Flipped Learning

Our class operates on the flipped (or inverted) classroom model of teaching. You may have had other teachers that have used this model of teaching, and you may have heard that this particular AP Biology class is taught using this method. I have created this page to answer questions you might have about what flipped learning is all about.

What does it mean when a teacher has a "flipped classroom?"
A flipped classroom is one in which students are assigned a 10-20 minute video lesson or podcast to watch outside of class. This work is completed prior to the next period. Students may be asked to take notes in an interactive notebook, or other space to take notes. Here is a short video that gives a brief explanation of a flipped classroom.

What does this look like in our classroom?

What this looks like in our classroom is:

  • designing lab experiments
  • completing pre-lab activities
  • practicing free response questions as a part of exam prep
  • answering short answer questions about content learned the night before in our interactive notebooks
  • solving problem sets in our interactive notebooks
  • working with models of biological processes, whether we are constructing them or examining them
  • creating graphic organizers in our interactive notebooks to augment learning

We will use an interactive notebook to facilitate the learning we will do in class. I will post a page with more information about that soon!

But the video isn't you, so you're not really teaching us, right?
First of all, the video podcasts that have been chosen for you to view are of outstanding quality, and are directly correlated to the learning objectives of our curriculum.

The flipped classroom does not mean that you will not ever receive direct instruction from me; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Because you will be getting the content delivered outside of class in a smaller amount of time, I will have in-class time to elaborate on the concepts learned, to clarify any muddy points you might still have, to provide enrichment, and to assess what students have learned before moving on to more challenging work. Teaching using this method allows me more time in class to interact with you so that I can more easily assess what you do and do not understand about the topics we are learning about at that time. This method also means that you will have more time for collaborative learning as a part of a team.

So what's the benefit of flipped learning?
Here are a few of the many benefits of learning in this way:

  • Lectures are 10-20 minutes at most, as opposed to 60-90 minutes
  • You can watch the lessons on your own time, and can rewind them
  • Your in-class time is spent working in learning teams to make sure all students understand the topic
  • Your teacher has much more time to work with you directly
  • You have a greater opportunity for more one-on-one interaction with your teacher
  • You will develop a better sense of working with others in teams
  • Your questions about concepts you don't understand are more likely to be answered
  • You have in-class time to complete work you might have otherwise had to do at home
If you still have questions about this method of teaching and learning, please feel free to contact me.

Modified from The Biology Space