The flipped classroom is a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures first, then the in-class time is dedicated to more active learning activities. The instructor can then interact with the student and provide feedback on student learning. So, the learning is "flipped" because the lecture (shortened and on video) is presented first outside the classroom and then the student's active learning activities follow.
Flipped Learning (or, the Flipped Classroom)
The wildly successful Khan Academy has started a movement that is changing the way we educate.
The idea was very simple: What if we made short videos explaining difficult concepts for learners to study?
...We could present them on the web.
Many thousands of video shorts later, we are starting to understand some of the power of the approach.
The important thing is not really the video, but what the video allows us to do. Many educators have been experimenting with the flipped classroom. Rather than use the traditional approach of the student studying and practicing before class, then listening to a lecture; the idea in the flipped classroom is to present the lecture up front--on the web prior to the class period, and have the class time devoted to discussion, application, practice, and personal feedback.
But we have to be thoughtful in our approach. Change isn't good just because it is change. Putting videos of lectures on the web is not better... What if the lectures were boring in the first place? Or, more to the point, what if the lectures should be edited and shortened? What if--instead of one hour long lecture on video--we divided the lectures up by their key sections and presented a 60 minute lecture as six 10-minute videos?
And if we do that, how should we best use the in-class time? In team-based learning? Practicing? This is a newish area in education, and while the early research is very promising, there is a lot of work we need to do in determining what works at EVMS with our people and our students. If you are interested in trying a flipped approach for the first time, call the instructional designers, they will come in and work with you to help you accomplish your objectives.
A "Best-Practice" Pattern for the Flipped Classroom might look like this:
1. Prepare SHORT videos (optimally 5-7 minutes long) addressing key objectives.
2. These short videos are edited so that they present concepts clearly and potently.
3. Practice or application exercises are designed for use in-class and out of class.
4. Students view the videos prior to coming to class and take notes on them.
5. At the beginning of class, students participate in some sort of activity that has them use or apply the video content. This is an excellent time to have either a team-based activity, or use clicker questions.
6. Have the class devoted to team-based problem solving tasks.
7. Tie the activities directly to key learning objectives that will be seen on later assessments.
Great Resource Links
On flipped learning in medical education: http://go.nmc.org/flip
On the Khan Academy/Stanford Medical partnership: http://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/stanford-medicine