The Ruyton Reporter - Spring 2014 - page 12

the ruyton reporter
The Flipped Classroom
In the Spring 2013 edition of the Ruyton Reporter, as we explored Real World Science, we
mentioned the work being undertaken by Ms Nicole Volkmann on ‘flipped’ learning as part of
her Ruyton Award for Educational Research. We are delighted to bring you the results of her
comprehensive report, below. The integration of technology in the classroom was a particular
focus of the Science Department in 2013. Nicole explored the benefits and challenges of the
‘Flipped Classroom’ model and its impact on both student learning and teacher’s pedagogy.
The benefits and challenges of the
‘Flipped Classroom’ model
Flipped learning refers to moving direct instruction out
of the classroom group teaching space and into the
individual learning homework space. This maximises the
amount of time teachers have to spend with individual
students and students have to spend working with one
another. Instructional videos or other forms of material
deliver information to students and class time is used
for problem solving, collaborations and interactions
with the teacher. Flipping the classroom provides more
time to address the needs of individual students and
enables more active and engaged learning, without
sacrificing the amount of material that can be covered.
Flipped classrooms aim to enrich the learning of
students by allowing greater class time for discussion,
practical work and collaboration. Key features of the
flipped classroom include:
• Discussions that are led by the students where
outside content is brought in and expanded.
• These discussions typically reach higher orders of
critical thinking.
• Content is given context as it relates to real-world
• Students challenge one another during class on
• Students take ownership of the material and use their
knowledge to lead one another without prompting
from the teacher.
• Students ask exploratory questions and have the
freedom to delve beyond core curriculum.
• Students are actively engaged in problem solving and
critical thinking that reaches beyond the traditional
scope of the course.
• Students transform from passive listeners to active
• Content is permanently archived for later review or
Nicole discovered that 85 percent of the students in her
Year 11 Chemistry class preferred the Flipped Classroom
Learning Model, 58 percent of Tests/Exam results were
higher; of these, 38 percent showed great than 5 percent
improvement compared to previous years.
The Flipped Classroom Learning Model encouraged
students to be more responsible for their learning,
allowing them to pace their work and understand
topics before moving on to new concepts. Student
engagement and understanding was enhanced and
test and examination results appeared to improve.
The Flipped Classroommodel was time efficient,
which allowed teachers more 1:1 time; this in turn
helped teachers to know their students better and to
meet their learning needs. Students also spent more
time collaborating with other students and, in doing
so, were more likely to engage in critical thinking and
problem solving. Another positive of this model was
that students who miss class do not miss important
instruction and were able to catch up. However, the
Flipped ClassroomModel involved a significant time
investment from the teacher in making or finding
appropriate instructional videos. Students did not
always place watching the videos as a high priority and
would watch them late at night or with distractions.
The 2014 Ruyton Award for Educational Research has
been given to Ms Radmila Harding whose research is
‘Girls, Technology and Classroom – with a Twist of
Radmila will research how girls, and more
specifically gifted girls, use technology and digital
devices in their learning.
Earth Concert – a fantastic first!
Earlier in the year the Melbourne
Environmental Schools Initiative (MESI)
held its inaugural Earth Concert at
Melbourne High School. MESI was formed
in 2013 by a group of committed students
from schools across Melbourne. These
students collaborated over six months of
meetings and Facebook posts to plan and
organise this successful event. The week
of the concert we battled with forecasted
rain, but it held off on the Friday afternoon
so that plans to have the event on the
oval at Melbourne High could go ahead.
Over 10 acts from different schools
performed on the night, including Ruyton’s
Laura Pryor, singing solo and impressing
the crowds. Elizabeth Scarlett and Eliza Li
performed a contemporary violin piece,
to great acclaim. The standard set by all
the performers was very high; it was hard
to believe that they were school-aged
amateur bands and soloists. In addition,
we were thrilled to secure three headline-
acts, Declan Sykes, Angie McMahon and
Big Words. The event was a huge success,
with an estimated 250 people (and Panda)
attending, raising $1000 that was sent to
the Save the Reef campaign.
We have many people to thank: the
Ruyton girls who attended the concert;
the Ruyton girls who performed; and
especially those who assisted with the
organisation of this inaugural event.
Zoe Rachcoff,
Sustainability Captain
Challenging our Perceptions
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