Using Video for Flipped Learning Environments

Teacher-created learning videos support students to work at their own pace, with personalized embedded supports and checks for understanding
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About This Strategy

Flipped learning environments provide students with opportunities to take ownership over their learning by working through content at their own pace. This strategy will give students a chance to have more control over the way and the speed with which a concept is presented to them. Teachers can create flipped videos to align with their curricular objectives and specifically target students' needs and interests, or use already created flipped videos. When creating flipped videos, teachers should consider the same teaching moves as they would in a live lesson. Videos are not a teaching tool, unless teaching skills are involved in the process of recording, curating and/or augmenting a video to reach a specific goal. With a skillfully crafted flipped lesson, teachers can activate students' prior knowledge, provide opportunities for practice and application, and even check for understanding. This strategy also includes steps to support teachers to evaluate the success of self-created videos after implementing with students.

Implementation Steps for Using Existing Videos in Flipped Classrooms

  1. Determine if there is a need to curate an original video by answering these questions:

    • Do you use an original method to teach a skill that has been proven to work?

    • Have students shown evidence that they do better when their teacher's own voice and "touch" comes into play?

    • Do you have the time and desire to record a video? 

  2. If the answer to these questions is "yes," then consider recording an original video using the implementation steps for "Creating Flipped Classroom Videos" section below.

  3. If the answer to almost all the questions in step 1 is "no," find a video that you want to turn into a flipped lesson. Consider platforms such as Learnzillion, Khan Academy, or even YouTube. Think about your students' strengths, needs, and interests, as well as your curricular objectives, when selecting a video.

  4. Watch the original video. Pause it every time you want to include a question. Write it on your paper and mark the time stamp in the video.

  5. Then, plan your flipped lesson. Consider using a planning template such as the one included in the resource section below to think through these essential elements of an effective flipped video:

    • Set a learning target, and craft a check for understanding for students to demonstrate their understanding of the learning target at the end of the video. 

    • Embed opportunities for reflection, interaction, and feedback. Reflection questions, self-assessments, and personal connections can be embedded into a video strategically, just as in a live classroom lesson.

    • Incorporate one active learning moment for every 30-45 seconds of video. Think about other tools students are familiar with that you might leverage to create these opportunities (i.e. padlet, GoogleClassroom, KWL chart).

    • Collect data on students' learning as they watch the video in order to determine progress students are making toward mastery and extract misconceptions difficult to catch during a whole group lesson.

    • Consider the norms and routines that will support students to be successful using a flipped video.

  6. Leverage a tool (i.e. Edpuzzle, GoogleClassroom) to embed questions and reflective pauses to the video. (See tutorial on how to use EdPuzzle in the resource section). 

  7. Watch your video as a student. Make note of any additional supports or scaffolds students might need to successfully engage with your video. If you are using a program to collect data on student engagement or student understanding, test the features of the program you will use (i.e. EdPuzzle, GoogleClassroom, etc.).

Implementation Steps for Creating Flipped Classroom Videos

  1. Choose a platform to create and host your video. Consult the Flipped Video Creation Sites list of recommended platforms and their features in the resource section below. As you choose, consider these questions:

    • How will students access your videos?

    • How will you assess student understanding during/after engagement with the video?

    • What platforms or programs are you and your students familiar with?

  2. Plan your flipped lesson. Consider using a planning template such as the one included in the resource section below to think through these essential elements of an effective flipped video:

    • Set a learning target, and craft a check for understanding for students to demonstrate their understanding of the learning target at the end of the video. 

    • Embed opportunities for reflection, interaction, and feedback. Reflection questions, self-assessments, and personal connections can be embedded into a video strategically, just as in a live classroom lesson.

    • Incorporate one active learning moment for every 30-45 seconds of video. Think about other tools students are familiar with that you might leverage to create these opportunities (i.e. padlet, GoogleClassroom, KWL chart).

    • Collect data on students' learning as they watch the video in order to determine progress students are making toward mastery and extract misconceptions difficult to catch during a whole group lesson.

    • Consider the norms and routines that will support students to be successful using a flipped video.

  3. Script your voiceover. You can write it out verbatim, or list out the key components that you want to include. Include references to the class to build a human connection. For all elements of your plan, consider your students' needs, as well as their strengths and interests.

  4. Time yourself reading your script. An effective flipped video should be between 2 and 5 minutes long, and no more than 8 minutes long. Practice with the visuals, continuing to time yourself. If you are using a whiteboard-style video creator, such as ShowMe or Educreations, test the settings and locate the appropriate tools that you will need so you can record your video efficiently.

  5. Record your video. Find a quiet space where you will not be interrupted. Consider filming yourself in the video to strengthen the human connection (see resource below on making flipped learning more human). 

  6. Leverage a tool (i.e. Edpuzzle, GoogleClassroom) to embed questions and reflective pauses to the video selected. (See tutorial on how to use EdPuzzle in the resource section.)

  7. Watch your video as a student. Make note of any additional supports or scaffolds students might need to be successful engaging with your video. If you are using a program to collect data on student engagement or student understanding, test the features of the program you will use (i.e. EdPuzzle, GoogleClassroom, etc.)

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Self-Created Flipped Videos

Teachers can evaluate the success of flipped videos by collecting data and student reflections.

Implementation steps:

  1. Review data from the embedded check(s) for understanding, and then ask yourself the following questions: 

    • Are students showing mastery of the concept after completing the video?

    • What academic trends or common misconceptions, if any, are shown in the data?

    • What trends are evident relating to the norms for engaging in flipped learning?

  2. Ask students for feedback on the flipped video. Pose questions that will give you specific feedback. Consider the method of feedback that would best support you. Some suggestions include:

    • Hold a conversation with students to discuss what they like and dislike about the video you created, or using a feedback protocol (for example, "glow and grow.")

    • Administer a survey to gather written feedback. Consider questions about what students feel helps them most, or what they feel is challenging about the video.

    • Ask students to self-assess their understanding after the video, and compare self-assessments to the data you collected.

  3. Apply this feedback to your next video. Consider creating a video based on any misconceptions from the check for understanding, or to build on students' mastery.

EL Modifications

  • For English Learners who struggle to express their thinking through writing in English, provide opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding and ask questions that are not reliant on typing in a text box. Checks for understanding can include uploading pictures of completed work with manipulatives, self-recorded videos, or audio recordings. Conduct frequent check-ins with EL students to address misconceptions and answer questions.

  • Subtitles and closed captions support EL students on multiple levels of language processing. For students who are new to English, but are readers in their primary language, consider adding subtitles in their primary language.

Special Education Modifications

Students with disabilities that impact their auditory processing should be given access to subtitles or closed captioning when engaging with flipped video lessons.

Questions to Consider

  • How will you support students to actively engage in flipped learning?

  • What norms, routines, or procedures will you need to set with students to create an accountable, independent learning culture?

  • How will you incorporate human elements into your flipped videos?

Coach Tips

Romain Bertrand
BetterLesson Instructional Coach
  • If you teach something in a very special way, and it has proven to work, you should consider trying to record your own lesson in this particular situation. Find a partner at school that can help you make your first video and/or give you some feedback.

  • Regularly ask your students for feedback on how to make your videos better. They will not shy away from telling you, and you can make these adjustments moving forward. They will appreciate being consulted!

  • Never assign a video without at least one check for understanding. It is so quick to add one question with EdPuzzle or even with a simple Google Form after they watched. Otherwise, you will never quite know what they took away from the video.

  • Time yourself responding to your own video. This will give you an indication of how long it should take students. If they take half that time, you know they skimmed over some questions, and you can hold them accountable.

Coach Tips

Tori Todd
BetterLesson Instructional Coach

When recording your own videos, don't forget to have fun with it! Think about ways that you might connect with your students, or bring in examples that connect to their personal lives. When I recorded videos for my classroom, they always ended with a message from my cats, and a picture of them "helping" me record my video at home. My students loved that personal connection! The most important thing to remember is that the video is a launching point. Engaging in reflection and feedback after a flipped video is an opportunity for deep learning.

Consulted Resources

In developing this strategy, the following resources were consulted: 

  • 100 Flipped Videos and Counting: Lessons from a Flipped Classroom (2015). Joe Hirsch, Edutopia 

  • Flipping the Classroom (2013). Cynthia Brame, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

  • Making your Flipped Classroom more Human (2018). Michael Ralph, Edutopia