Overview: The Whys and How of Flipped Learning

Overview: The Whys and How of Flipped Learning

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2984-2.ch001


This chapter provides an overview of why flipped learning should be considered and how it can be implemented to yield amazing results. It begins by defining “flipped” as it will be used throughout this book. It then outlines the benefits that students, teachers, and administrators have derived from using the material presented in this book. In particular, it describes how flipped learning develops student leadership abilities that will serve them well throughout their personal and professional lives. The second part of the chapter provides an overview of the book, including a preview of flipped learning principles that were extended to produce measurable results and a description of the metric used to define the results of flipped learning. The Theory of Transactional Distances will be introduced as the theoretical underpinning of the methodology used to measure the results. Finally, flipped learning (as used in this book) will consist of a continual cycling through four steps: 1) Planning the syllabus; 2) Teaching the course; 3) Measuring results; and 4) Developing improvement alternatives based on the results.
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Flipped Learning Defined

Flipped learning, also referred to as the flipped classroom, is one of the “hottest” topics in educational circles as evidenced by the numerous titles that come up when using the term in any search engine. Because it holds the promise of reducing cost while increasing quality, flipped learning has been touted as the way that education will change by numerous authorities, including Jeff Selingo (2013).

In this book, Bishop and Verleger’s (2013) definition of flipped learning will be used. They define flipped learning as an educational technique that consists of two parts: interactive group learning activities inside the classroom, and direct computer-based individual instruction outside the classroom. Figure 1 illustrates flipped learning. Flipping refers to exchanging the traditional activities that take place inside and outside the classroom. In the traditional learning model, information is transferred to the student by the instructor in a f2f mode and students are assigned homework so that they can internalize and apply the information gained in class. In the flipped learning model, the lecture is put on media, typically a video, and students are assigned to view the video as homework. The in-class time is then used for students to engage in interactive group learning (IGL) activities to internalize and apply the information from the videos while collaborating with their classmates and the instructor as a resource. While this is a new way for students to learn, it also requires that instructors abandon their traditional role of being the “sage on stage” and become learning, or cognitive, coaches and consultants to student teams engaged in IGL activities. Thus, the instructor literally becomes the “guide by the side” providing just-in-time (JIT) learning at the time the need for additional knowledge is felt by the learner (Bolton, 1999; Novak et al., 1999).

Figure 1.

Flipped learning

Flipped learning is not merely a reallocation of some content of a traditional class to be delivered online, nor is it the reallocation of some content of an online class to be delivered face to face. It is a new way of hierarchical learning that allows learners to learn what they can on their own and seek assistance to learn what they cannot learn on their own from team members in class during interactive group learning. It makes the instructor available to deliver just–in-time learning in the form of individual consulting when the team is unable to provide the required assistance.

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