Inverted Classroom

What is that?

The traditional way one learns is to go to class where a teacher stands at the front of the class and talks for 40 minutes or so explaining this or that concept and then invites questions. Students ask, get clarification and go home to do more questions handed out to them in class.

In the inverted classroom I turn this model onto its head. Students go watch lectures at home on YouTube, college proprietary lectures, Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, MIT Opencourseware, EdX et al. Students also read books and notes handed out or increasingly e-mailed to them or downloaded from their learning institutions, try out programming assignments, find extra code to bolster their learning (Stackexchange, Reddit, Quora, CodingAcademy, GoogleAI et al) and try to question themselves to consolidate their knowledge as much as possible. They then head to class where they are asked questions by their lecturers, set programming assignments and are free to put their hands up and seek answers right there and then in the class setting. Students enter the classroom, sit down and open up their laptops and immediately begin discussion code, ideas and where they’re stuck with the peers and me – the lecturer. I run around the class helping students and putting interesting problems they come up with on a whiteboard or sharing students’ screens with others in the class. We work as a group solving problems throughout the hours of the class. It’s fun, lively and non-threatening.

In the classroom it’s like you’re at home doing homework that was assigned to you in class while at home it’s like you’re in class listening to lectures, taking notes, trying to follow what your lecturer is trying to impart. Home is used for putting info into your head; class is for consolidating that information. Programming assignments work very well in this mode. You’re set a problem in the class and work on it right there and then. Or you’re set a problem, begin it at home and bring your ideas to class completing the solution with your peers and me. I watch what you do and ask the entire class questions as students get hung up on one problem or another. Everyone participates as a group and helps everyone else solve their problem. It’s incredible fun! Many students tell me they’ll never want to sit in a conventional class again.

So homework is done in class and class work is done at home … INVERTED … see? (This podcast is worth listening to — Ben Ben and Blue cover lecturing=bloodletting).

Over the years this has proved to be a very successful model for this new teaching modality our world has already shown works extremely well. At CyberCollege we taught more than 2750 students before selling our college to a rival business. Since selling our baby I’ve taught more than 600 students using the same model. I could not have ever dreamed of being able to create that many IT professionals almost single-handedly.