learning could provide the answer.
3. Old-fashioned classrooms
The layout of the traditional classrooms is another obstacle to flipped learning. Collaboration, communication and creativity, are at the heart of this method, but fostering these skills is almost impossible with pupils inactive in rows of desks all day.
Teacher tip: With a little imagination, savvy teachers can implement a more flexible classroom with the minimum amount of fuss, resource, and disruption; boosting student engagement and helping pupils to learn more effectively.
4. Lack of equipment
Video conferencing technologies, screencasting tools, and cloud-based platforms that let teachers create and deliver lessons all help to create the flipped classroom. However with poor quality, faulty, and out of date ICT equipment one the main reasons for teachers not using technology in the classroom, this can be a barrier to success.
Likewise, flipped learning requires students to have access to the internet and a computer or mobile device at home. However, this isn’t always the case, and it’s important not to create a barrier for those students who don’t have the necessary tech.
Teacher tip: To get around this, teachers should put a back-up plan in place for all students, showing them what to do if the internet goes down or they don’t have access. This could include identifying safe learning spaces with wifi, offering a borrowing library of computer devices, and providing learning content on USB drives.