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Carolina R. Buitrago

Flipped learning 101

3 min read

Flipped learning has become the fuel for my academic career. I discovered flipped learning approximately a year ago when looking for strategies to engage and involve my MA students. I remember feeling disconnected from my syllabus (I was teaching someone else's course), and I could see my students felt that disconnection. I have been in the field of educational technology since 2007. I remember using screencasts since 2009. But not until 2014 I discovered the great benefits of the flipped classroom. 

I had never heard anything on the topic before 2014. Now, I know this set of ideas, method, methodology (what is it, anyway?) Has been around for more and many people have gotten great (and not so great) results of using it. Anyway, gsoing back to my FL journey... I was not looking for a new methodology, I was just looking for the best way to optimize my class time (only 8 f2f hours in a semester, the rest *24* delivered fully online) and offer my students the best of me, be it in the online environment or the face 2 face one. My search started with active learning, student engagement, student involvement; coincidentially, all of these terms converged in the flipped classroom (I first found about it). I started to read a d grow more and more interested by the minute. Then, I started creating content videos for my students and creating "fun and engaging" activities for my in-class time. Student evaluation scores went up that semester. So the next course I had, I started doing screencasts of students' work, flipping feedback... students would have the screencast and then we could work on their doubts and solve them. Evaluation scores stayed up! 

I couldn't get in 2015, by recommendation of my tech angel, Christine Bauer-Ramazani from St Michael's College, I joined the EVO session called flipped learning. Doing the EVO session changed my life! I met great flippers around the world, learned about the FLN, and heard Robyn Brinks Lockwood talk. These events changed my mind and showed me there was a lot more to learn! 

Nowadays, I'm the coordinator of the technology in the classroom implementation project at the department of foreign languages and cultures at Universidad de La Sabana in Chia, Colombia. I'm working with a colleague on a research project flipping writing and grammar in one of the English courses (ours is an EFL paradigm) and we have been getting very interesting results. 

We have a problem with student engagement (this population is different from the one I started with) and we are convinced flipped learning is the answer. We are in our way and loving it. Oh, and our project on FL won the BETT Award for "Uso de tecnología en Educación Superior" at the last BETT LATAM Leadership Summit which took place in Mexico this month. 

I just know flipped learning is the most exciting thing I've ran into and I will continue working on it every day!

You can find here my intro video to the class!