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Flipped classroom - the big picture

Flipped classroom - the big picture

Author: Matilde Sanchez

This tutorial will help you explore what is a flipped classroom, the potential gains of its implementation and the challenges related to its execution.

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Flipped Classroom

What is a flipped classroom?

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. 

The video lecture is often seen as the key ingredient in the flipped approach, such lectures being either created by the instructor and posted online or selected from an online repository.

While a prerecorded lecture could certainly be a podcast or other audio format, the ease with which video can be accessed and viewed today has made it so ubiquitous that the flipped model has come to be identified with it.

The notion of a flipped classroom draws on such concepts as active learning, student engagement, hybrid course design, and course podcasting. The value of a flipped class is in the repurposing of class time into a workshop where students can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying knowledge, and interact with one another in hands-on activities. During class sessions, instructors function as coaches or advisors, encouraging students in individual inquiry and collaborative effort.

The flipped classroom model

This short video explains what is the flipped classroom model and why it works towards individualization of learning

7 things you should know about flipped classrooms

Feel free to read this extra resource so you can find more about the flipped classroom revolution! :D


The advantages

The flipped lecture model is a learner- rather than teacher-centred approach: students take ownershipof their own learning.

  • flexibility: students have the ability to watch lectures according to personal time preferences, and can segment the video, pause or rewind it to check on their understanding. One student also added that being dyslexic, it was easier for her to watch the video before the class to be better prepared.
  • engagement: strong connections between pre-class preparation and in-class sessions ensure that students are engaged in both the material and the discussions. They are given more time to discuss and question aspects of the lecture. They become active participants instead of passive listeners.
  • peer-learning and collaboration: face-to-face time can be used to work in groups and favours knowledge transfer between learners. Activities can be student-led, and the teacher’s role will be the one of a facilitator.

Other benefits include a greater focus on practical application with more “hands-on” activities and adeeper understanding of theories and concepts thanks to the combination of such activities with key concepts and notions drawn from the recorded lectures.

The professor's challenge

In the flipped classroom structure, the teacher's role changes radically. 

Under this structure, the professor is not a sage on the stage anymore, but s\he becomes a guide on the side. 

What do you think this change would imply for your own classroom?

How do you think it would impact your own performance as a professor?

Do you think your students would like it? why? or why not?

In your own experience as a student, do you think this structure could have been useful for your learning process? why? or why not?

Creating a lesson plan

Now that you will have some liberated time from class time, planning will play an important role to use this time wisely in the classroom, creating a lesson plan could help you overcome this challenge. 

Here, you will find a template for a lesson plan that will help you keep on track on the use of your class time. Take a look, modify it as you like or make your own, you will be surprised how much it could help for managing classroom time!  

Lesson plan template


Source: ENE 685 - Educational Methods in Engineering, Fall 2015, Author: Heidi Diefes-Dux

Closing questions

Which questions do you still have about the flipped classroom?

Do you find it appealing to implement in your classroom? why or why not?

Given the topic you teach, what do you think would be your biggest challenge to implement a flipped classroom?

Bring the answers to these questions to our session tomorrow to have an interesting discussion!