Jan 30, 2015 0

FLIP Classrooms- What the Flippin’ Heck is That?

Imagine not having to sit through a boring lecture for hours. Imagine having computer system in front of you in every class, helping you learn. Imagine being allowed to talk in class, to discuss and argue over concepts learned with your classmates and peers. That’s what happens in FLIP learning or in a flipped classroom.

What exactly is FLIP Classroom?

Flipped classrooms are basically a model of blended learning that is the exact opposite of the traditional model of learning. Students take lessons and instructions online at home, and in class, they solve problem sets, interact with the teacher, and create and present projects on concepts covered.

This model ensures that teachers can provide more attention to students, stimulate a better understanding of subjects and a more student participation in class, than the traditional lecture model. Besides, who wouldn’t want a model where you don’t have to sit through a dull 45-minute lecture? Flipped classrooms ensure that you are fully engaged in class, and not sleeping through it.

Flipped classrooms v/s Traditional classrooms: which is better?

Flipped classrooms in India

Flipped classrooms were first introduced in India in Assam University, Indian School of Business and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. Flipped classrooms were originally designed for business schools, but are making in-roads into other school and college classrooms as well.

Flipped classrooms would certainly flourish in India, should it become the norm. It does, after all, allow students to watch video lectures, and watch them over again if they need to. Any doubts cropping up can be solved by the teachers in class the next day. The teachers, of course, would be taking on the role of a guide rather than the stern teacher who knows it all. Students won’t have to run around looking for good tuitions, and parents won’t have to waste money on extra coaching that doesn’t deliver. No more will students be left stumbling around blindly when they miss lessons due to illness or for that family function- they can catch up online.

The Flip Side of Flipped Classrooms

However, considering budget, electricity and internet issues, Flipped classrooms still have a long way to go. Furthermore, while there are plenty of teachers who are ready to take on new technology and make learning a better experience for students, there are plenty more teachers who are hesitant to embrace anything new.

Flipped learning also places a lot of responsibility on the student and parent. The student has to take the initiative to learn, and parents have to be better managers of recalcitrant learners. They also have to take be more open to discussing topics and concepts in class, work in groups and to better manage their time. Perhaps this is why flipped classrooms are being seen more in business schools, where students are adults, keen to learn and ready to take on the responsibility of doing so.

But considering the interest being shown in introducing new and better teaching models in classrooms in India, perhaps there is hope yet for Flipped classrooms to become the norm.

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