“The flipped classroom is…essentially reversing the traditional order…this approach fits adult education’s values of active learner engagement and self-direction.”
My first response to this was “what is a flipped classroom?” Going to the text, a flipped classroom is where the theory is delivered online and practical exercises are completed in a face-to-face setting with the instructor. While the terminology was new to me the practice was not. A one week course I attended last spring on Heritage Conservation made use of this: prior to the start of class there were assigned reading and a presentation based on a reflection exercise which tied the reading and the student’s experience.
Considering the classroom experience from the Heritage Conservation course, I found myself reflecting on the result of the pre-reading and he exercise. The Class was diverse: there were fine arts students in graduate programs, architects and planners with varying degrees of involvement in heritage, a couple of museum curators based out of heritage designated buildings and two of us in carpentry. The focus of the presentations were equally diverse. Some drilled down on construction specifications, practices and design while others dealt with high-level conservation theory for works of art.
The resulting presentations were entirely self-directed and as such they became a very interesting learning experiences in themselves. A great range of views and practices were expressed, with emphasis on stakeholder participation. It further helped express one of the course’s main themes: holistic approaches to the practice of heritage conservation.
British Columbia’s vocational training model does not readily lend itself to this type of pre-class preparation. To utilize, it would have to start once the program started. It could very well be an excellent tool. I would picture a scenario where I could send the learners home with media packages demonstrating a particular carpentry module (it could be something as simple as a YouTube video hanging a door) the day before the class, then starting the next day with an interactive group review or evaluation on the content to ensure the critical point were absorbed. This would leave the balance of the day for practice of the skills and could also permit increased time for troubleshooting common issues.