Negative aspects of flipped classrooms.

I have been asked several times about any potential or actual negative aspects of creating flipped classrooms. There are several which could be deadly to your course if they are not accounted for. In this posting I will try to hit on a couple of the negatives of flipping your classroom. Keep in mind these can be overcome with careful planning.

The flipped classroom is a model that if it is not treated correctly could cause some significant problems. Although simple in design, an effective flipped classroom requires careful preparation. Recording lectures requires effort and time with careful consideration to the overall learning outcomes for the course. It is extremely important that your use of video is “on point”. The out-of-class and in-class elements must be carefully integrated for students to understand the concepts and be motivated to prepare for class. Students must be motivated to complete the out-of-class portions on their own and be prepared to integrate what they have learned with the in-class activities. As a result, introducing a flipped classroom can mean more up-front work and may require new skills for the instructor. Careful planning and rolling out course changes might help the instructor and the students orient to this new format.

On the student side some students, may miss the loss of face-to-face lectures, particularly if they have had many traditional courses and lack the experience with more student centered classroom.  Students with this experience may not appreciate the value of a more hands-on student centered approach of the flipped model. Students at at first may not appreciate a class that focuses on activities and might miss the real value of the flipped classroom. Even where students embrace the flipped model, their technology and internet access might not always support reliable delivery of the course video which is critical to making the model work.
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