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Flipped classroom

Limitations and criticisms

Critics argue the flipped classroom model has some drawbacks for both students and teachers.

For students, there exists a 'digital divide'. Not all families are from the same socio-economic
background, and thus access to computers or video-viewing technology outside of the school
environment is not possible for all students. This model of instruction may put undue pressure on
some families as they attempt to gain access to videos outside of school hours

Additionally, some students may struggle due to their developing personal responsibility. In a
self-directed, home learning environment students who are not at the developmental stage
required to keep on-task with independent learning may fall rapidly behind their peers

Others argue that the flipped classroom leads to increased computer time in an era where
adolescents already spend too much time in front of computer screens. Inverted models that rely
on computerized videos do contribute to this challenge, particularly if videos are long.

Additionally, flipped classrooms that rely on videos to deliver instruction suffer some of the
same challenges as traditional classrooms. Students may not learn best by listening to a lecture,
and watching instructional videos at home is still representative of a more traditional form of
teaching. Critics argue a constructivist approach would be more beneficial.

Teachers may find challenges with this model as well. Increased preparation time is initially
likely needed, as creating high quality videos requires teachers to contribute significant time and
effort outside of regular teaching responsibilities.Additional funding may also be required to
procure training for teachers to navigate computer technologies involved in the successful
implementation the inverted model.\\
However, there has predictably been some criticism to this bold new model of teaching and

The Cons

1. It can create or exacerbate a digital divide

One of the most prominent issues is the necessity for students to have access to a computer and
Internet in order to view the lectures. This is particularly hard on students from low-income
districts who already have limited access to resources.

2. It relies on preparation and trust

There is also the concern that since flipped classrooms are dependent on student participation,
one must trust students to watch the lectures at home. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee
students will oblige or cooperate with the flipped model.

3. There is significant work on the front-end

Additionally, there is a concern that implementing a flipped classroom adds an extra workload
on teachers, as there are several elements that must be integrated carefully to allow the class to
flourish. Responsibilities include taping and uploading condensed lectures, which take time and
skill, and introducing activities in the classroom that will enhance the subject matter as well as
motivate students to participate and prepare for class. Though teachers can gradually integrated
flipped elements into their classrooms, it will still require additional time and effort from

4. Not naturally a test-prep form of learning

Whether you think this is a good or a bad thing is another conversation, but its important to
realize that generally speaking, flipped classrooms do not teach to the test. Flipped classrooms
do not follow the model of teaching to improve standardized test scores. However, teachers and
students are still required to spend a sizable portion of time preparing for state mandated testing,
which in turn interrupts the flipped classroom process.

5. Time in front of screensinstead of people and placesis increased

There are some who believe that if every teacher starts flipping their classrooms, students will
spend hours in front of a computer watching the lectures. One may argue that this has the
potential to cause serious problems to students learning processes, as not everyone may be as
adept to learning through a computer.


Despite these issues, the flipped classroom can still a very effective, hands-on approach to
improving student achievement and involving them in their own education.
Major challenges in flipping

Over 70% of seminar participants had not flipped a class before, but were considering to do so.
They anticipated the following challenges in flipping:

student preparation was an obvious concern. Related items include lecture video not
watched, students not equipped, unprepared students, preparedness, preparation and
student commitment.

What should teachers do?

To overcome this challenge, Dr. Zeng recommended that teachers ensure the alignment of pre-
class, in-class and after-class activities. In designing a course, they should always keep in mind
the intended learning outcomes and make sure that concepts covered in the short videos are
related to the in-class activities and assessments. This will create a backwash effect and push
students to get prepared for class, or else they will not be able to participate in in-class activities
where everyone else is engaged.

When asking students to watch videos before class, consider giving:

1. extra credits as incentives for those who watch the videos and complete knowledge
check questions before class;
2. clear expectations, i.e., explain to them why they should watch the videos; and
3. guidance about what to take note of in the videos, such as a short curators message,
some highlights and key questions to think about while watching.

It can be frustrating to know that some students did not do preparations for class. However, we
can make use of this opportunity to teach students the importance of doing preparations as a
pre-requisite of a deep learning experience.
Obstacles to flipped learning and how to
overcome them
Flipped learning which requires pupils to engage with instructional content in their own time,
before undertaking corresponding tasks in the classroom is helping to deliver a more
personalised learning experience for pupils.

However, the flipped classroom model is about much more than creating a few videos for pupils
to watch at home. Rethinking the way teachers teach and pupils learn, a recent study found that
75% of teachers surveyed witnessed greater student engagement after implementing flipped
learning in their classrooms.

But, while the benefits are compelling, implementing flipped learning is not without its

Four challenges of flipped learning

1. A lack of student discipline

For pupils who havent had any exposure to flipped learning, the less conventional setup can be a
challenge. Students can struggle with self-discipline and may turn up to class without having
absorbed the lesson; rendering the method pointless.

Teacher tip: When attempting to introduce the flipped classroom, it makes sense to start small,
building student confidence with flipped tasks that let you practice and prepare for the bigger
change. This softly-softly introduction gives pupils and teachers the chance to learn without
becoming overwhelmed.

2. Lack of teaching resources

Content is vital to creating a successful flipped classroom. However, a new approach often
requires fresh resources. With spare time the one thing few teachers have in excess, the thought
of designing and creating new content can be enough to turn even the most enthusiastic of
teachers off.

Teacher tip: With many educators now creating and sharing resources online, teacher-authored
content designed to support flipped learning could provide the answer.

3. Old-fashioned classrooms

The layout of the traditional classrooms is another obstacle to flipped learning. Collaboration,
communication and creativity, are at the heart of this method, but fostering these skills is almost
impossible with pupils inactive in rows of desks all day.
Teacher tip: With a little imagination, savvy teachers can implement a more flexible classroom
with the minimum amount of fuss, resource, and disruption; boosting student engagement and
helping pupils to learn more effectively.

4. Lack of equipment

Video conferencing technologies, screencasting tools, and cloud-based platforms that let teachers
create and deliver lessons all help to create the flipped classroom. However with poor quality,
faulty, and out of date ICT equipment one the main reasons for teachers not using technology in
the classroom, this can be a barrier to success.

Likewise, flipped learning requires students to have access to the internet and a computer or
mobile device at home. However, this isnt always the case, and its important not to create a
barrier for those students who dont have the necessary tech.

Teacher tip: To get around this, teachers should put a back-up plan in place for all students,
showing them what to do if the internet goes down or they dont have access. This could include
identifying safe learning spaces with wifi, offering a borrowing library of computer devices, and
providing learning content on USB drives.