Flipped classrooms coming to college campuses near you

A number of universities in the state of Washington and across North America are increasingly embracing the flipped classroom model.

For years, one of the hottest and most talked about trends in education has been the flipped classroom management model. In this type of setting, students use a home or classroom computer to view lectures and source materials at home. Then, instead of receiving direct instruction from teachers during the day, school time is devoted to completing homework assignments.

Forbes reported that one of the benefits of this paradigm is that it leverages new technologies that students are already familiar with. In addition, it enables students to learn at their own pace, and teachers are better able to provide one-on-one attention to pupils during classroom time if necessary. Classroom software can also track student progress and let the teacher know if pupils did not watch a particular lecture.

College-level flipped classrooms
Previously, this trend was limited almost exclusively to primary education settings. However, The Seattle Times reported earlier this month that a number of universities in the state of Washington and across North America are increasingly embracing the flipped classroom model.

“Some are seizing on a relatively recent idea: ‘flipping’ the class, by turning a lecture or other basic materials into homework, and spending more class time in practice and problem-solving,” reporter Katherine Long wrote in a December Seattle Times article. “Other colleges are using the new tech toolbox to save money while reaching more students – a necessity in these days of steep budget cuts to higher education.”

In addition to all of the benefits brought up in the Forbes article, the piece in the Seattle Times said universities can expect some unique benefits from flipped classroom learning. For one, it saves on space previously devoted to lecture hall-based classes. For example, an introductory course can only have as many students enrolled in it as an auditorium can hold. With a flipped classroom, theoretically a limitless amount of people can learn from the same lecture material.

Another benefit, according to the news source, is that the flipped system is one of the best classroom management strategies for accommodating an increasingly mobile student body. Thanks in part to the rise of smartphones and tablets, today’s youth are more mobile than ever. Students nowadays have come to expect everything on demand, and the flipped classroom allows them to earn a higher degree on their own time.

Do you think the flipped classroom model is ideal for universities? Leave your comments below to let us know your thoughts on this trend!

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.