With technological modernisation, new ideas and concepts are being developed for effortless learning of various subjects, so as to help students better grasp the content. These new methods are becoming feasible because of unprecedented access to computer/laptop/tablet and internet connection. One of the new models that have come to light in regard with student centred approach is the model of a “flipped classroom”, also known as the Thayer Method.

This idea imbibes a pedagogical model where the standard lecture and homework elements that consist any given course are reversed. Essentially, this concept reverses the education process which has been employed for decades, primarily consisting of first lecture and then homework. Here the student takes a short lecture regarding his subject at home via live podcast or a pre-recorded video by the lecturer while in-class time is designated towards understanding the practical aspect of the subject. The main goal here being enhancing student’s learning capability and knowledge of the subject and focusing class time on the students rather than lecturing. There is no particular method for the flipped classroom approach. Basically, this term applies to almost any class structure that offers pre-recorded lectures followed by exercises in class.

Elements of Learning Module

The process of the flipped classroom starts with the students viewing the video of a certain lecture. Following which, they take a short online quiz that provides immediate feedback and helps them identify the important points. These quizzes are highly beneficial as the students can identify and form the doubts they have with understanding the content of the topic. During the interactive class, the students come prepared with the topic and the Professor answers questions asked by them, clearing confusions. The students can always brainstorm ideas and start discussions on the said topic. Later at the time of the lecture, the class turns into a workshop where the students participate in projects and activities designed by the Professor to better explain the workings and to test their application knowledge in the said field.

The process mechanism of flipped classroom

The key benefits of this approach for the students are that they can effectively schedule their time towards different subjects according to their convenience, take their own pace to go through the topic and even rewind important parts of the lecture, they can replay it during exam preparations, they can shed the homework load and also not have to be physically present while the class takes place unlike in the traditional setup.
While the major advantages for the teachers are that they don’t have to be physically present all the time and can dedicate their time towards other things, they are relieved from the headache of setting, checking and grading homework, they don’t have to provide extra classes for students, and they are more available for one-on-one interactions and clearing doubts. This approach works best when students can access multiple videos by different Professors on the same topic; this enhances their knowledge and they can select which Professor’s style of teaching they are more adaptable to. The only drawback to this concept of teaching is the unavailability of computer/laptop/tablet and internet connection, which can be observed in the low-income groups and putting the responsibility of learning on the students by trusting them to watch the video prior to class, which cannot be guaranteed.
It is a vastly dynamic concept that creates maximum convenience for the students as well as the Professors. Devoting time for application of their learning helps teachers to detect errors in student’s thinking while collaborative efforts from students increase their social interactions and reduces peer pressure. Despite the shortcomings, this approach has the ability to be greatly effective for all students and the learning curve can be mitigated by the gradual introduction of the layers of the model. In near future, I won’t be surprised if we find flipped classroom being adopted by L&D function as one of the mandatory initiative while conducting their learning programmes.

About the Author
Amol Shinde
  • By Amol Shinde

Amol is a business man in the heart and an entrepreneur by nature. Great motivation and an excellent team management skills make him the best choice for its customers and employees. He is also a father and a loving husband, who loves to spend the weekend exploring new recipes in the kitchen.