ShareKnowledge Blog

Flipped Classroom Functionality using SharePoint

Amber Rasmussen August, 2017
flipped classroom in sharepoint

For decades we’ve become accustomed to going to class, learning a subject and then taking study materials home. About five years ago, a new concept called a ‘flipped classroom’ peaked the heads of educators and launched a trend within the industry. The flipped classroom was created as a way to improve face-to-face time of traditional learning models. Now, it is used far and wide and is becoming a staple in the learning community. This blog will discuss what a flipped classroom is as well as how to use SharePoint to increase flipped classroom functionality.

What is a flipped classroom?

A flipped classroom is another form of blended learning that essentially reverses the traditional classroom setup. Learning begins online and then students engage in concept mastery in the classroom with the help of an instructor. We used to call this part, homework.

The benefit of a flipped classroom is that the student gets to do their ‘homework’ with a teacher or mentor. This is the critical time that they need questions answered and guidance. This method of learning also provides much more engagement which has proven to show better retention among learners.

Flipped classroom functionality with SharePoint

So, how can we utilize a program like SharePoint for this learning method? And, actually improve the functionality of a flipped classroom?

But, as with anything, there are keys to making this type of training successful. Here are three useful tips for utilizing SharePoint to employ this type of training.

Tip #1: Create an all-inclusive classroom for your learners with a Team Site in SharePoint.

Team sites in SharePoint are a natural fit for a flipped classroom because they provide all the critical tools in one centralized site within SharePoint. Some features include document libraries to upload course materials, videos, a shared calendar, discussion boards and assigned tasks.

Videos are a key ingredient to a flipped classroom and SharePoint provides an easy tool to set up media with no coding necessary.

  • Activate the video and media features under site settings in SharePoint.
  • Set up an asset library within your SharePoint site.
  • Add video content and use the video player and player page.

Be sure that your videos aren’t too long or risk your learners not watching the entire training video.

Tip #2: Make sure students are prepared and set due dates.

A flipped classroom can be a great training method but getting students to do their work at home can prove challenging to keep them on task. It’s often difficult to let go of the reigns and allow students to set their own pace before the in-classroom portion of the course. One way to ease any concerns is to utilize the calendar within SharePoint team sites.  Any pertinent dates can be added along with reminders. Learners can also sync their personal calendars to the team site calendar as well. The task list is also a tool that will help. Just assign a task to a person or group and set a reminder when the due date nears. Simple as that.

Tip #3: Maintain communication channels for better engagement.

The flipped classroom is fairly new and so in order for students to embrace it there needs to be a little hand-holding. Having an open door to communication helps for better adoption. A team site is already prepped for just this type of situation and gives an opportunity for peers and teachers to collaborate through blogs, wikis, discussions and surveys.

A flipped classrom has been praised for being ‘learner-centric.’ Many students experience frustration when it comes time to do homework because they don't understand the material they learned in the classroom to begin with. However, by watching the training beforehand, they can gather any questions they have and bring it with them to the in-classroom session to discuss and gain more clarification.

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