Commentary: Learning In A Flipped Classroom

Commentary: Learning In A Flipped Classroom

3:33pm Jun 10, 2016
Radio 101 commentator, Sophia Fitzgerald, talks about the advantages and drawbacks of flipped classrooms.
Lopa Shah

As Radio 101 commentator, Sophia Fitzgerald, gets older, her classes have become harder. Her chemistry class is one notable exception. That's because it's a flipped classroom.

In flipped classrooms, homework and classwork are reversed. Students watch twenty-minute videos of lectures at home. The next day, they work on homework problems in class. Solving chemistry problems is usually hard Sophia, but in her flipped classroom the teacher is available to give her individual attention.

Her chemistry teacher, Joshua Bragg, says the vast majority of students find flipped classrooms engaging. Sophia agrees, but it took her a while to get used to the reversal. She didn't want to take time from her busy schedule to watch the lecture video and was confused after watching it. Fortunately, when she got to class her teacher could help her with working on the next day's practice problems.

Bragg says there are some problems with flipped classrooms, though. He worries about students who don't consistently do work outside of class. "If you don't watch a video outside of class, then you're going to miss the content for the day. So students who don't do things at home are going to get behind pretty quickly," Bragg says.

The other drawback is that some students may not have Internet access to watch the online videos. Bragg tells Sophia there's an easy solution for that problem. He burns copies of the lectures onto DVDs. He even has a portable DVD player for students to use if they don't have one at home.

Sophia admits that watching the twenty-minute lectures can be a drag. But she still feels flipped classrooms are "priceless for students who have a hard time understanding complicated subjects like chemistry." She believes flipped classrooms help her succeed even in the hardest of classes.