esmith@flglobal.org

Do Flipped Classrooms Drive Active Learning?

BoxCathyJon had a chance to visit with Dr. Cathy Box (@cathybox), an expert on formative assessments who shares how she sees flipped classrooms promoting active learning.  Listen in.

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2 Responses

  1. Essential Question: Does the flipped learning design drive assessment or does assessment drive the flipped learning design?

    I agree that there is a special relationship between the notion of a flipped classroom and assessment. I would say that the way an instructor plans for formative and summative assessments dictates how an educator designs a particular flipped environment. Assessment decisions drive the flipped learning design while assessment-based instruction is a result of a flipped classroom environment. My process: first, plan for a lot of formative assessment and necessary summative assessments; second, design an approximate or fixed flipped learning environment; and third, implement assessment-based instruction within such an environment.

    Personally, I do not begin with the flipped learning design absent of any decisions made towards assessment of student outcomes. If certain aspects of the flipped learning design emerge (which is likely), they usually fall within the predetermined forms of assessment that I have anticipated. I feel a responsibility to understand the different forms of assessment going into a class so that I know beforehand what kinds of learning designs or variations are acceptable. Of course there is always a learning curve that can create times where the environment drives the types of assessment, but have found that it is more common that variations of the flipped learning design stay within the acceptable forms of assessment that were predetermined. Emergent and unanticipated forms of assessment that are abundant can become a distraction for students based on my experience.

    To answer the essential question, the latter more so than the former.

  2. Cathy Box

    You make some very valid points about the complexities of flipped learning, active learning and assessment. I’m a big fan of starting with the end in mind. What are the learning targets and what would that look like? Once I know that I can determine how to assess mastery, then design the instruction to provide them ample opportunity to show evidence of learning. The flipped classroom, if done right, creates rich opportunities to provide instruction that is learner-centered and active, making formative assessment more natural to implement. It’s a win-win.

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