How to Create Assessments for the Flipped Classroom

It seems like everyone is talking about the flipped classroom. But how do you use this new model to construct lessons and assessments that reinforce student learning?

“Flipping” involves turning Bloom’s Taxonomy on its head. Instead of using class time to convey the basic information you want your students to remember and asking them to work on more difficult learning tasks alone, a flipped class asks students to come to class prepared with the foundational information and then to work on the challenging tasks of analysis, evaluation, and creation with others.

Barbi Honeycutt, PhD, is the director of graduate teaching programs at North Carolina State University and the founder of Flip It Consulting. During her recent online seminar, Assessment Strategies for the Flipped Classroom, Honeycutt walks listeners through the process of creating an exercise for a flipped class.

Imagine a course component for Healthy Cooking 101 that addresses childhood obesity. The top-level, or “30,000 foot,” view is an exercise in which students create a healthy PB&J sandwich. The “3 foot” view starts with basic tasks such as listing and describing the ingredients in this classic sandwich.

As the lesson progresses, the instructor can add what Honeycutt terms “layers” to take students deeper into their learning and higher in Bloom’s Taxonomy. For example, asking students to use nutrition labels to compare the ingredients involves applying their learning and using their knowledge to analyze the sandwich. A further task, which requires students to rank the healthiest ingredients, requires skills in evaluation.

Finally, students may be asked to create a healthy PB&J sandwich. Certainly, a tangible exercise might be the actual in-class creation of the proposed healthy sandwich. Later, the final assessment may include having students write an op-ed piece or blog post educating parents about the importance of boosting their child’s lunchtime nutrition levels.

Using this simple example, Honeycutt takes listeners through the process of creating formative and summative assessments from the flipped class. She provides a wealth of examples, including sample worksheets and assignments that will reinforce learning at every step of the lesson.

So, why go to all of this trouble to create robust lessons for the flipped classroom? Honeycutt points to research suggesting that students who encounter a concept only once have likely forgotten most of it within a day; however, students who are continually reminded of the lesson by working with it to increase their understanding might remember 75% or more as much as a month later. The flipped classroom model allows for the kind of learning that is active, engaging, and enduring.

View a brief clip from the seminar: