Library as classroom: What’s the big flippin’ deal? — A TTW Guest Post by Jolene Nechiporenko


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In my hyperlinked library class we’ve been learning about the library as classroom and the benefits of the flipped classroom.  The flipped classroom lends itself to the newer concept of teaching and learning, the active, community centered, collaborative, group learning in which both students and instructors can be learners or teachers.

What is a flipped classroom? The flipped or inverted classroom assigns pre-class, often an online video, pod cast, or reading material, homework and then utilizes class time to complete an active discussion or learning exercise.  “Lectures are moved online to be viewed before class, and classroom time is dedicated to learning activities that require students to engage concepts at a higher level in a group setting and with an instructor at hand to answer questions, give feedback, and prompt reexamination of key ideas.” (Baepler, Walker, & Driessen, 2014)

What’s so great about a flipped classroom?  Flipping the classroom offers new opportunities to both students and instructors that the traditional classroom does not.  Among these opportunities is flexibility for both the students and the instructors.  Students can access, ‘at home’ materials online wherever and whenever they want thanks to the incorporated technology. These recordings or materials remain available to students for repeated use.  “It allows a blended, (online and face-to-face) and self-paced instruction more aligned to how this generation of students learn.” (Brunsell & Horejsi, 2013)

Flipping saves time in the long run.  Instructors record their lecture only once until they feel the need to make changes or updates and students can view/listen to the material as many times as they feel necessary.  This process, known as ‘off-loading’ allows for better use of classroom time. Kim Miller explains off-loading as it pertains to information literacy instruction “…it’s hard to jump into more complex application and exploratory activities during a traditional 50 or 60 minute class if students don’t have a basic foundation on which to build advanced skills.  Off-loading the procedural instructions, like how to navigate the library’s website or basic catalog searching, to pre-class activities can free up in-class time for librarians to help students work through more complex activities.” (Miller, 2013)

Off-loading provides for better use of classroom time which can foster active, collaborative learning.  “Engaging students in active learning during class gives them an opportunity to think critically about what they are leaning, something often lacking in traditional library instruction.” (Fawley, 2014)  “The [Horizon] report notes, “Students are increasingly evaluated…on the success of the group dynamic,” as well as the outcome.  This might involve peer evaluation and self-reflection in addition to review of the group’s work. (as quoted in Stephens, 2012)”

“Thanks to social-networking software, information can flow not just from teachers to learners but in multiple directions: among students, from students to classroom teachers, from teacher-librarians to classroom teachers and students.” (Loertscher, 2008). In this ideal environment, instructors can assume the role of student and students have the capability to be the instructor. “When an assignment is given, everyone-teachers, librarians, students, and other specialists- can comment, coach, suggest, recommend, and discover together, and push everyone toward excellence.” (Loertscher, 2008)

Why should libraries be interested in flipped classrooms?  It’s ideal for an instructor to collaborate with a teacher librarian and have their class take place in the learning commons where a world of resources are readily available to the learner.  Flipped classrooms are often found in libraries, especially in the information commons.  In addition, the flipped classroom can be applied to information literacy instruction in which the librarian is the actual instructor.  “Libraries are increasingly called on to pursue innovative educational initiatives in order to remain engaged with a user base that is beginning to expect more personalized, mobile, digital, and responsive information services. (Booth, 2011)

Want more information?  Check out this great info graphic:

flipped-classroom-2

References

Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, Effective learning. American Library Association.

Brunsell, E.,& Horejsi, M. (2013) Flipping you classroom in one “Take”.  Science Teacher, 80(3), 8.

Fawley, N. (2014, September 1). Flipped Classrooms. American Libraries.

Knewton. (2011, August, 29). The flipped classroom. [Infographic] Retrieved fromhttp://www.knewton.com/blog/education-infographics/flipped-classroom-infographic/

Loertscher, D. (2008, November 1). Flip this classroom. School Library Journal.

Miller, K. (2013, February 25).  Flipping Out: Preflip planning. Retrieved from ACRLog.

Miller, K. (2013, March 28).  Flipping Out: Reflection upon landing. Retrieved from ACRLog.

Stephens, M. (2012, April 25). Learning everywhere [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrievedfrom http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/04/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-everywhere-office-hours/

 

Jolene Nechiporenko is a senior student in the Master of Library and Information Science online degree program through San Jose State University’s School of Information. She lives with her family in North Dakota and plans to pursue a career in librarianship.

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