The results on flipped learning are in. And regardless of who you ask, the response you will most likely get is an overwhelmingly positive endorsement of this time-shifted approach to classroom instruction and learning. This finding results from Speak Up 2013 National Research Project Findings: A second year review of flipped learning, a white paper recently released by Project Tomorrow in conjunction with the Flipped Learning Network.
In the fall of 2013, over 403,000 students, parents, teachers, and administrators were administered the 11th annual Speak Up online surveys asking them questions about their feelings on flipped learning and the use of videos in the classroom. The general consensus among all groups of participants is that flipped learning can be a valuable and innovative instructional strategy.
Among those district administrators surveyed, one-quarter identified flipped learning as “already having a significant impact on transforming teaching and learning in their district.” Somewhat surprising, this group found that the effects of flipped learning surpassed other instructional trends including “educational games and mobile apps [as well as] online professional learning communities for teachers and administrators.”
While secondary math and science classrooms seem to serve as the most popular environments for flipped learning to occur in, according to the project’s findings, “an additional 15 percent of teachers and 40 percent of administrators said they were interested in ‘trying flipped learning’ this year in their classrooms and schools.” Of note is participants’ desires to flip instruction correctly. Those surveyed acknowledged that “they need more training to do this effectively.”
Certain considerations seem to keep some educators from flipping their classrooms, however. Among those which survey participants agreed on are concerns that “students might not have ‘[Internet] access at home,’ [teachers need] instruction on how to ‘make’ or ‘find high quality videos,’ and how [educators can] ‘best utilize’ the additional classroom time.” Nevertheless, an overall drop in concerns from last year’s report allude to an increasing acceptance of flipped learning as a viable alternative to traditional teaching methods.
Regarding current use of digital content in the classroom, “46 percent of teachers said that they are currently using videos that they find online within their classroom instruction, and 16 percent say that they are regularly creating videos of their lessons or lectures for students to watch.”
While a comprehensive approach to flipped learning requires more than simply delivering instruction through video, that educators are open to utilizing classroom time for deeper learning as opposed to instructional delivery is promising, especially if you ask surveyed students their opinions on the matter.
Of the more than 180,000 middle and high school students who shared their thoughts in the Speak Up 2013 surveys, “almost three-quarters of these students agree that flipped learning would be a good way for them to learn, with 32 percent of those students strongly agreeing with that idea.”
According to Speak Up data previously documented with other emerging digital learning trends, “the student interest in new classroom models often precedes teacher or even administrator interest or exploration.” In other words, “today’s students in many ways serve as a digital advance team for educators.”
The insights of the Speak Up 2013 surveys even have administrators looking at pre-service teaching programs as well. 41 percent of the school principals surveyed agreed that “pre-service teachers should learn how to set up a flipped learning class model.”
Though flipped learning is still in its infancy, there is no denying that it already has forward-thinking educators reconsidering how instruction should be delivered and what classroom time with students should ultimately be used for. As the Speak Up findings report, “The flipped learning model is gaining the attention of educators who are interested in improving student achievement and teacher effectiveness by leveraging digital tools to enable innovation.”
Have you flipped your classroom yet? If so, what has worked for you? Both Project Tomorrow and the Flipped Learning Network are excited to continue researching the flipped learning model and finding ways to support educators and administrators as they investigate this innovative learning approach in their schools and classrooms too.