Case Study on Flipped Learning: High School

Instructor: Hilary Agnello
This lesson quickly revisits what a flipped classroom is and offers a few benefits of flipped learning environments. The bulk of this lesson examines a flipped high school math class and highlights specific areas for improvement.

Flipped Classrooms Overview

In the traditional classroom model, the activities that are done in class are intended to deliver information to the students, and the independent practice of the content or the application of the content is typically done outside of the classroom. Some typical ways to deliver information in a traditional classroom are direct instruction, videos, or guided notes, and some typical out-of-class activities in a traditional classroom are practice problems, writing an essay, or creating a project. In a flipped classroom, the typical activities done in class are switched with the typical activities done outside of class. The most common form of out-of-class assignment in a flipped classroom is watching videos, and this is especially true in the secondary education setting where most students have access to the technology required to view these videos.

Flipped classrooms are considered to be more engaging and student-centered than the traditional classroom model. One major benefit of the flipped classroom environment is that students are able to work on their applications and practice in a classroom setting where the teacher is available for assistance. Consider a student who understands well in class when the teacher is delivering the material, but struggles with retention and therefore faces challenges completing homework. In a flipped classroom, the student has access to the teacher during independent practice and is considerably more assisted in applying the material. A second major benefit to a flipped classroom is that it creates opportunities for collaborative learning. When students are presented with content outside of class, they can then work together in-class on project-based and higher order thinking activities, as well as being able to ask each other for help in addition to the teacher.

High School Algebra 2 Classroom Case Study

The remainder of this lesson presents a tenth-grade flipped Algebra 2 classroom and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses throughout the classroom work and activities.

The Previous Night's Homework

The students were asked to view a Youtube video on how to evaluate rational expressions such as the following:

(x+x/2) ÷ (x/2+3x/2)

  • Strengths: Assigning a video is an activity that all students can complete without assistance. The value of this form of assignment is that most high school students have cellphones and internet access and, therefore, are more likely to complete an assignment of this nature rather than a worksheet. Additionally, students can watch this video at their own pace, and they can pause or review parts of the lesson, which is something that the students would not be able to do in the classroom.
  • Weaknesses: Assigning a video does not provide opportunities for students to ask clarifying questions while the information is being presented. Additionally, the teacher does not have any way to verify for sure that students viewed the video in its entirety.

Body of the Lesson

1. The teacher begins the day by asking the class as a whole to raise their hands if they watched the video that was assigned. The majority of the class raises their hands; however, there are a few students who openly admit they did not watch the video. The teacher asks if there were any questions that pertained to the video's content, and no student asks a question.

2. The teacher provides the entire class with a worksheet of problems to work on for the majority of the class time. Students are allowed to work in partners while the teacher circulates the room and offers assistance to those who need it. Students work for the majority of the class; however, there are numerous occasions where the students become distracted, and there is a lack of classroom control.

3. Students who complete the worksheet in class are allowed to view the night's homework, which is to watch another video on solving rational equations. Students who do not complete the worksheet are expected to complete it that night as well as viewing the video on solving rational equations.

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