A flipped look at classrooms

Students complain more and more about the struggles of having to navigate through flipped classes. It’s common to hear complaints like, “I can’t complete my homework because I don’t understand it,” or, “How come the professor is grading homework she didn’t teach.” More often you can hear, “I’m having a hard time keeping up because I never know how to do my homework.” According to Slate.com, some students benefit from flipped classrooms and some students don’t. However, the bottom line is flipped classrooms don’t work for everyone; meaning there is a good portion of students getting left behind.

Although I think flipped classrooms should be banned, there are other arguments that prove they shouldn’t be. According to the University of Toronto Library, teachers like the flipped classroom method because it allows efficient use of class time and increased one-on-one help.

For those who are not familiar with the method, according to facultyinnovate.utexas.edu, “a flipped classroom is a class that inverts the cycle of content acquisition.” In a flipped classroom, students are required to complete homework on subjects that they have not learned yet. In these classes teachers normally assign students to watch lectures before coming to class.

For instance, language courses here at FMU teach using the flipped class method assign homework and then teach based on the homework that was assigned. This has proved to be harmful to a student’s grade because they may get the homework questions wrong and receive a low grade. According to a study done by four teachers at Harvey Mudd College, students were given a survey on whether they like or dislike the flipped classroom method. Most of the students complained about the heavy workload, which is commonly associated with flipped classrooms. Homework time can be prolonged when you have no clue what you are doing. Another reason flipped classes can be detrimental is because some students have been used to traditional teaching methods since elementary school and the abrupt switch could hinder their learning and motivation to learn. The flipped classroom negates different learning styles.

I am one of the students who have a hard time keeping up with the pace of a flipped classroom. However, it is not all the way around for me. As a freshman when I was taking biology, chemistry and even history courses, the flipped classroom method was very helpful because I was able to look at lectures or notes before even going into class and maybe even follow along better; but that was not the case for all my classes. When I started taking language courses here, we used the flipped class method and I realized that I was struggling to get the homework completed; and when I finally finished, it had taken up the majority of my day. I also realized as time went on that class started to seem boring and I was losing motivation and passion. Even though I have adapted to the flipped classroom, it is still a hassle and not much help; at times my homework grades have been jeopardized. I think that we should revert back to traditional teaching methods concerning languages and mathematics in order to make sure all students are learning in the best way possible.