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Flipped Classroom, Anyone?

Before September 5, Teacher’s Day comes into focus, we are having a look at one of the most interesting concepts of online learning which can be adapted in education. It is called flipped classroom approach. 

Flipped classroom is an education method where the lecture and assignment  elements of a course are reversed. Instead of delivering long monotonous lectures, during which scholars normally move on to their own web of thoughts, lecturers focus on keeping the classroom activities engaging and keeping scholars active during face to face learning time. Scholars go through video lectures and course content before any classroom session at their home and then work on its comprehension and discussions in the lecture time. There is no single model for the flipped classroom—the term is widely used to describe almost any class structure that provides pre recorded lectures followed by in-class exercises

These video lectures are properly formatted keeping in mind the need of the curriculum and information to be delivered to the scholars with the help of trained lecturers. The criterion on which this model is based on is active learning, engagement, hybrid course design and course podcasting. The value of a flipped class is in the repurposing of class time into a workshop where scholars can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying knowledge, and interact with one another in hands-on activities. During lecture sessions, instructors function as coaches or advisors, encouraging students in individual inquiry and collaborative effort. 

In traditional classroom lectures, scholars are often forced to grasp each and every word as soon as the instructor says it. They can hardly make out time to process the information and reflect upon it as the lecture goes on and on. Very often scholars doze off to a whole different world of imagination and also end up missing a lot of significant information as they try to decode the meaning of certain words and terms that the speaker just said. However when it comes to video lectures and other pre-recorded media meant to deliver course information to students, they can watch it at their own pace, pause, rewind, fast forward, listen to it over and over again and make notes as per their convenience. This ability may be of particular value to scholars with accessibility concerns, especially where captions are provided for those with hearing impairments. Lectures that can be viewed more than once may also help those for whom English is not their first language. Devoting lecture time to application of concepts gives lecturers a better opportunity to detect errors in thinking, particularly those that are common. At the same time, collaborative projects can encourage social interaction among scholars, making it easier for them to learn from one another and for those of varying skill levels to support their peers. 

The flipped classroom constitutes a role change for instructors, who give up their front-of-the-class position in favor of a more collaborative and cooperative contribution to the teaching process. The flipped model puts more of the responsibility for learning on the shoulders of students while giving them greater impetus to experiment. Because this approach represents a comprehensive change in the class dynamic, some instructors have chosen to implement only a few elements of the flipped model or to flip only a few selected class sessions during a term. 

With the educational institutes grappling with the complexity of online learning, it becomes important that it be  infused with a few elements of the flipped classroom technique. They should have several projects and assignments in this method. As the young learners get used to this method and become comfortable, more elements of the flipped method can be added gradually, making the reason to attend these classrooms all the more fun.

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