Blended instruction, flipping your classroom, creating tutorials, and homework in class!

Virtual Education is defined as instruction where students and teachers are separated by time or space, or both, and the teacher uses a Learning Management System (LMS) such as Moodle/Blackboard/Schoology to deliver instruction. Through one of these systems, teachers can offer blended instruction (face to face instruction that includes access to materials on a LMS) or offer fully online courses.

The teacher may also use other tools (Wikis, Blogs) and Video Conferencing to communicate with the students.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could record our lessons and post them for students to watch? Have you ever thought about what students do when they get home and have a question? Where can they get help? Do you have a problem with students who don't complete their homework? The move to blended instruction/virtual instruction, or using both online and face-to-face instruction, is transforming education. It is also causing a shift in the responsibilities and roles of both the teacher and the student.

What is a Blended Classroom?

A National Education Association (NEA) Policy Brief on blended learning states:

Blended learning (aka hybrid and mixed-mode) is an environment in which:

  • A student learns in a blended model of face-to-face instruction with a licensed teacher and technology-based instruction that best meets the educational needs of the student.
  • During the technology-based instruction, under the guidance of the teacher, the student has control over the time, place, path and/or the pace of the curriculum to form an integrated instructional approach.

Watch the following video to learn more about blended learning in the classroom.

What is a flipped classroom?

Teachers who have flipped their classrooms either create or link to content related instructional materials and post them to a web site or learning management system for students to view outside the school day. By having students view the videos and learning resources at home, teachers use class-time by helping students apply or practice the learning. Activities that have been traditionally assigned as homework are now done in class with the teacher's support. Teachers have begun using this model for providing sub plans.

About the Flipped Classroom

Johnathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are considered the originators of the flipped classroom. Watch their video above about the Flipped Classroom.

Elements of the Flipped Classroom- The A-Z of Flipping the Classroom:

  • students need to understand the expectations
  • provide textbooks for a reference
  • provide overview of grading (e.g. most flipped classrooms use mastery learning)
  • create a web presence to post your instructional material (e.g. Face of the Classroom)
  • locate a place to host your videos (e.g. Vimeo, Screencast.com, your web site)
  • locate a screencasting tool to record your videos; include headset and webcam
  • storyboard your lesson and practice, practice, practice!
  • create videos which are 3-5 minutes (lengthy videos lose attention)
  • create online assignments and assessments to accompany video
  • provide meaningful classroom activities so that students are engaged during class time rather than doing homework without learning

Getting Started with the Flipped Classroom- Review the following Flipped Classroom Resources:

Content for the Flipped Classroom

Consider videos (link to or create your own), interactives, visual learning, online textbooks or articles, web links/resources, and more.

Creating Your own Videos

ScreencastomaticScreencast-o-Matic is totally web-based, and easy to use. It works with both PC and Mac computers. It was used to record the screen for the Presentation Tools demonstration.

Pre-recording tips

  1. Decide what one or two things you want your audience to learn (keep it simple).
  2. Create a storyboard or outline of the content you plan to show or demonstrate, and write a script before you begin recording. (Storyboard_template.doc)
  3. Practice what you will say and show several times until it is smooth
  4. Make a trial recording and play it back. Are the answers to these questions yes?
    • Is the purpose of the recording clear? Does it tell what it will be about at the beginning?
    • Does it explain or teach what was planned?
    • Is there a summary at the end?
    • Is the audio clear?
  5. Now have a friend or colleague watch it and see if they also answer those questions with a yes.
  6. Celebrate your success! Reflect on how you could improve it in the future. Think about your educational setting and how you can apply this in the future (or even tomorrow).

This link will take you to additional demo and how-to videos. Watch the video below, which is an overview tutorial on using Screencast-o-Matic.

note: In order to use Screencast-o-Matic your internet browser must have the most up-to-date version of Java. Follow the prompts when you open Screencast-o-Matic and install Java.


Show me videos can be extremely helpful for learners, especially in this age of digital media. You can create and post help resources online with this free software. You can capture your screen, a photo to annotate and explain, or create a video of the steps that students need to follow. Although Jing is free, you must install the software to your computer and your videos cannot be longer than 5 minutes long.

Resources for editing and posting video

If you want to edit or produce your own videos, there are instructions and resources in the Additional Resources for Blended or Flipped Classroom.