CTBC International Academy Newsletter_Week 4

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Methods of teaching at CIA.

Flipped learning is a teaching approach in which the conventional notion of classroom-based learning is inverted so that students are introduced to the learning material before class, with classroom time then being used to deepen understanding through discussion with peers and problem-solving activities facilitated by teachers.

Where did flipped learning come from?

In the 1990s, Harvard Professor Eric Mazur developed a model of ‘peer instruction’ in which he provided material for students to prepare and reflect on before class and then used class time to encourage deeper cognitive thinking via peer interaction and instructor challenge. He called this “just in time teaching”. This model was later expanded to include technological elements. At the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning in 2000, a presentation was delivered on ‘The Classroom Flip: Using Web Course Management Tools to Become a Guide by the Side’. It developed the ‘flip’ concept and emphasized the role of Learning Management Systems in delivering materials to students before class. Significantly, the role of the teacher was articulated as facilitator and coach or ‘guide on the side’. Subsequent research focused on the notion of ‘inverting the classroom’ as a means of providing an inclusive learning environment in which personalized coaching and mentoring were the norm.

Fast forward to the present and the dramatic growth of online content creation, collaboration and distribution tools provide practitioners with an accessible toolkit for delivering flipped learning. Video creation (e.g. Screenr and Webinaria) and distribution tools (e.g. Youtube and Vimeo) provide the opportunity to create flipped content with ease. Alternatively, there is a wealth of pre-existing media available for reuse (e.g. iTunes U, Khan Academy, and Open Yale Courses). While technology is not a prerequisite (flipped text-based content is just as valuable as video content), there is no doubt that the intersection of web 2.0 technology and learning theory has enabled flipped learning to become a valuable addition to the spectrum of blended learning.

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