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The Role of the Teacher in Flipped Learning

The Role of the Teacher in Flipped Learning

Author: Trisha Fyfe

This lesson will provide the learner with a view of the changing role of the teacher in flipped learning environments.

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Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, ; Image of teacher lecturing, Public Domain, ; Image of computer and tablets, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Welcome to a tutorial on the role of the teacher flipped learning. In today's tutorial, we will discuss the following two questions. What is the role of the teacher in a flipped learning classroom? What does that role look like? What does the teacher do? And also, how does this role differ from the traditional classroom?

So let's start with talking about the traditional learning classroom. In the traditional learning classroom, students are exposed to content first, usually in direct classroom instruction, such as a lecture, or some other kind of activity where the teacher instructs on the material that she or he would like the students to know. This direct instruction is generally followed by homework activities that follow, as a form of practice for the students.

Looking at a model like flipped learning, the instruction in the classroom is much different. Students are first exposed to the content as homework. So the instructor will send home homework of maybe watching a video or a tutorial online and answering some questions, so the students are prepared for class the next day, where their new ideas are applied. And here, class time is used for really active learning-- engaging activities, problem solving, discussions, debates, crafting. There is much more high level thinking going on in the flipped learning classroom.

Teachers can also look for opportunities to individualize learning by using different groupings in the classroom. Maybe students that need a little extra help can use this opportunity for some one-on-one time with the teachers. Or some small groups can be formed to practice the material and engage further in that high level thinking.

A teacher's role in the flipped learning classroom is to become the facilitator of learning-- to make sure that students are getting what they need. Maybe they're correcting misconceptions during this time or giving students that really immediate feedback that they need, instead of the students having to wait until the lecture is done, or even after their homework is done, to get those questions answered. It's also important for teachers to make sure that they are really providing that active learning environment-- those engaging activities, so that students can make sense of the world around them and connect ideas together.

Another aspect to think about in teaching is the role of planning for teachers. In traditional learning, the teacher generally plans instruction and homework activities to follow that instruction. Teachers may also use materials from provided curriculum for practice and homework. Many of these activities are teachers planning for a lecture or a classroom discussion or activity of some sort. And then some kind of practice to follow where they're using the curriculum and materials provided, maybe from their school or district, in order to teach the content and practice the content.

In flipped learning, this changes a bit so that teachers must find, or create themselves, materials and tutorials that provide appropriate content. So here it's important for teachers, in their planning, to really find the appropriate and effective tutorials or videos-- ones that students will be able to watch online, alone or with a family member, and actually understand the content. Teachers might also think about some kind of activity, that would go with these videos and tutorials, for students to actually write down some of the ideas, or answer questions throughout, so that they can bring this learning into the classroom for the activities the next day. It's important that teachers must find and create follow-up activities for the classroom that allow for that collaborative learning and problem solving.

So let's review what we learned today. We talked about the role of a teacher in the flipped learning classroom. And not only did I talk about, through this tutorial, what a teacher does in the classroom, but also what a teacher's job is in the planning part of a flipped learning classroom. We also discussed the following question. How does this role differ from the traditional classroom?

In flipped learning and the traditional classroom, both planning and the actual environment are very different. In flipped learning, a teacher's able to present the material and content first for students to go through independently and then apply those ideas in the class time, freeing up some of the class time for those really engaging, active, high-level thinking skill activities for your students, as well as one-on-one time in small group instruction when needed.

I enjoyed discussing this model, again, with you today. And I hope you're able to use these ideas in your classrooms. Let's reflect on the ideas we've learned throughout this lesson. What might the challenges be in moving from traditional learning to flipped learning? What are the benefits of moving away from traditional learning models?

For more information on how to apply what you've learned in this video, please see the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource.

Notes on "The Role of the Teacher in Flipped Learning"


(00:00- 00:20) Introduction/objectives

(00:21 - 00:47) Role of Teacher in Traditional Learning Classroom

(00:48- 02:18) Role of Teacher in Flipped Learning Classroom

(02:19- 02:56) Role of Teacher in Planning for Traditional Learning

(02:57- 03:49) Role of Teacher in Planning for Flipped Learning

(03:50- 05:19) Review/Reflection

Additional Resources

Why Teachers Matter More in Flipped Classrooms

Educator Jon Bergmann explains the shift in the role of the teacher in the flipped classroom. Bergmann stresses the importance of relationships between students and teachers in flipped learning.

"The flipped classroom will redefine the role of educators"

In this interview, Harvard Applied Physics professor Eric Mazur explains his long history with flipping his classroom and outlines how it has transformed his professional practice. Click "read more" to listen to the podcast of the interview.