A decade in, flipped learning maintains its momentum
- It's been 10 years since flipped learning was pioneered by two Colorado chemistry teachers, and the model has now evolved to include its own conference, a slew of tech platforms, and even more proponents in dozens of countries worldwide, as EdSurge reports.
- Jon Bergmann, one of the two pioneering teachers, suggests that educators think of flipped learning as an "operating system" for active learning, and project-based, inquiry or mastery learning as the apps.
- Aaron Sams, flipped learning's other pioneer, notes that the model is more about how class time is used than about the use of video — and Salman Khan, whose Khan Academy has benefited greatly from the popularity of the flipped model, notes that human interaction is still superior to video-based instruction, but that video can reinforce concepts via "micro-explanation" when students need it.
While the flipped learning model has proven beneficial since its introduction, it has also raised a number of questions about the additional time required of educators who are already stretched thin and — in many cases — underpaid due to the realities of a variety of funding concerns.
At the higher ed level, Bay Path University Associate Professor of Biology Thomas Mennella has detailed how his adoption of flipped learning led to burnout as a result of the additional time required to grade the increased number of assignments, in addition to the amount of extra time needed to interact with students. In many cases, adopting more active learning models will require schools and districts to offer new professional development opportunities that help educators adjust their pedagogical approaches to avoid burnout.
And they'll also need to rethink class sizes, the need for teaching assistants, and compensation. Mennella noted, for example, that 86 students on a four-assignment-per-week workload would necessitate grading 344 weekly assignments at a total of 3,784 per semester. One way this could potentially be mitigated would be via more long-term, project-based assignments.
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