Teaching Strategies: Blended Learning and Flipped Instruction
Blended learning refers to a teaching strategy that utilizes both face-to-face classroom meetings as well as technology-enhanced learning outside of the classroom. This strategy is also sometimes called hybrid learning (although hybrid learning is also sometimes thought of as a slightly different strategy.) One popular format for blended learning is the flipped instructional model (Tucker, 2012). One of the overarching goals of blended learning and flipped instruction is to give students the best elements of face-to-face instruction and self-paced and interactive online activities. The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed.
A departure from the more common transmittal model, flipped instruction is grounded in the constructivist model, which presents learning as an active, social process in which learners use existing knowledge and prior experiences to build an individual understanding of new material (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). As a means to integrate the constructivist model into their classrooms, teachers are now utilizing technology to implement a blended method that shifts lectures out of the classroom and onto the internet in order to free up class time for collaborative activities (Shimamoto, 2012). Instructors have determined that instructional videos were valuable in shifting the lower level of bloom’s taxonomy out of the class, which enables the class to spend more time at the upper end of the taxonomy, with tasks that ask students to apply, analyze, evaluate and create (Sams & Bergmann, 2013).
Typically speaking, having lectures available to students online and outside of class allows students a more self-paced approach to their learning. Students are free to re-watch and re-wind instructor lectures to ensure they are understanding key concepts. Additionally, as instructors make their lectures available online, a digital repository can be made available for students who are interested in further explanation, or review of concepts, all the while encouraging active learning and supporting 21st-century on-demand expectations.
Quick Start Guide – Flipping 101
Employing this strategy can be somewhat ambiguous, and may require careful planning in order to yield meaningful results, in fact, a whole section of this document is designated to exploring more about the best practices of this strategy – see our ‘On the Web’ section. Considering that, Instructional Design Services would like to provide some suggestions on how to begin to flip your class.
Plan Your Lesson
Flipping your instruction does not have to come all at once, in fact, we suggest starting with a lesson or two before determining if the strategy is right for your coursework and students. When examining your first lesson, consider the lesson objectives, and whether or not it lends itself to video instruction. If the lesson is conducive to this type of strategy, we suggest using materials that you have previously created. Old lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, etc. can be amended and revised for this purpose. This can be a daunting task, but it is imperative to the successful implementation of blended course content. In order to help you with your planning, we recommend that you use our Flipped Instruction Planning Template. This template helps you consider crucial planning elements for your flipped instruction. If you would prefer this document in another format (.docx or PDF), please contact Instructional Design Services.
This can happen in a variety of ways, however, for simplicity, Instructional Design Services offers a software solution for this called MediaSpace / Kaltura Capture. MediaSpace and Kaltura Capture are fully-supported lecture capture solutions provided for Faculty, Staff, and even Student use. This software allows you to record your lectures directly from your office, or anywhere else you might have access to your computer or laptop with a microphone and camera (commonly built-in).
- When recording your video, it is recommended that you have an outline, or guide for your lesson. This might be your PowerPoint slides or notes.
- Do not worry about creating or following a script, your students will appreciate the more conversational and lecture qualities of your recordings.
- Within the MediaSpace website, editing your video is possible. Typically, this is only used to trim the beginning and the end of your videos. Highly stylized video editing is not necessary, nor is it recommended.
Publish the Video
Once your lesson has been recorded, you will have to publish your video and find a way to make it available to your students. Instructional Design Services recommends that you try to find a web-hosted solution, such as MediaSpace for this step. Web-hosted videos are easily shared with students through web links that you can add to your D2L course. You can access your MediaSpace video list directly from D2L. An additional benefit of web-hosted video is that it is software agnostic, which means your students can view your materials without having to have special software. A modern and updated web browser is all that is required.
- In-Class Activities – Considering that you’ve now freed up class time that you may have otherwise spent on lectures, what will your classroom activities look like now? Common to this approach, class time can be spent on doing interactive, group-based labs, or activities. Benefits of this include:
- Students can receive instant feedback, and teachers have more time to help students and explain difficult concepts.
- Ease student frustrations when they have a hard time understanding a concept by revisiting ideas and working through those problems in class, collaboratively.
- Students who understand the concepts can assist others who are having difficulty.
This section outlines how you might begin to think about adopting the aforementioned teaching strategy and the tools you might consider employing.
- MediaSpace – MediaSpace/Kaltura Capture is our enterprise screen recording solution that we have available for all current faculty, staff, and students. This tool allows you to easily record and share presentations, lectures, meetings, and mobile videos from virtually anywhere. It is fully integrated with our statewide media management system, Kaltura, so it is trivial to record and post your lectures.
- HD Recording Studio – Instructional Design Services has a high-definition recording studio available for use by all faculty. The studio is outfitted with an HD camera, touch screen podium, and professional quality sound and lighting equipment. This is a great option for instructors who might not want to fuss around with their own technology. This studio is managed by a student worker, and thus, instructors need only to schedule a time, provide lecture slides in advance, and show up to make their lecture. The student worker coordinates with the instructor to determine any editing that might be needed. Once the recording and editing are complete, which typically has a 2-2-4-day turnaround, the student worker makes the video available to the instructor via their MediaSpace account, or by the video file.
- Zoom – By sharing your screen and your presentation, Zoom will capture audio, video, and your screen or any combination you are comfortable with. By “recording to the cloud”, Zoom will send your video directly to your Mediaspace account, making it easy to then pull it into D2L.
On the Web
Brown, J.S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18,32-42.
Sams, A., & Bergmann, J. (2013). Flip your students’ learning. Educational Leadership, 70(6), 16-20.
Shimamoto, D. (2012, April). Implementing a flipped classroom: An instructional module. TCC Conference.
Tucker, B. (2012) The flipped classroom. Education Next, 12 (1). Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/the-flipped-classroom/