Using experiences of flipped classroom in distance-learning
Corona has drastically changed adult education at Curio in the Netherlands recently. Suddenly we started working from home and teaching students from a distance. Everything I had learned about Flipped Learning in recent years is now very useful. I am therefore very happy that I have prepared my students to work independently with digital skills. I am in the privileged position as a teacher that I work with a program where blended learning is already an important part. It is important for me as a teacher to familiarize students with this way of teaching. We cannot be left behind, Corona tells us clearly.
Each student has a different background, also with regard to digital skills. It is important to discuss this regularly. Explaining the importance of digital skills is also very important for the motivation of the students. I am always exploring the possibilities of online learning. Every student is different, every group is different. Step by step and keeping it very simple, because everyone should be able to do it. One has all kinds of devices at home, the other almost nothing. Some of the students have little affinity and experience with digital skills because of fear of the unknown and fear of failure. Therefore, the challenge for me as a teacher is to let them practice this, so that they feel that it can be fun and not that difficult at all. This all happens in class, very safe and familiar. I am happy that I make time for this in my program, because now in this bizarre time I notice how important this phase has been in my lessons to be able to work with my groups so effectively from home.
The preparation for Flipped Learning is a very important phase for success. The teacher must have a good idea of his or her students. How is the home situation? What devices do they have? Do they have WiFi? What are they already doing with digital resources? This means a lot of talking with the students, a lot of listening and a lot of research. This time must be structured in the program. Teaching the use of basic digital skills is necessary to maintain good remote communication. Before you can talk to students about using all kinds of interesting and educational apps, it is wise to check whether they have an e-mail address or Whatsapp, for example. Even simply visiting a website to watch a video can be quite an exercise for our target audience. Without this basis you cannot take further steps. Certainly now during distance learning, these components are essential to start working with Flipped Learning, for example. And don’t forget, these preparatory lessons take a lot of time, patience and practice. Students should feel comfortable with it, so that they enjoy it more and more. Only then the next step towards independence within digital skills has been taken.
And unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to motivate everyone to learn in a flipped way, not all students are enthusiastic. Students who have not built up self-confidence during the practice phase now see a lot of difficulty in distance learning to stay motivated. A good balance between real life coaching and flipped learning gives the best results. It’s an extra challenge to achieve this during the Corona crisis.
This time of distance learning is a good test for all of us. We have necessarily taken big steps and have become much wiser. When the Corona crisis is gone, society and education will change. Flipped Learning will therefore become an even more essential part of the teaching program in the future. We can't go back.