While flipped classrooms—a model where students watch pre-recorded lectures at home in preparation for the next day’s assignments, then complete “homework” assignments in-class— have gotten a lot of attention recently, many educators have been using this model in some form for a long time.
But “flipping” doesn’t have to be limited to face-to-face classes; it can be done with virtual classrooms, too! Here are five tips to use web conferencing tools to create an engaging and collaborative flipped virtual classroom:
Tip 1: Give Students an Engaging, Informative Video to Watch before the Live Class
The first step to flipping a virtual classroom is the same as when you flip a face-to-face class: create powerful videos that engage students. Use your web conferencing platform to make your video stimulate students asynchronously with the same impact as a synchronous lecture by recording your voice over webcam video, and application-sharing to incorporate PowerPoint presentations and websites.
Students view those videos from desktop computer or mobile devices in advance, and are ready to ask questions and discuss when the live class begins.
Tip 2: Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Learning
Students enjoy learning from each other, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to in a virtual class. Use voice authoring and instant messaging technology to increase student interaction and engagement levels, and create the campus lawn learning experience online. Try incorporating voice discussion boards to enable students to more thoroughly discuss meaning and content.
Tip 3: Incorporate Plenty of Time for Clarification during Class
A key aspect of the flipped classroom model is student access to expertise and help during the synchronous portion of the class. Make the most of moderator tools like the ability for students to raise their hand if they have a question and use emoticons to indicate confusion, to ensure students get their questions answered and they understand and feel comfortable with the material.
Tip 4: Allow Students to Demonstrate their Knowledge.
Empower students to demonstrate their knowledge—that’s that makes it all worthwhile, right? Use whiteboards, public chat and permission-setting to let students reap the fruit of their work the night before and show off what they’ve learned.
For an in-class assignment in the flipped classroom model, try having students create podcasts on a topic to simultaneously demonstrate their expertise and create a resource for their peers.
Tip 5: Use Breakout Rooms to Facilitate Small Group Learning Activities
Just like breaking students up into small groups in live classes can spur discussion and collaboration, you should use this technique in virtual classroom settings as well. Be available to guide the learning where needed. Top off the flipped virtual classroom with a main room presentation from each of the groups where they can demonstrate their collaborative knowledge.