Flipped classroom

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Flipped classroom is a form of blended learning which brings an interactive engagement pedagogy to classrooms by having students learn content online, usually at home, and homework is done in class with teachers and students discussing and solving questions. Teacher interaction with students is more personalized - guidance instead of lecturing. This is also known as backwards classroom, inverted classroom, reverse teaching, and the Thayer Method.[1][2][3]


Abeysekera and Dawson[4] reviewed both popular media and peer-reviewed research to establish a definition for the term 'flipped classroom'. They define the flipped classroom as a set of pedagogical approaches that:

  1. move most information-transmission teaching out of class;
  2. use class time for learning activities that are active and social; and
  3. require students to complete pre- and/or post-class activities to fully benefit from in class work.

Traditional vs flipped teaching[edit]

The traditional pattern of teaching has been to give students the task of reading textbooks and work on problem sets outside school, while listening to lectures and taking tests in class.[5]

In flip teaching, the students first study the topic by themselves, typically using video lessons prepared by the teacher[6][7] or third parties. In class students apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work.[8][9][10] The teacher tutors the students when they become stuck, rather than imparting the initial lesson in person.

Complementary techniques include differentiated instruction and project-based learning.[11][12][13]

Flipped classrooms free class time for hands-on work.[14] Students learn by doing and asking questions. Students can also help each other, a process that benefits both the advanced and less advanced learners.[15]

Flipping also changes the allocation of teacher time. Traditionally, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but those who don’t ask tend to need the most attention. “We refer to ‘silent failers,’ ” said one teacher, claiming that flipping allows her to target those who need the most help rather than the most confident. Flipping changes teachers from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side”, allowing them to work with individuals or groups of students throughout the session.[15]


Eric Mazur developed peer instruction in the 1980s. He found that computer-aided instruction allowed him to coach instead of lecture. Lage, Platt and Treglia published the paper "Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment" in 2000.[16] In 1993, King published "From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side"[17] in College Teaching, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Winter, 1993), pp. 30–35. Baker presented "The classroom flip: using web course management tools to become the guide by the side" at the 11th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Baker's article presents the model of classroom flipping.[18]

Starting in fall 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison used eTeach software to replace lectures in a computer science course with streaming video of the lecturer and coordinated slides.[19] In 2011, two centers at Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning[20] were built to focus on flipped and blended learning.

In 2004, Salman Khan began to record videos at the request of a younger cousin who felt that recorded lessons would let her skip parts she had mastered and replay parts that were troubling her. Khan’s model essentially provides one-to-one tutoring. Khan Academy videos are used as part of some educators' flipped teaching strategy.[21][22]

In the "The Classroom Flip" (2006), Tenneson and McGlasson presented an approach for teachers considering whether to flip their classrooms and how various approaches could enhance their teaching process, along. It also explores computer course management systems.[23]

Dr. Bill Brantley presented a flipped classroom model at the February 2007 American Political Science Association's Teaching and Learning Conference [24] where he described how to use two simulations for classroom meetings while moving content delivery to an online LMS.[25]

In 2007, Jeremy Strayer published his dissertation research conducted at The Ohio State University entitled "The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment: a comparison of learning activity in a traditional classroom and a flip classroom that used an intelligent tutoring system."[26] This study highlighted the importance of attending to the ways the coordination of out-of-class and in-class activities can positively and negatively influence how students engage course tasks.

In 2013, Dominic Smith flipped a college level general chemistry class. He published the article "Students Attitudes Toward Flipping the General Chemistry Classroom" as a case study for the flipped classroom technique. According to his case study, the students enjoyed the flipped classroom, but this style requires a lot more work for the students. He had the lectures posted online and would have a quiz at the beginning of class. The time in class was used to solve problems. The article goes more in depth of the pros and cons of the flipped classroom with the overall thought being that it helped the students learn the material.[27]

Clintondale High School[edit]

In 2011 Michigan's Clintondale High School flipped every class. Principal Greg Green had been posting YouTube videos on baseball techniques for his son’s team. He then worked with social studies teacher, Andy Scheel, to run two classes with identical material and assignments, one flipped and one conventional. The flipped class had many students who had already failed the class — some multiple times. After 20 weeks flipped students were outperforming traditional students. No flipped student class scored lower than a C+. The previous semester 13 percent had failed. The traditional classroom showed no change.[15]

Clintondale had been designated as among the state's worst 5 percent. In 2010 more than half of ninth graders had failed science, and almost half had failed math. That year, the 9th grade flipped. The English failure rate dropped from 52 percent to 19 percent; in math, from 44 percent to 13 percent; in science, from 41 percent to 19 percent; and in social studies, from 28 percent to 9 percent. After 2011 the now-flipped school's failure rate dropped from 30 to 10 percent. Graduation rates soared above 90 percent. College attendance went from 63 percent in 2010 to 80 percent in 2012. Results on standardized tests went up in 2012 and then dropped, although complicated by student body changes.[15]

Teachers found that shorter videos (3–6 minutes) were the most effective. The school uses audio files, readings and videos from the Khan Academy, TED and other sources. Students favored the changes. Students unable to watch the videos at home watch the videos in school.[15]

Flipped mastery[edit]

Traditionally, each topic in class receives a fixed amount of time for all students. Students who do not master the material get no extra time. Mastery learning upends this approach, by requiring each student to master the topic before moving to the next one. Flipped mastery learning applies the mastery concept to flipped classrooms.[28]

Mastery learning was briefly popular in the 1920s, and was revived by Benjamin Bloom in 1968. It has shown dramatic success.[29][30] The teacher provides materials, tools and support. Students set goals and manage their time.[28]

Mastery rewards students for displaying competence. Students who initially turn in shoddy work must correct it before moving on. Before flipping, mastery learning was impractical in most schools. It was not possible to give different lectures for different groups of students. Testing was also impractical, because fast-learning students could reveal the test to those who followed.[28]

In a flipped mastery classroom, students view each lecture and work on each exercise or project when they have mastered the precursors. As of 2013 only a few teachers had blended flipping and mastery.[31]

Tim Kelly, winner of the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching, adopted flipped mastery with his colleagues Corey Sullivan and Mike Brust. Sullivan estimated that 40 to 60 hours of work outside school for each of 12 units per course were required the first year. Another Presidential Award winner, Spencer Bean, converted after his daughter went through Kelly’s class.[28]

Flipped mastery eliminates two other out-of-class routines: daily lesson planning and grading papers. The latter happens in class and in person. Replacing lectures with group and individual activities increases in-class activity. Every student has something to do throughout the class. In some classes, students choose how to demonstrate mastery - testing, writing, speaking, debating and even designing a related game. Moodle provides one way to manage the testing process. It creates a different test for each student from a pool of questions. Advocates claim that its efficiency allows most students to do a year’s work in much less time. Advanced students work on independent projects while slower learners get more personalized instruction. Some students might not get through the year’s material, but demonstrated competence on the parts they did complete.[28]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hallberg, Sara (2010). "An Alternate Approach in the Application of the Thayer Concept of Teaching". Archived from the original on 2014-02-04. 
  2. ^ Tina Barseghian (February 5, 2011), Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning, KQED 
  3. ^ "Clay Christensen takes closer look at how online learning will disrupt K-12 education — Tech News and Analysis". Gigaom.com. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  4. ^ Abeysekera, Lakmal; Dawson, Phillip (2015). "Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: definition, rationale and a call for research". Higher Education Research & Development 34 (1): 1–14. doi:10.1080/07294360.2014.934336. 
  5. ^ The flip: Turning a classroom upside down, Washington Post, 4. June, 2012
  6. ^ Marco Ronchetti (June 2010), "Using video lectures to make teaching more interactive", International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) 
  7. ^ Greg Topp (6 Oct 2011), "Flipped classrooms take advantage of technology", USA Today 
  8. ^ "Flipping the classroom", The Economist, 17 Sep 2011 
  9. ^ Diana Mehta (8 Sep 2011), "Video in the class keeps savvy students engaged", The Canadian Press (Toronto) 
  10. ^ Daniel Pink (12 Sep 2010), "Flip-thinking - the new buzz word sweeping the US", The Daily Telegraph (London) 
  11. ^ Alvarez, Brenda. "Flipping the Classroom: Homework in Class, Lessons at Home". National Education Association. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Bill Tucker (Winter 2012), "The Flipped Classroom", EducationNext 
  13. ^ Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Gross (March 21, 2014). "Skills Practice - Alternative History as Narrative". New York Times. 
  14. ^ "The Flipped Classroom: Turning Traditional Education On Its Head". Knewton. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Rosenberg, Tina (2013-10-09). "Turning Education Upside Down". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  16. ^ Maureen Lage, Glenn Platt, Michael Treglia (2000), Inverting the Classroom: A gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment, Journal of Economic Education 
  17. ^ "From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side". Eric.ed.gov. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  18. ^ J. Wesley Baker (2000), The classroom flip: using web course management tools to become the guide by the side 
  19. ^ Julie Foertsch, Gregory Moses, John Strikwerda, Mike Litzkow (July 2002), "Reversing the Lecture/Homework Paradigm Using eTEACH Web-based Streaming Video Software", Journal of Engineering Education 
  20. ^ "Home | Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning | University of Wisconsin–Madison". Wiscel.wisc.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  21. ^ Clive Thompson (15 Jul 2011), "How Khan Academy is Changing the Rules of Education", Wired 
  22. ^ Sarah D. Sparks (28 Sep 2011), Lectures Are Homework in Schools Following Khan Academy Lead 
  23. ^ Mike Tenneson, Bob McGlasson (20 Apr 2006), The Classroom Flip 
  24. ^ APSA (10 Feb 2007), Simulations and Role Play 
  25. ^ Bill Brantley (15 Jul 2006), Teaching Public Administration through Blended Learning 
  26. ^ Jeremy F. Strayer (2007), The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment: a comparison of learning activity in a traditional classroom and a flip classroom that used an intelligent tutoring system. 
  27. ^ Smith, Dominic (11 September 2013). "Students attitudes toward flipping the general chemistry classroom". Chemistry Education Research and Practice. 
  28. ^ a b c d e Rosenberg, Tina (October 23, 2013). "In ‘Flipped’ Classrooms, a Method for Mastery". New York Times. 
  29. ^ "Brandt 79" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  30. ^ "Kulik 90" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  31. ^ Bergmann, Jon; Sams, Aaron. Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. ISBN 1564843157.