Many instructors reading this are probably familiar with the flipped classroom model. The overall idea is to reverse the common classroom structure. Instead of lecturing in class and having assignments take place outside class time, students watch a pre-recorded lecture and come to class prepared to engage in discussion, group work, and projects. According to the Flipped Learning Network (FLN), it may be defined as “a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual space” making the group space a “dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively…”
In a previous post, we discussed some of the advantages and challenges associated with a flipped classroom. A common barrier many teachers encounter is an unfamiliarity with creating the pre-class videos. Like any change in instruction, the shift may be time-intensive at first. Once implemented, however, a flipped classroom may result in less work, increased flexibility, and better communication. Of the 78% of teachers who have flipped a lesson, 96% would recommend it to a colleague.
Ready to try it out? There are numerous options available for creating your own videos. Consider the following to help determine what approach fits your needs.
- What tools do you have access to?
Are you a Mac user or PC user? What technology is provided by your educational institution — SmartBoard, tablet, lightboard, etc.?
- What are your goals?
Are you just wanting to record a lesson or two to give flipped learning a try, or are you ready to transition to a new classroom model?
- What’s your budget?
There are a number of free sources, as well as those with an annual or one-time fee. Check
out the Flipped Classroom Workshop’s article that discusses 8 free resources.
- What are some video-creating options?
Edutopia’s article, Flipped-Learning Toolkit: Let’s Talk Tech, offers examples of a series of recording options. Another great resource is a summary table of video creation tools on FlippedClass.com, which provides a list of various options along with their prices and features.
At the top of the list of popular flipped classroom resources is screen-casting, in which the instructor records the computer screen, audio, and, in some cases, the webcam view. A few examples include Screencast-O-Matic, SnagIt, and Office Mix. See this article from Digital Trends for their picks for “best” screen-casting tools.
There are a growing number of tablet apps that are geared towards flipped classroom instruction. One example is Educreations, which allows the instructor to record videos similar to those created using screen-casting tools.
Getting started with flipped learning does not necessarily require expensive tools. Video content can also be created with already available equipment. For example, many instructors who have a document camera in their classroom may be familiar with sharing information on a projector, but many of these devices may also be used to project information onto a computer with a USB cable. With this set-up, an instructor can use screen-casting software to record a lecture. Another cost-effective option is using the video camera on a smartphone, tablet, or other device to record content.
Read more from our collection on resources for Physics instructors!
Lecture videos are a key feature in flipped learning. Engaging, easy-to-watch content is the first step in students embracing a different learning structure. With flat, difficult-to-access videos, students are less likely to connect with the material and may be less prepared to fully engage in a flipped classroom. Choosing the right tool that fits your objectives, time, and available resources is an important part of the process.