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Flip Your Classroom

Librarian at computer with students

The concept of the flipped classroom has been around since the 1990’s but today’s technology is helping educators more easily adapt their teaching environments to the flipped or blended learning style. With a flipped classroom students learn new concepts and content by watching video lectures and then doing “homework” in the classroom, allowing the teacher to have more guidance and interaction with students. This model inverts the traditional education model in which content is delivered via lectures in class and reinforced through homework outside of the classroom. The flipped classroom concept has also been seen as one the top educational trends for the near future, as outlined by the 2014 Horizon Report. Current trends demonstrate the success of the flipped classroom model in areas of high school math and science. Learders of the flipped classroom movement, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, recently released their book Flip Your Classroom, which is now available form the NN/LM SCR Lending Library.

Using flipped classroom techniques can be challenging, especially when applying the concepts to library workshops and instruction. A recent post on ACRL’s Keeping Up With… Series focused on flipped classrooms and highlighted some ways to bring flipped concepts into library instruction. Authors Candice Benjes-Small and Katelyn Tucker provide sound advice for librarians interested in flipping library instruction. They suggest working closely with teaching faculty and ensure that students complete online assignments before coming to the class or workshop. Additionally it will be important that students who come to class be held accountable by the teaching faculty and in the preparation process some plans should be made for what to do with students who come to the class unprepared. Can they use a computer and headphones to view the content and catch up? Is there an alternative way to get them involved in the class if they did not complete the assignment?

In preparation for flipping library instruction librarians may want to consider the use of online tutorials or materials that they or others have already created. A quiz or worksheet may need to be created to ensure that students have completed the online preparation assignments before diving into class work. Once students are ready class time with the librarian can be devoted to searches that the students are considering using for their research topic. The librarian then becomes a “guide on the side”, standing by to provide examples and collaborate with students for successful searching.

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