5 researcher-created tips for helping students adapt to flipped classrooms

Gary FalconBlended Learning

In previous blogs, we talked about the different types of blended learning scenarios you can use in your school, including flipped classrooms, or flipped learning. With flipped learning, students have pre-lesson activities to do at home – reading or watching videos to prepare. This allows teachers to use class time for projects, activities, and assisting students one-on-one with difficult concepts, rather than lecturing.

Much research is currently being done on the idea of flipped classrooms because it is a relatively new approach in K-12 education. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong recently came up with several recommendations for schools thinking of trying out this method of instruction, based on reviewing dozens of studies of other schools.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the recommendations for addressing student-related challenges. Come back next week to read about recommendations for faculty and operational challenges.

  • Open up teacher-student communication – Researchers found that many of the student challenges when making the transition to a flipped classroom came from students not understanding the reasons for the change or how to comfortably transition. By being upfront about how the new classroom activities work, and what student expectations are, faculty can make the experience easier for students and ensure the transition is more successful.
  • Demonstrate how to learn through flipped classrooms – Even advanced students who typically succeeded in their classes could have a difficult time with taking responsibility for the preparation parts of the lessons. Many students are accustomed to having direct instruction via lecturing so having to read and watch videos and pick out the important information can be difficult. The researchers recommended guiding students with guided notes, clear instructions, and assistance during group learning activities.
  • Create interesting videos using cognitive theory – Researchers noted that students complained about videos being impersonal or boring, which made it difficult to prepare for class. They recommend using established multimedia design principles to help with this, such as keeping videos to less than 6 minutes, speaking in a conversational manner, and using Powerpoint or other visual aids.
  • Retain the workload when flipping the classroom – Students complained that they had greatly increased amounts of homework to complete when their classrooms were flipped because much of the lesson preparation needed to be completed at home. Researchers suggest keeping the same at-home work time requirements so students are not inundated with reading and note taking.
  • Providing students with a communication platform outside of the classroom – One of students’ biggest concerns was that, when reading and watching videos at home to prepare for class, there was no way to ask questions or otherwise communicate with the teacher or classmates. This is crucial, the researchers noted. Hint: a learning management system would provide this for your school!

Keep these five tips in mind when flipping your classroom, and your students will thank you for it!

Thinking about an LMS to help flip your school or classroom, but not sure what features you might want or need? Download our checklist to see if an LMS or some other student management system is right for you. Please download your checklist.