Although flipped teaching design has been around for years, the term ‘flipped teaching’ was only coined slightly over a decade ago, mainly when Salman Khan used this teaching method to his cousins over the internet that subsequently gained attention. Advancements in educational technology must be given credit for the origin of this new term as well.
About a decade ago, I started using flipped teaching, but the terms ‘synchronous’ and ‘asynchronous’ were not associated with it at that time. About four years ago, in one of the conferences, I was introduced to synchronous online teaching for the first time. Since I also teach an online class without flipped instruction, I tried to modify my asynchronous online course to a synchronous one but had difficulty doing so. The students in my online class worked full time, and there was not a single common time convenient for the entire class.
My flipped teaching design has been steadily evolving since I first started using it (Figure 1). Briefly, there are two significant components of this teaching method- the pre-class and the in-class. The flipped teaching’s pre-class portion is where students first explore new course content in their personal space and time. In-class time is deliberately designed around student engagement and inquiry, allowing students to apply and elaborate on course concepts (DeLozier & Rhodes, 2017; Jensen, Kummer, & Godoy, 2015). In-class sessions typically entail collaborative active learning strategies. My fascination for the retrieval exercise in facilitating learning (Dobson, Linderholm, & Stroud, 2019) led to its blending in conjunction with flipped teaching (Figure 1). There are challenges with this contemporary teaching method. One of them is student buy-in. Yet another one is student motivation. However, I have developed strategies that have helped overcome these challenges.
Figure 1. Flipped Teaching to Remote Flipped Teaching
COVID-19 was the unexpected challenge every instructor had to face in 2020. Since COVID 19, the original flipped teaching design had to be revised to shift to remote teaching. One advantage for those using flipped teaching was the use of the pre-class portion that was already available. The term ‘pre-class’ suddenly became synonymous with the ‘asynchronous’ part of online instruction. The in-class activities would now be referred to as the ‘synchronous’ sessions. Although some modifications had to be made for the in-class or synchronous portion of the flipped teaching, such as the Zoom’s breakout rooms for group work and a clicker activity for the in-class individual assessments, the in-class content that was already prepared was reusable. Thus, evolved a new form of flipped teaching called remote flipped teaching (Figure 1). It must be noted that flipped teaching must have some form of synchronous time with the students. Otherwise, it would simply be referred to as an online course. The remote flipped classroom is where students engage with course content in an online platform prior to attending a virtual face-to-face course session. Pairing flipped classroom pedagogy, in which students engage with content independently before a synchronous class, with online learning objects intentionally designed to promote independent learning, helps build a strong foundation (Humrickhouse, 2021).
DeLozier, S. J., & Rhodes, M. G. (2017). Flipped classrooms: a review of key ideas and recommendations for practice. Educational Psychology Review, 29(1), 141-151.
Dobson, J. L., Linderholm, T., & Stroud, L. (2019). Retrieval practice and judgements of learning enhance transfer of physiology information. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 24(3), 525-537.
Humrickhouse, E. (2021). Flipped classroom pedagogy in an online learning environment: A self-regulated introduction to information literacy threshold concepts. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 47(2), 102327.
Jensen, J. L., Kummer, T. A., & Godoy, P. D. D. M. (2015). Improvements from a flipped classroom may simply be the fruits of active learning. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 14(1), ar5.