Now that we are safely (and slowly) going back to in-person classes, we have found that Flipped Instruction (FI) is on our mind. The logic behind FI acknowledges the different teaching spaces courses occupy: in-person/online, in-class/out-of class, individual/group, and direct instruction/active learning. The rush to remote instruction in March 2020 changed those spaces for many of us. Some spaces, like in-person meetings, were no longer available. Other spaces, like group space or the classroom, needed to be reconceptualized as instructors recalibrated activities originally conceived as in-person/on-campus interactions to online spaces or social distancing. FI is on our mind during this transition because we want to honor both the incredible effort undertaken during remote instruction and ensure that everything the learning community learned about in affordances of technology-enhanced learning continues to benefit students. We also want to ensure that the in-person experiences we missed so deeply during this time are never taken for granted, and that the time we spend together is thoughtful and intentional.
Let’s start this conversation with Bergmann and Sams’ (2015) guiding question, “What is the best use of face-to-face time with students?” (p.19). We can’t think of a better time to ask this question than now as the on-campus learning community tries to reunite around the world.
What is Flipped Instruction (FI)?
FI is a pedagogical approach in which the order of direct instruction moves from the group learning space (that is, the in-person classroom) to the individual learning space (that is, students’ personal learning spaces such as their homes), with the latter being leveraged to facilitate a “dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (Flipped Learning Network, 2014, para 1). In other words, the educator flips the instruction or classroom. In Bloom et al.’s (1956) terms, flipping the classroom helps educators support the development of lower-order thinking skills (LOTS; remembering and understanding) outside of the classroom and use class time to focus on higher-order thinking skills (HOTS; applying, analyzing, evaluating, creating) inside the classroom.