Flipping into Online Teaching

Published: February 5th, 2016

Category: Blog

Do you want to get on board with the ever-growing future of education online, but you are not sure how to even begin? Teaching online does require developing the entire course before the semester even starts. Due to the amount of pre-planning necessary, teachers who are used to preparing a lecture the day before class might struggle with the idea of creating an online version of their course. Teaching a Flipped Classroom is, first and foremost, a great model of teaching, but also could be seen as a “baby step” into the world of teaching online.

Teaching a Flipped Classroom means that you are “flipping” the idea of the “traditional classroom.” Lectures are pre-recorded and students are expected to do the passive learning (for example, watching lectures and reading text) on their own time before class. This reserves the class time for active learning (for example, case studies, debates, group projects, problem solving, and presentations) during class time. Look at the CITT page for more information on the Flipped Classroom.

So, how can this be a transition to teaching completely online?

A significant bulk of the work in developing an online course is preparing and recording quality lectures. You can begin to take those baby steps by slowly creating and recording your course lectures. It is a great idea to do this as you are teaching an in-person course so that the material is fresh. You can offer the lecture in the traditional sense, make revisions, and use that as a guide for what you will record for future courses.

Once lectures have been recorded, you can utilize them in a Flipped version of your course the following semester. Offer the lectures ahead of time, with the expectation that the students have viewed the lectures before attending class. Keep in mind that since you won’t be lecturing in class, you’d still need to fill that class time with some quality learning activities. Because the course is flipped, you would be utilizing the Learning Management System (Canvas) to offer content to students. Sometimes this is the hurdle that instructors don’t want to face. This easing into it will familiarize you with tools available within the LMS as you teach a hybrid version of your course.

If you get a hang of the Flipped version of your course, you might then challenge yourself to see if you can teach the course completely online. If so, you already have the lectures ready, and some experience using the LMS!

WARNING: Teachers and students love Flipped classrooms. You may end up loving it and opt to stick with that format!

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