Flipped classrooms turn the traditional model of instruction upside down by migrating in-person classroom lectures into videos that are watched independently by students on their own time. Class time that had traditionally be spent listening to lectures is now replaced with interactive assignments designed to reinforce the previously-viewed video presentations. In effect, the activities of homework and class time are flipped – lectures are watched at home and assignments are completed during class. For students with ADHD who struggle to complete homework assignments efficiently and consistently, the flipped classroom model is appealing for two reasons:
Flipped classrooms at least partially address both of these problems for students with ADHD. When lectures are provided in video format, students can watch them at their own pace. They can rewind if their attention drifts and they can listen again to catch key points that they may have missed. Taking notes becomes easier when they are able to slow down the pace of the lecture, and notetaking may become less essential if teachers and classmates can serve as resources when assignments are completed during the class period. When assignments are completed in class instead of at home, students with ADHD may be less fatigued, will have the advantage of their ADHD medication still being in effect, can receive individualized instruction from the teacher as needed, will have the social and intellectual support of their classmates, and ideally, the assignments will be more interactive and less tedious than in traditional homework.
Even with these clear benefits, optimizing flipped classrooms for students with ADHD requires special considerations:
“Homework” will continue to be a challenge for students with ADHD.
In flipped classrooms, homework does not altogether disappear, it is simply replaced by video lectures. Students with ADHD will still struggle to focus on the videos, they will still procrastinate, and they will still miss key points during the lectures. Optimize the use of video lectures by incorporating elements that are known to increase engagement and compliance for students with ADHD:
Flipped classroom assignments present unique challenges for students with ADHD.
Students with ADHD who struggle to complete assignments at home will also have challenges with classroom assignments.
Flipped classrooms have the potential to be far more engaging for students with ADHD than traditional instructional models. Tailoring flipped classrooms to meet the needs to students with ADHD can have a positive impact on their ability to learn and their motivation to participate in the learning process.
Mary Rooney, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr Rooney is a researcher and clinician specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD and co-occurring behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. A strong advocate for those with attention and behavior problems, Dr. Rooney is committed to developing and providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and adolescent. Dr. Rooney's clinical interventions and research avenues emphasize working closely with parents and teachers to create supportive, structured home and school environments that enable children and adolescents to reach their full potential. In addition, Dr. Rooney serves as a consultant and ADHD expert to Huntington Learning Centers.
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