March 29, 2023
Series: Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators - The Flipped Classroom
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA). LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
This month’s Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators’ post takes a look at the flipped classroom. A flipped childbirth classroom is where families engage with specific interactive content focusing on key concepts outside of regular class time, creating space for in-class activities that clarify concepts, apply acquired knowledge, and encourage problem solving - all skills that can be used during labor, birth and early parenting. The flipped classroom could be a tool that helps you effectively use your time together with birth class families. It can be applied to both in person and virtual classrooms. You can find all the Brilliant Activities for Birth Educators ideas here at this link.
It often takes skill and effort to nail the timing when holding a childbirth class - ending on time, with the satisfaction that you effectively met all your learning objectives. Families may have lots of questions. It may not be uncommon for their questions to steer the class in a different direction at times. Juggling their needs with planned activities can require leveling up your facilitation skills.
Adding in some flipped classroom activities can help the childbirth educator “buy back” some class time, and use the time together to help families take their knowledge to the next level, solidifying information through discussions, group practice, and other activities. Here are five potential activities that families can do outside the classroom that offer everyone a chance to bring it all together when class is in session.
Shared Decision Making Activity
Outside of class, provide resources for families to review on the topic of shared decision making. Consider including birth stories, videos or articles. Be sure to include the basic steps to making an informed choice during pregnancy, labor/birth or in the postpartum period and the importance and benefits of making a choice that feels right to them. In class, provide volunteers an opportunity to practice these skills with a scenario you created that is in line with decisions that birthing people are typically faced with. Discuss how navigating the conversation felt to them and what else they might need to feel confident in finding their voice throughout the experience.
Use the time outside of class for watching a video that you would normally show when you are all together. Provide a brief guide to accompany the video, with questions to consider, key points to note and the discussion topics that will happen when you come back together. Inside the classroom, answer questions and facilitate an informed discussion about how this information applies to them, and how they can best use it to have a safe and healthy experience for themselves and their baby. Topics to apply to this activity might be stages of labor, postpartum experiences, a birth video, newborn cues and more.
Listen to a Lamaze International Podcast
Outside of class, select an episode of the Lamaze International Podcast series. Each season's episodes have been carefully curated to include topics of interest to families all around the world. Make your selection based on your learning goals, and invite families to listen to a specific podcast. (I was a guest on a recent episode, where I talked about breathing and labor which could be very applicable for your class goals.) When you are all back together, ask the class to share some key take-aways from the podcast and encourage them to think about how they might apply what they learned to their own experiences.
Provide a “cheat sheet” of effective and useful positions for labor and pushing. Ask parents to try these positions at home, in the very space they will be in during labor (and birth if they are having a home birth). Make sure your images and descriptions are clear so parents can easily follow along when practicing. Invite them to rank the positions from least to most for favorite, comfortable, and likely to try. As a group, discuss what positions were favorites and why, when they might be appropriate and how they could be modified them for individual labor and birth circumstances and locations.
Test Your Knowledge Quiz
Outside of class, invite families to take a fun quiz that “tests” their knowledge of upcoming class material. These quizzes can be made for free in Google Forms. This link shows the basics of creating a quiz in Google Forms and this video lets you make them a bit more fancy. but you can add images, videos and other fun options to make the quiz more interesting. Once you are all together, you can take a deeper dive on the topics that families were less informed on, answer any questions they may have and discuss how they might apply this information to their own situation.
It is the responsibility of the childbirth educator to start and end class on time, cover the intended learning objectives and use class time wisely. Consider introducing the “flipped classroom” model by using any of the above activities or other ideas that you have in mind. Doing this will help create space for families to apply knowledge they started with or gained during your flipped classroom activity and take it to the next level. Fun and short assignments encourage learning between your meeting times and help you to feel like you can cover more ground and create breathing space for the pace and timing of your childbirth classes.
TagsBrilliant Activities For Birth Educators Series: Brilliant Activities For Birth Educators Sharon Muza