The concept of the Flipped Classroom, or Inverted Classroom, involves reversing the traditional teaching-learning approach by shifting the knowledge transfer phase (phase 1) to independent, self-paced learning before the actual course, and focusing on practice and consolidation (phase 2) during in-person sessions with the teacher utilizing cases, experiments, discussions, or questions.
By adopting this methodology, students can familiarize themselves with the course content at their own pace before the lecture, through individual self-study. This can be facilitated using comprehensive eLearning resources such as reading materials, multiple-choice questions, and videos. During the lecture, the acquired knowledge is then applied and practiced collaboratively with the lecturer, allowing for a deeper understanding of the new learning materials, the discussion of questions and more time to address specific queries.
This approach offers a variety of benefits, including increased student engagement and more effective learning outcomes as demonstrated in the following studies.
In their research, Gilboy et al. (2015) describe the Flipped Classroom from the students' perspective. They show that a majority of students consider the approach to be positive. Points such as that knowledge can be acquired at a student's own pace and that this knowledge can be directly applied in class are seen as beneficial. However, Gilboy et al. (2015) point out that it is essential to explain to students the purpose and desired effect of the Flipped Classroom. In this way, students can best engage with this new approach and understand why their learning will be most successful if they become familiar with the material prior to the class.
Zainuddin and Halili (2016) also note numerous positive aspects of this form of teaching in their research. By working through the lecture material before class, students feel more confident during class interactions, which in turn increases their motivation and leads to improved overall performance.
Lage et al. (2000) emphasize additionally the need to consider the different learning styles of students and the variety of teaching styles of instructors. They point out that the match between the lecturer's teaching style and the student's learning style is crucial for an optimal learning experience. With the Flipped Classroom approach, the lecturer takes into account a variety of different learning styles. This creates an inclusive learning environment and fosters greater student understanding. Please see UZH Teaching Tools for more information on the alignment between lecturers and students as well as the Flippeed Classroom concept.
Scenario Description with KlickerUZH
You are a lecturer and wish to have a stronger interaction with your students during the lecture rather than doing frontal teaching. One way of achieving this is to implement the Flipped Classroom design by using cases, experiments, discussions or questions within the KlickerUZH during the lecture.
You can prepare and implement various questions and survey questions into the KlickerUZH. These can be activated during the lecture for students to answer, enabling them to apply their previously acquired knowledge. Additionally, this allows you as the lecturer to identify any open questions or areas of confusion based on the results. Furthermore, the KlickerUZH platform can be used by students to ask questions about the material they prepared beforehand, providing an alternative to asking questions in person. The lecturer can then directly respond to these questions. For more information on student questions during lectures, have a look at our use case on Live Q&A.
After its beta release in spring 2023, KlickerUZH has been evaluated in Flipped Classroom sessions in the ETH lecture “Netzwerke und Schaltungen II”. Each session consisted of experiments and 10 to 15 KlickerUZH questions which were used to evaluate the comprehension of self-learning materials, as well as to explain and discuss the studied topics more in-depth. Some of the most important learnings regarding the setup of Flipped Classroom sessions with the KlickerUZH based on this evaluation are the following:
- Preparation of the student: It is crucial for students to engage in self-learning and familiarize themselves with the learning materials before attending the lecture to maximize their takeaway from the session.
- Self-selection: There can be a high effect of self-selection, especially if classroom sessions are optional, meaning that students do not show up for sessions if they are not prepared. Vice versa, students attending class tend to be motivated to discuss the materials.
- Time consumption in the lecture: Each question being polled throughout the session requires a sufficient time slot to be appropriately polled and discussed. A good question can lead to 5 to 10 minutes of discussion, depending on the scope of the problem being asked.
- Pre-lecture time consumption: The lecturer needs time to create and implement the questions in KlickerUZH before the lecture. "Good things take time" also applies here. Even experienced authors typically anticipate spending an average of one hour to produce a single multiple-choice question in exam quality (Krebs, 2004). This time is necessary to carefully consider the formulation of the question, select the answer options precisely, and avoid potential pitfalls. This conscientious approach ensures that the questions align with the desired learning outcomes and provide students with an appropriate level of challenge.
- Room for discussion: Questions used in the quiz should be designed such that they leave enough room for discussion and further explanation.
- Grading: It could be an option to make participation in sessions and/or passing of quizzes before or during sessions mandatory or part of the grade. However, this could also negatively influence the openness of the discussions. Mi
- Gain time to explore content in greater depth.
- Promote application and enable students to apply and practice the knowledge they have gained through their self-study, allowing for a more hands-on learning experience.
- Promote individual learning styles.
- Provide timely feedback and help students understand where they stand and address any concerns they may have.
- Foster stronger interaction between the lecturer and students during the lecture and encourage active participation.