Flipped Learning At A Glance

I have been private tuitioning for more than two decades now, and almost every time I’ve heard of these two from the parents; I hated maths when I was a student, and what my child studies in maths is quite different from what I studied.

While the first one is common, the second one is not so rare, too. Maths education has shifted significantly since, hence there is a huge gap among parents and their kids on this aspect. When parents cannot be of any help to their kids in their homework, they summon a private tutor.

Flipped Learning can change this vicious circle, as it offers a big shift regarding students’ work load. In the traditional way, the way you were taught and your kids are currently being taught, is that

  1. Teacher delivers the content in the class.

  2. Teacher sets homework.

  3. Students try to do homework at home.

The flaws of this system are;

  1. Teacher delivers the content only once; in the class. After the lesson, students have limited access to teacher to ask questions.

  2. The homework set may be slightly, or most of the time significantly, harder than the classwork.

  3. Without guidance and support, students experience failure and they grow negativity towards the subject and, even worse, towards themselves.

Flipped Learning suggests the delivery of basic information + skills shifted to home as homework and application + analysis of information shifted to class as classwork under teacher’s guidance. And the means of delivery of content at home is basically videos; students can learn basic information and skills by watching videos and answering questions to consolidate learning.

This is easier said than done, however once all the preparations are made by teacher / school, there is no need for a private tutor under normal circumstances. There are schools that completely switched to this model and the positive effects to students’ learning is quite significant. One particular positive change is that, as teacher is not the sole source of information, s/he can allocate more one-to-one time with students and adjust his/her support better according to their needs.

I implemented Flipped Learning when I was working in the Middle East with my top sets. With the core sets, I went with a blended learning; I used videos during class time. In both ways, most of the students enjoyed it because

  1. videos helped them control their pace of learning; they could pause / rewind videos, or watch it over and over again. Fast-pacers could be able to advance without getting bored while their peers were ‘getting there’.

  2. videos helped them revise the content before the assessment; they could have the videos ‘explain’ the content like a private tutor.

  3. the higher level “hard” content was for the class, hence there was no frustration at home.

  4. they enjoyed my more personal supportive approach to their struggle with the content.

Flipped Learning is not just another educational approach, it is a meta-approach that supports all other educational approaches. Its benefits are not merely for students; with a little bit more support on assessment, Flipped Learning may reduce teachers’ traditional workload significantly, hence allowing them to spend more time on students’ progress. It is huge work until complete, but it is just about rectification of the system. I believe companies will emerge that will work on this and offer teachers / schools a complete pack in every subject, together with videos for homework and higher order activities for classwork within a few years’ time.

One thing is for sure; within ten years, computer illiterate teachers will be either transformed to computer literate or wiped out of the business, regardless of their experience and age.

#student #teacher #maths #video #flipped #learning

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