Get Flipped: Advice for Flipped Classroom Beginners

Flipping the classroom is one of the hottest trends in education. Given the positive results that many instructors are seeing, it’s no surprise that more teachers are interested in trying it out for themselves — especially when video platforms like Panopto make it easy to record and share flipped classes.

If you’re thinking about flipping your classroom, there are lots of resources out there with best practices, tips, and considerations, but what are the most essential things to know if you’re a newbie?

You don’t have to go off the deep end

It’s okay to start off by dipping your toe into the shallow end of the flipped classroom pool. Smart small — perhaps by choosing a single unit or lesson. By experimenting with this new instructional format, you can gauge student receptiveness to further flipping, and incorporate their feedback into future lessons.

Be clear about your expectations

Flipped classrooms may be as new to your students as it is to you, so communication is key. Consider dedicating some class time to explain the reasoning for the flip and how your students can best approach your video lectures. Make sure that your students know how to access your lectures and how they will be assessed. You might also want to try watching a sample lecture with your students to model good active listening behavior and help boost their confidence when it’s time for the actual lesson.

Keep your videos short

Separate longer lectures into shorter conceptual “chunks” of 5-10 minutes apiece. Shorter videos make it easier for your students to pay attention and remain engaged. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to record dozens of short videos. Using Panopto, you can lecture for as long as you like, then use our web-based editor to trim out and save portions of your original recording to create separate videos.

Be a talking head

Resist the urge to rely solely on PowerPoint slides and audio narration. Your students want to see you, too. With Panopto, you can record video with as little as your laptop camera or your iPhone. Our online video platform automatically uploads and synchronizes your video with your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation.

Encourage student feedback, but don’t forget about analytics

Gathering feedback from your students on their flipped classroom experience is important. Video analytics can give you additional insight that can help you identify any points in your video lessons where students are having trouble, or where their attention spans drop off.

What are your best practices for flipping the classroom? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

If you’re interested in learning how Panopto can help you flip classrooms at your educational institution, contact us for a demo or sign up for a free trial.

Published: March 10, 2014