Flip IT! (Flipped Classroom in the Europen Vocational Education)
Programme: Erasmus+, Strategic Partneship
Participating countries: Hungary, Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom, Czech Republic
Project duration: 1 September 2015 – 31 August 2018
Project ID: 2015-1-HU01-KA202-013555
Coordinator: iTStudy Hungary Ltd.
Recent literature reveals that the full potential of ICT is often not realised to its full potential in formal education, and that “only a few innovative projects manage to survive beyond the early adopter stage and become fully embedded in educational practice.” (S. Bocconi, P. G. Kampylis, Y. Punie, 2012). It is in this context that the “Flip IT” project was conceived; a research project with the aim of integrating the “flipped classroom” method into the pedagogical practice of the VET schools and training centers in the partner countries across Europe. The long-term aim of the project is to improve the quality of vocational education and to engage a movement towards work-based, collaborative and problem-oriented learning/teaching by utilising the pedagogical potential of ICT tools.
The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC-IPTS) started the “Creative Classroom Programme” in 2012, in line with the flagships’ initiatives of the Europa 2020 strategy. This particular initiative aims to provide a better understanding of ICT-enabled innovation in formal and adult education and to promote the effective use of ICT in modernising pedagogical methods. Within this theme, the “Creative Classroom Lab” was developed by the European Schoolnet in 2013 ( http://creative.eun.org), using the methodology of “Flipped Classroom – FC” The project was piloted across Europe.
Teachers who have experienced the flipped classroom approach have explained how the method increases the interaction between students and teachers emphasising how ‘the teacher is not the sage on the stage, but the “guide on the side”!’. The final conclusion of a five month long pedagogical experiment in the Czech Republic was that the performance of students in mathematics was significantly higher in the student group where FC methods was introduced.
We are convinced that “flipping the classroom” would be especially beneficial for the vocational education sector, where the schools are facing the challenge to meet the needs of the ever-changing labor market. The speed of technological evolution makes it almost impossible to provide the vocational schools with traditional textbooks in time. Preparing learning materials for the students, the teachers have to take into account the huge amount of information available on the Internet. How then can teachers use this concept of “always being connected” to enhance the student experience and student learning? How can they exceed the limits of Power Point presentations in the classroom? What ICT tools are the most effective for supporting enhancing teaching and learning and in particular the Flipped model of learning? The “Flip IT!” consortium would like not only to answer these questions, but to also address teacher’s challenges in a practical way; we believe that teachers are the main actors who can drive the change.