10/08/2014 09:32 EDT | Updated 12/08/2014 05:59 EST

Flipped classrooms test new ways of learning

Some schools are trying out a new teaching method that challenges old concepts like homework.

In flipped classes, the students study the topic at home on their own using lessons (video or otherwise) prepared by their teachers.

The students then do practical work (or what used to be their homework) in class in the hopes  that having the teacher present during the application learning process will help students who might get stuck, give more one on one time with teachers encourage the completion of coursework.

"I’m there; they can’t hide anymore so it is more work, which forces them to be more successful," said Dianne Fitzpatrick, who’s accounting class students are part of this new flipped system.

Fitzpatrick said the advantage of this learning and working method is simple: more one on one time.

That is something important for some students who say they are too shy to ask questions during regular lectures.

And "with the flip class, you can watch (the lecture) even if it’s five or 10 times, until you get it," one of Fitzpatrick’s students added.

Fitzpatrick uses her own website for lessons and videos — all planned weeks in advance.

"Where I’m seeing more success is students who would not typically have paid attention in class, wouldn’t have done homework or maybe found it hard and given up,” she said.

The idea was brought to her attention after she and some colleagues visited a Detroit High School that used the method. 

The principal at that school decided to turn things around three years ago when freshman were failing at a 52 per cent rate in English language arts.

The new approach to class work and home work was implemented in order to make the most of the time students actually were in class.

Since then, that high school’s failure rates have been reduced as much as 35 per cent.