SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD, 2019

As education continues to evolve, traditional teaching methods have begun to make way for newer instructional approaches designed to not only accommodate advancements in technology but also cater to alternative learning styles.

In particular, several Paly teachers have implemented flipped learning-style classrooms, where students learn content on their own outside of school, through videos or textbook notes, and complete homework in class.

While this may be effective for some, others prefer a more conventional format.

However, the lack of indication in the course guide of whether a course is taught in a flipped style has left many students stuck with a teaching method that does not align with their learning preferences, making the class more difficult.

In order to prevent students from being unnecessarily enrolled in classes that do not meet their learning styles, The Campanile thinks flipped classrooms should be easily identified in course guides and during course selection.

This would be similar to blended courses, which offer periods where students do not have to sit in the classroom and can instead learn material more independently. Blended classes are labeled in the course guide and during the course selection process due to their distinctive structure.

If blended learning classes are plainly classified because of their specific teaching and learning approach, it is only logical that an equally unconventional teaching method such as a flipped class be treated the same way, and labeled in the course catalog.

Students should be able to decide whether they want to be in a flipped class or not, but, since teachers do not currently specify whether they operate their classes in a flipped way, The Campanile suggests implementing standard requirements that a class must meet in order to be classified as flipped. This includes specifics such as how much time is dedicated to teaching versus homework in the classroom.

Classes that meet these requirements should be distinguishable from traditional classes in the same subject during course selection so that students can register for the teaching structure they prefer.

While some may argue identifying courses as flipped would give students the opportunity to “teacher shop” or sign up for a certain version of the class because they want certain teachers, it is essential to prioritize student learning over this possibility.

In addition, this potential for “teacher shopping” already exists with blended courses and even in some electives with only one teacher.

In order to maximize student learning and ensure that class structures are designed to best serve the students, ought to be able identify flipped classes on the course guide and course selection platform, and choose whether or not to participate in them.

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