Teaching and Learning with Technology

The Flipped Classroom Approach

with 19 comments

A few faculty and I are testing if the flipped classroom approach canenhance learning. Instructors teach one class section using the traditional approach and the other section using the flipped classroom approach. One of the instructors tested those classes last Fall and she found significantly higher levels of student engagement.

See the video for an overview of the flipped class approach.

See also the video on the four stages of the flippled classroom.

Written by ngrassini

January 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

19 Responses

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  1. We have teachers in the State of Iowa exploring the Flipped Classroom. For many of our schools who are 1:1 schools, this could expand the classroom and give students deeper understanding of the content. The ability to review content as needed and be prepared with resources before the end up in the classroom is a plus. There are concerns of course based on availability of resources and time, but I expect groups will work together to build these resources and videos.


    Denise Krefting

    January 25, 2012 at 11:46 pm

  2. If I understand this concept, I have heard of it, but not called flipped. So the students are receiving the lesson at home, via internet, then coming to school for the activity. This would not work with my students in special education. It sounds interesting, and interactive at home via internet. It would make homework better for the students, however, where is the ‘down time’ for the teacher? Perhaps I don’t quite fully understand how it works, yet.


    January 26, 2012 at 12:40 am

  3. It’s curious to think how we can reform and revolutionize learning through technology. The more I read, the more I grow eager to be a part of this movement. I love the aspect of higher levels of engagement and less “teacher talk”. I would like to know more about a flipped classroom at the elementary level.


    Kelly Boushell

    January 26, 2012 at 1:30 am

  4. I attended at conference where they had a school that had flipped classrooms. However, they were mostly able to do this in math and science. I asked about the language arts classroom, but I’m not sure it doesn’t work better for lab type classes. It’s a very interesting concept but even if I learned how to implement this in my classroom, I have many kids who still don’t have the internet at home. They would be so far behind.

    Patti Seidel

    January 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm

  5. Watching this video on the Flipped Classroom seemed very interesting. It seems as though the students are more engaged in the classroom. I feel that some of my students in special education would benefit from this because they would be able to watch the material over and over if needed, however, many of my students do no have computers in their homes so it would need to be seen during school hours. I feel this would also help me when I am working with them during their Study Skills period to understand what the teacher wants in terms of completion of assignments. It seems to be a great learning tool to use.
    Desiree Boris


    January 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm

  6. This post really appealed to me right away. Several years ago without knowing it was called a flipped classroom, I attempted to basically do this in my class. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was a huge success but it’s something I’ve maintained in my teaching to keep trying to do, always modifying it to make class better. I have learned more about flipped classrooms since then and am much more aware of what they are and how they work. My biggest issue or problem was that students weren’t always doing their homework, which meant I had to do in class what they were supposed to do for homework and then couldn’t move on in my lesson plan or students would be completely lost. So I could hardly ever do the comprehension activities or enrichment plans I wanted to, because I was helping students through what was supposed to be their homework. But- I keep trying new ways to improve my teaching practices and really get to an authentic, positive flipped classroom mode.

    Brooke Maine

    February 21, 2013 at 4:39 am

    • Yes, you make a good point about students not coming prepared to go to a deeper level in class with the information you post online. One way that has been successful to other instructors is to deduct points if they do not come prepared. The same way you would deduct points if they do not bring their homework complete. It takes time for students to understand the change. It is a change that they need to learn and adapt.


      February 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm

  7. This idea sounds good in theory but I really wonder how well it works in practice. I could see this working very well in high achieving districts. My district is a blue collar district. The expectation from home is earn the diploma so you can get out of school and get a job. Many, many of the students in the district have part-time after school jobs. Money rules. They leave school and go to their jobs. Homework is not a high priority with the students. The little bit of homework that is assigned is rarely completed. An attempt might be made, but many students do not do homework. I see potential draw backs, what do you do with the students who do not come to class prepared? What about the students who do not have internet access to view the videos, are other ways of viewing the material provided for the student? How much time is the student expected to put in at home to be prepared for class? One hour, two hours? What about students with IEPs? I think this might work well in a gifted program. For it to be applied to the regular education classroom, an enormous amount of parental support is required. Before it can be implemented, the parents must be educated on the concept. Expectations must be made clear to the parent and to the student. It may work but I think it would take a tremendous effort on the part of all the parties concerned.

    Elaine Snyder

    February 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    • Elaine, you make all valid points about the flipped classroom approach. To ensure students come prepared to do homework in class, teachers deduct points if they do not complete the readings or watch the video lessons at home. In order for the approach to work, as you said, students and parents must be educated and made aware of the new mind set. When properly implemented, this approach works better than the traditional one because it is a more just-in-time approach where students learn when and what they need the most. Also, students are more actively engaged in the process of learning.


      February 23, 2013 at 4:24 am

  8. I think the flipped classroom is a really great idea especially in a private or charter school. I work in a school with a lot of low SES students and they do not all have access to technology at home. A lot of the homework would be online and the students just don’t have the resources. I do think that this model helps students to gain more self efficacy and promotes indepence. I am also curious about Elaine’s comment about what the consequences would be for students that do not come to the next class prepared. Overall, I would love to use the flipped model. I think it is very interesting.


    February 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    • Yes, I agree that students must have basic technology to be able to take advantage of the flipped classroom approach. I regards to students not coming prepared, they should receive points for coming prepared or not receive them if they are not preapred. Students and parents need to be educated and aware of the new apporach and it would take time for them to change and accept the new way.


      February 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm

  9. I love the idea of the flipped classroom approach. It has so many practical purposes for both students in the digital classroom and the brick and mortar class. I like the idea of giving students the information before hand so that they come into the main lesson with more background knowledge and a better understanding of the topic. Flipping the class also gives them the opportunity to review the information at a later date and it also provides parents with the ability to stay on top of what their children are learning!

    Scott Exaros

    March 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    • I agree with you that the flipped classroom is a great approach that is becoming more popular among teachers and students. I heard a few students saying that teachers who use the flipped classroom approach are lazy because they do not want to lecture. It is important to make sure students know about this approach before implemented to avoid misinterpretation.


      March 9, 2016 at 2:57 pm

  10. I really like the idea of a flipped classroom. Colleagues of mine have tried it and have not had success though. One teacher had lower level students who would not watch the videos at home. Norma mentioned deducted points but many students in these classes would accept a zero on a video assignment just as quickly as they did on their traditional homework assignment. The teacher tried to continue on and let those students see that they would fall behind but again, they were not all that concerned. Maybe if she would have stuck with it or approached it in a different way to start the year it would have helped?

    I thought that it would work best with a higher level student who was motivated to learn but another teacher in my school tried that and he also got push back from his students. They kept saying they could not understand from the videos and wanted to be taught the traditional way. This at first surprised me but thinking back, those students were just not interested in change.

    I am hoping that if more of this style of style of learning is introduced at the elementary level that the students will be more open to different types of classrooms by the time they get to the upper levels. I also think that letting the students know that you are sticking to this new method would eventually make them realize that they better join in. Sometimes we give in to what they want to quickly. It is okay for them to be uncomfortable in the classroom in this way.

    Kayla Lower

    March 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    • Kayla,

      I just started fully committing to the flipped classroom approach in my geometry classes about a month ago and I have found it to be fairly successful. When I tried it in the fall, I did have those students who did not watch the videos, and like you said accepted the zero. This semester I decided to start the class with this approach and I think that helped resistance from the students. I also post my answer keys to my notes online, so even if the students are not watching the videos they are able to get the notes. I have found that about half of my students are watching the videos, but almost all of them are copying in the notes. Even though I believe the videos to be beneficial, there are some students who do not need them. To ensure that the students are understanding the material, I have them take a two or three question multiple choice quiz on the section for homework. The students that forgot to take it at home are required to start the day with the quiz. Then students are placed in groups based off of readiness.

      After three chapter tests, I would say my results are slightly higher than using the traditional method of teaching. It is something I definitely want to continue to work on and improve, but I am happy with the results so far.


      March 10, 2016 at 1:37 am

  11. In theory, I love the idea of a flipped classroom. As all of my writing classes take place in computer labs, I’m definitely in a good position to use this model; in an ideal flipped classroom environment, the time I spend with students in the classroom would be dedicated to various writing activities (application of the concepts), in which students could receive immediate feedback from me. However, in my experience, I’ve found that while the flipped model works extremely well for certain lessons, students tend not to respond favorably when I use it too much.

    Over the last few years, I’ve encountered similar issues as mentioned by previous commenters: students did not do the prep work outside of class and would be completely unprepared to participate in the classroom activities and/or students complained about how they felt they preferred the lectures/presentations to happen during class, so that they could ask for clarification and not have to wait for answers. While I do think part of the pushback was simply of matter of students being resistant to change, I also think it is difficult to fully implement the flipped classroom approach at the college level when students are so used to more traditional approaches – it definitely puts more of the onus of investigation and preparation on them, which can be a difficult shift.

    S. Nordgren

    March 11, 2016 at 7:04 pm

  12. I have always thought that the incorporation of a flipped classroom was a good idea. I have experimented a little bit with my fourth graders in math. I would give them some videos and tutorials to watch the night before the lesson. A lot of them, especially the stronger students, really liked the idea. The only problem I encountered was those kids who either did have the technology or just decided not to do it. I had students coming in the next day at all different levels. I really want to continue using it, I just need to spend more time with it and getting it to be appropriate for everyone. I think it is definitely a great idea for older students.

    Chip Carnes

    March 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm

  13. I have read about the flipped classroom approach before, but have never used it. I think it sounds like a good idea in theory, but there are a few issues with it that I’m not sure how to fix. First, I’m not sure what I would do with students who chose not to do the work at home before coming to school the next day. Should they have to spend class time doing what they were supposed to do the night before? That kind of defeats the purpose of the flipped classroom approach. Another issue that I have is what to do with students that do not have technology at home. When I was teaching, I was at a school where many of the students did not have computers or internet at home. The students could go to the library, but this would be something that the parents would have to agree to and may not on a daily basis (or at all). I think the flipped classroom model could be a good idea and work well for students, but there are just a few issues that I’m not sure can be resolved.

    – Katie Rosengrant

    Katie Rosengrant

    March 12, 2016 at 4:11 am

  14. The flipped classroom approach is interesting. I like how it has students directly involved in their learning and participating in each step. I think this has some strong point and would work in some classroom situations. This seems like it would work in more technical subject areas like math and science. I am left to wonder how this would work for students in English/Language Arts or social studies. I also can see how this model can begin to help us move to a more technical classroom and allow it to be delivered remotely, however I just don’t think it forces students to strive for more or think at a higher level.

    Jill Carnes

    March 13, 2016 at 3:31 am

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