“Flipped classroom” is a way of reversing the traditional learning environment by letting students watch online lectures, listen to podcasts or read instructional texts before meeting the teacher in the classroom.
The intention is to encourage students to come better prepared to class, create more meaningful learning opportunities and to give the teachers more time to explore topics in depth.
– As the number of teaching opportunities are limited, it is important to do the very best of them. If the students are already somewhat familiar with a topic, it is easier to use class time for creating a construction of meaning rather than information transmission, says Birgit Stöckel, educational designer at Luleå University of Technology’s Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics (TVM).
Flipped classroom is practised at several of the institutions at Luleå University of Techonolgy, but TVM has over the past four years been successful in engaging their teachers and other staff, as technicians, in “flipping”. In the middle of August TVM had 529 videos posted on the Youtube channel L-Tube.
– The number of minutes watched equals 267 lectures of 60 minutes, with an average of 50 students per lecture, says Birgit Stöckel, adding that “flip videos” is a good way of giving instructions on how to use laboratory equipment.
– One of our technicians has made several instructional videos and quizzes related to them. Only the students who have watched the videos and correctly answered the questions related to them, get access to the lab. We have equipment here that costs a million SEK and it is important to know that those who have access to the equipment also know how to use it.
A flipped classroom-pioneer is the Harvard professor Eric Mazur. Two of the contributors to L-Tube at TVM are professors Roland Larsson and Elisabet Kassfeldt.
Birgit Stöckel points to the fact that flipped classroom can be a way to establish new contacs, outside the university.
– Thanks to our videos we have been contacted by researchers from other parts of the world.
The majority of TVM's videos are accessible and open for anyone to watch.
– We have Swedish high school students who watch our online physics lessons. They see the Luleå University of Technology logo and are already familiar with who we are when it’s time for them to choose an education. It can be an advantage for us, says Birgit Stöckel.