Flipped (or Inverted) Classroom is defined by Raúl Santiago Campión, of La Rioja University, as:
“An educational model that transfers the work of certain learning processes that usually occur in the classroom; we removed them outside the classroom and use class time to exploit the student learning process .”
Its aim is for students to use class time to apply the concepts and content they have previously accessed at home and promote active learning that allows students to develop critical and analytical thinking.
Inverted classroom may not be therefore regarded as an educational methodology per se, but rather a pedagogical model that can be developed through the application of different methodologies, such as Peer Instruction, Problem Based Learning or Project-Based Learning.
Bloom’s Taxonomy in the context of Flipped Classroom
In 1956, the cognitive psychologist Benjamin Bloom unveiled its famous Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, popularly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, a classification devised for classifying learning objectives in levels. Bloom’s classification comprised three areas of learning: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. However, it is common to refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy as taxonomy of cognitive skills or cognitive domain taxonomy.
In its framework, Bloom divided cognitive domain into six levels or categories ranked from the simplest and most concrete to the more complex and abstract: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The first three levels correspond to concrete thinking, while the top three fall into the field of creative and abstract thoughts.
In 2001, Anderson & Krathwohl subjected taxonomy to a re-evaluation process that resulted in the so-called Revised Bloom Taxonomy. In this review, the categories are divided as follows: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. As can be seen, in contrast to the original taxonomy, Anderson & Krathwohl choose verbs rather than nouns, as these best reflect the active nature of the learning process. In addition, each level is accompanied by a series of verbs that help the teacher organize the learning process. Thus, for example, the category create is associated with actions such as invent, design or produce.
Why is Bloom’s Taxonomy important for the Flipped Classroom model? When the student revises previously done work, he broaches different areas than those approached in class. So, with that preparatory work at home, he would work the first three areas (remember, understand, apply), while in the classroom more complex levels would be exercised (analyze, evaluate and create).
For teachers, relying on the taxonomy allows them to establish specific targets according to which areas they wish to address or enhance, as well as outlining a learning plan that allows each student to move forward – from the base to the top of the pyramid. The teacher becomes a guide in the learning process while the student becomes the center of it, necessarily taking an active role.
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Elizabeth Millard points out 5 reasons to use Inverted classroom:
1. It increases students’ commitment
This educational model requires active participation of students, as they should be (co)responsible in their learning. This commitment is made possible by a greater degree of motivation which can be explained, among other factors, by the prospect of facing something new and the rise of ICT tools in the classroom with which new generations enjoy a high level of familiarity .
Another relevant aspect is that students determine their own learning pace via the ability to review material provided by the teacher. This way, they learn to identify their own needs.
Students are (co)responsible for their own learning
2. It promotes personalized guidance
Thanks to technological advances, previous content is frequently accompanied by questionnaires and interactive exercises that allow the teacher to not only see who works (or not) at home, but identify both the standout students and those who struggle. Also, teachers do not have to wait for grading in order to determine the particular needs of each student, because the interaction in the classroom allows them to get this information in real time.
3. Strengthening of teamwork:
One of the concepts directly related to Flipped Classroom is the collaborative work. While work at home is done individually, in class teamwork is encouraged by, for example, the formation of problem solving groups. Likewise, Peer Instruction is encouraged, so that advanced students can help those who evolve at a slower pace.
4. It provides more freedom to teachers:
Teachers from one area can create a joint base material for at-home study (video, presentations, podcasts, etc.), which facilitates greater flexibility when designing the strategy for the classroom, adapted to the specific needs of that particular group of students.
5. It promotes classroom discussion:
Class time is used for the student to think and reflect about the contents – cognitive work enhanced by sharing information with others.
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