A growing number of educators are working to turn learning on its head by replacing traditional classroom lectures with video tutorials, an approach popularly called the “flipped classroom.” Interest in that teaching method was in full view this summer at the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference in San Diego, where almost every session on the topic was filled to capacity.
The movement was inspired partly by the work of Salman Khan, who created a library of free online tutoring videos spanning a variety of academic subjects, known as the Khan Academy, which many view as a touchstone of the flipped-classroom technique. But, much like the Khan Academy itself, the approach is attracting increasing scrutiny—and criticism—among educators and researchers.
The term “flipping” comes from the idea of swapping homework for class work. Students typically are assigned the video-watching for homework, freeing up class time that used to be spent listening to lectures for hands-on activities and application of knowledge, which used to serve as homework.