Flip out?

To flip or not to flip….that is the question?

This question seems to regularly appear on discussion forums and it’s interesting to hear other instructors opinions on whether to change to a flipped classroom or not? It seems to always come back to students coming to class unprepared and instructors spending 20-30 minutes at the beginning of the class doing a review. This seems to defeat the purpose of the flipped classroom.

This article http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/blended-flipped-learning/ready-to-flip-three-ways-to-hold-students-accountable-for-pre-class-work/  provides a few examples of how to help your students arrive prepared.

Flipping a classroom requires organization and initially much more work for the instructor. I think it’s going to take time for students to adjust to this new instructional method. Students are used to coming to class unprepared and sitting while we teach them and they’re making it through the courses. If we truly want to flip our classrooms, this is going to take some communication with our students as to the expectations that are required of them when out of class. Spending the first 20-30 mins of each class reviewing something that they should have reviewed the evening before, is not a productive use of class time. It seems to be the common concern whether students will come to class prepared or not? If students are committed to this flipped classroom, then they have to do their part as well. Unprepared students causes stress for instructors and other prepared students.

Here’s a good article on “Five Ways to Motivate Unprepared Students in the Flipped Classroom” . It offers several ways to help instructors motivate their students to come to class prepared for the day. I especially like the “set up a corner” strategy because it can be discouraging for students that actually did prepare to have to sit through a review for those that were not prepared. I feel that students will require time to adapt to this new instructional method and possibly beginning with a hybrid version at first will allow instructors time to assess each individual class.


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