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Flipped Classroom | Teaching Strategies | Classroom Planning

The 5 Best Flipped Classroom Strategies for CTE Classes

November 20th, 2023 | 5 min. read

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As a career and technical education (CTE) instructor, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “flipped learning” from administrators and fellow teachers.

At its core, flipping the classroom is a type of blended learning in which students do typical class work at home.

A flipped classroom is also a great differentiated instruction strategy when you want to meet the needs of your diverse students. It also allows you to have more in-class time dedicated to working on hands-on CTE skills.

You may have already heard why flipped learning is so important, but actually doing it can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. This is especially since you have so many other things to do and so little outside support for trying something new.

So how can you get started? You need some strategy ideas!

These are the five best flipped classroom strategies to help you spend less class time lecturing and more time doing hands-on activities and skills practice.

1. Assign Readings with Questions to Answer

One of the easiest ways to flip your classroom is to ask students to complete readings at home instead of during class.

This may seem like just giving students homework, but you can tweak it slightly to flip your students’ learning!

Ask students to answer some questions about the readings to then review in class. You could give all students the same questions or vary your questions to spark discussion on different parts of the reading.

This way, your class time can be more focused on discussions and activities about the topic. Rather than spending the first part of your class time on reading, you can get right to the discussions and more in-depth information!

2. Create Lecture Videos

Many teachers associate flipped learning with using technology. One way to incorporate technology is to ask students to view videos on the topic you want to cover.

One way to do this is to record your lecture and upload it to a class website for students to watch at home. This way, students will receive all of the important information you want them to know, but it frees up in-class time for discussions, answering questions, and doing hands-on skills work.

To save some time, consider recording your live lectures during class, rather than doing so outside of class time. Then, you’ll have recordings that you can use in future courses to make flipped learning even more effective.

Creating your own videos is a lot of work up front, but in the long run you will find it’s worth the time and effort!

The biggest bonus to this is that absent students can easily watch the videos to stay caught up. Talk about two birds with one stone!

3. Provide Demonstration Videos

If you’d prefer to keep your lectures in the classroom, you could use videos in a different way.

Some teachers use YouTube videos (or other online sources) to demonstrate content visually. You can assign students specific videos to watch before class to give them the background information they need to understand new content. Then, you can discuss the videos and explain concepts in more depth during class time. 

Depending on the courses you teach, you could also assign any number videos that demonstrate hands-on skills, illustrate new concepts, or provide real-world examples relevant to your students' field of study.

There are many great CTE topics that lend themselves to video demonstrations -- you just need to find the right videos for your students!

4. Create an Online Class Discussion Group

Another way to flip the classroom is to host digital discussions. Teachers like this strategy because online discussions encourage students to “speak their minds,” including those who don’t usually speak up in class.

There are many variations to using online discussion, such as:

  • Setting up ‘starter questions’ to spark discussions
  • Asking students to include links to relevant articles they found
  • Having students initiate discussions with their own questions

You can mix and match these discussion styles to provide some variation for your students.

Some schools have dedicated class websites that you can use to create a discussion group. Check with your colleagues to see if you’re set up to go!

To relate these discussions back to your in-class time, pick a few interesting remarks that students brought up online. Use them to expand discussion in-class and link to what you’ll teach that day.

This is a great way to praise student participation and reinforce that their thoughts are an important piece to the learning process.

5. Use Digital Curriculum

One of the fastest and easiest ways to flip a classroom is through digital curriculum. It allows your students to access the bulk of base knowledge from a computer, making it easy for you to flip the classroom whenever you like.

Using a digital curriculum for flipped learning is similar to asking students to do traditional classwork at home. In this case, you instruct students to go through eLearning lessons within the curriculum system as homework. That teaches them the material for the next class session.

After completing the lessons, students take the integrated quiz as a formative assessment. A digital curriculum system will even record and show you the grades (and other student data) from a convenient dashboard.

Student grades let you tailor in-class instruction to where your students are in your syllabus. If most students have trouble with a certain concept, you know to talk about that concept more in class.

If most students have zoomed through a unit, you know that you don’t have to spend much time on it in class.

Using a digital curriculum is one of the easiest and least time-consuming ways for you to flip your CTE classroom. Videos, lessons, and assessments are already there waiting to be used.

You just need to decide which lessons you want to flip!

Start Flipping Your Classroom

At iCEV, we provide a digital curriculum for CTE educators to use for blended learning, flipped learning, and differentiated instruction.

Our comprehensive curriculum system is used by thousands of CTE instructors across the United States to save time and meet the needs of their diverse students.

Want start flipping your CTE classroom? Then sign up for a free trial of iCEV. You'll gain complete access to the entire curriculum to decide if it's right for your students.

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