5 Ways to Create an Effective Flipped Classroom for Your Students

Diomedes Gonzalez
PD Specialist
News on February 08 2021

5 Ways to Create an Effective Flipped Classroom for Your Students

It has been almost a year now since teachers had to abruptly transition from their regular routine of teaching in the classroom to teaching remotely. It was a drastic transition that no one was truly prepared for. It created lots of frustration and anxiety, and for those students that lacked reliable technology, it prevented them from learning! The sudden transition forced educators to quickly adapt to new ways of teaching while also having to quickly learn how to use several online platforms, sometimes in as little as three days. And without a clear understanding of when all students and teachers will be able to return to the classroom, many will continue to rely on technology to continue their education.

So, how do we take what students are already comfortable with (technology) and use it to facilitate an effective online learning experience? The answer: the flipped classroom blended learning model.

The flipped classroom model “flips” the traditional relationship between class time and homework. How does it work? Students learn at home via online coursework or pre-recorded lessons, and teachers use class time (virtually) for teacher-guided practice or projects. An effective use of the flipped classroom, or any form of blended learning, should support teachers in their instruction — not replace them. When used effectively, a flipped classroom should create more time for teachers to work with students.

Below are five things to consider as you create an effective online learning experience for you and your students.

1. Set clear goals and expectations

Our primary goal is to ensure that students are being productive with technology, not just consuming it. For that reason, it’s important to set clear expectations around the goals and objectives of your flipped classroom. Let your students know why they are doing what they’re doing. When the “why” is clear, it creates an opportunity for everyone to continue to grow, despite the challenges that arise. This is an experience that Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of Dreambox, refers to as productive struggle.

2. Set the right pace

The pacing of your instructional time should be different online than it is in the classroom, precisely because it’s a different learning experience. When thinking about pacing, be sure to consider language and communication. Using clear and precise language will help ensure we are using our on-screen time effectively. Also consider preparation. Think about what is essential for the lesson, since time is our most valuable asset and we need to use it wisely. Pacing can also determine how engaged our students will be with the material.

3. Identify your resources

The Internet offers plenty of great resources to help meet our needs. Name your challenge, and you can be sure there are tons of resources to help. However, our third tip is about identification of those resources. This means we need to identify which resources are truly in alignment with the goals we are looking to accomplish, and then stick to those. Less is truly more in this case, and it’s also a benefit to teachers who already have plenty on their plates.

4. Allow all student voices to be heard

Let’s be honest — student engagement is one of our biggest challenges. Remote learning can be an effective tool, but it is difficult to replace the learning experience of being in the classroom. With that in mind, we need to create elements that allow for all student voices to be heard. Use polling features to get student feedback on a lesson, clarify next steps, choose a class pet — anything! You can also provide other features that are common across social media sites such as the use of thumbs up or down, emojis, or even hashtags.

5. Celebrate student progress

When flipping the classroom, the best thing we can do for our students is to acknowledge all of their hard work and progress. Acknowledge student achievements by giving them digital certificates, stickers, or any other form of positive reinforcement. If applicable and accepted by your school (and with parent permission), celebrate students by posting their wins on social media. The key here is to celebrate them for their efforts, commitment, dedication, and progress — not just how well they do on a test.

Bringing it all together

The flipped classroom can be an effective blended learning model to consider during remote learning. Clear expectations, pacing, identifying your resources, magnifying student voice, and celebrating progress are five things that will contribute to the overall success of an online learning environment.

For more on this topic join me on March 17th, 2021 as I will be presenting at this year’s DO Ed Tech Conference (Session II).

Supporting content and resources

Our PD platform, OTIS for educators offers plenty of great resources that can support your instruction both online and in the classroom. See below for a list of complementary OTIS courses that are relevant to the topic covered in this blog post.

  • Remote Learning: Things To Consider
  • Best Practices for Parents: Learning from Home
  • Creating Student Voice with Flipgrid
  • Manipulatives for Anywhere Learning
  • Just Flip It!

  • For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, you can also check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.