Six Ways Flipped Classrooms Impact Learning & Engagement

Flipped learning — a model that reverses the traditional lecture-homework paradigm — offers students fantastic learning possibilities via the use of digital tools. But how does it affect learner engagement? Both researchers and professors who use flipped classrooms have noticed significant benefits for learners in both in-person and distance learning settings. This unique pedagogical approach drives learning, increases engagement, helps students develop higher-order thinking skills, and more.

Drives Active Learning

In a flipped classroom, the didactic model is reversed: Instead of listening to lectures or professor presentations during class time, students view these materials at home ahead of class. During their face-to-face learning time, they focus on doing activities such as problem solving and application that are traditionally reserved for self-study time.

This approach helps ensure that class time is spent on active learning. Professors and their students have time for engaging conversations, student-led sessions, and problem-solving challenges that focus on application of knowledge. It’s an active way for students to learn, and it’s easier for teachers to correct misconceptions before they become ingrained in student’s thinking.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels


Develops Higher-Order Thinking Skills

In a traditional classroom, passive absorption is prioritized while analyzing and applying knowledge is largely left up to students as homework. Flipped classrooms invert this model and support the development of higher-order thinking skills. Instead of listening to a long lecture while in class and trying to make sense of it later, students listen to the lecture (or review other course materials) before class starts.

Class sessions then become an opportunity to practice and apply skills. This works in any academic area. For example, engineering students could work out problems in real time with the guidance of their professor while teaching students might deliver lessons to their classmates. Students have opportunities to think creatively while mastering problem solving and critical thinking skills. Of course, professors are there to guide the process, ensuring the best possible outcomes for students of all learning styles.

Increases Learner Interaction

Have you ever sat in an online lesson where someone talked for 90 minutes straight without any input from students? This approach has been common in higher education for decades, but it leaves little room for interaction. Online sessions that use a flipped model can increase learner engagement and understanding.

For online sessions, instructors can use platforms like SoftChalk to create a wide variety of assets, from quizzes to sorting to labeling activities that help ensure that there’s something that speaks to the learning style of all students. During face-to-face classes, students are more likely to interact with their peers and professors if they’ve already had an opportunity to review and absorb that day’s materials.

Leverages Technology Familiar to Students

Learners love course content created with SoftChalk because it’s easy to use and works with LMS types they are familiar with. Interactive elements make courses more engaging and increase student comfort even when mastering advanced skills. Instructors who are willing to adapt to the digital world offer significant value to both their students and the institutions where they teach.

Allows for Immediate Feedback

Students in traditional classrooms often wait days — if not weeks — to get the results of tests, quizzes, and papers back. This creates a broken feedback loop where student misconceptions are often not addressed until it’s too late to change them. In a flipped classroom, feedback is immediate. Instructors can generate automatic responses when students get an answer right or wrong on a quiz or other learning module.

Of course, instructors can also spend time providing feedback during learning activities in face-to-face courses. This allows for the early correction of misconceptions. An immediate feedback loop also helps ensure that students don’t become discouraged or frustrated by a slow grading process.

Encourages Better Attendance & Flexibility

Bored or disengaged students are unlikely to attend classes. Tools like SoftChalk allow instructors to keep students engaged and ensure higher attendance levels. Offering flexible learning options empowers students to watch lectures or take course quizzes when they are rested and prepared to learn.

Flexible, flipped classrooms are great for instructors too. Instead of giving the same lecture semester after semester, professors can create their lesson once and upload it to future classes. That allows them to focus on working directly with students and fostering better understanding of course material.

Research has shown that flipped classrooms encourage better attendance of live, face-to-face course sessions too. Why? Students know that their in-class time is going to be devoted to extending their learning. They know that they’ll have time to ask questions and work on crucial skills. Students who would otherwise skip out on lengthy lectures because they know that they’ll be bored or tired are much more likely to attend engaging sessions.

Is your institution ready to explore flipped classrooms in distance education and online learning settings? You’ll need the best tools to drive student engagement and secure instructor participation. Start your 14-day trial today to see everything SoftChalk has to offer to professors and students. We’re proud to be a leader in online learning and learner engagement in higher ed.

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