GOAL & METHOD
GOAL#3 COOPERATIVE LEARNING APPROACHES
METHOD#3: flipped classroom
Advised Age Group
Support teacher; possibility for learners to meet up at home or after regular school time; topic: European Union
Topic and materials
Allow learners to choose the topic from a set of alternatives. Afterwards provide them with some material on their chosen topic to stimulate their curiosity. In this case, daily news regarding the European Parliament elections, political debates on european funds, foreign politics and policies on environment or immigration may be a good starting point.
Form small heterogeneous groups of three to four learners with different academic backgrounds and digital competencies in order to trigger peer tutoring and coaching within the groups. Divide the topic into subtopics, such as the European Commission and the President, the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Central Bank, the Erasmus programme, etc. Distribute sub-topics according to learner interest.
Learners responsible for their learning
Choose an output that has to be produced by the groups, such as a small paper or article 2500 characters long, that should be the basis for their lecture to the class. As a teacher you are unable to continuously monitor the group work and cannot control a huge part of the work that is being done at home by the groups. Speak with your learners about the concept of responsibility and how they can be responsible for learning or not learning. Discuss plagiarism and its consequences during evaluation.
Use group work outputs as study materials
After one week the different groups present to the whole class their work. If the produced output/materials are good in terms of information and form, they can be used as study materials for a summative test. Check group organisation and meta-cognition in learning.
Keep a bit of control
In flipped classroom methods, teachers cannot control the internal organization of the group.
Heterogeneous groups are good for peer teaching but could be an obstacle too. It is possible that strong learners take the lead and weak learners delegate to them. In order to keep a bit of control, collect details through peer assessment, asking the contribution of each learner to the group, the competencies learnt, etc.
When using the flipped classroom method, it is important to divide the topic of the lesson or unit into subtopics. The search for information about the subtopic, carried out individually or in little groups after regular school time, together with the awareness that the following study in class may depend upon it, makes learners responsible for their own learning.