Flipped Classroom and Blended Learning Models

Why Flip? | Next Steps | Approaches to Flipping | Examples | Tools | Additional Resources

Why Flip?

Flipped chairs in a classroomFlipping the classroom (also called blended classroom) is an approach that has become very ‘trendy’ over the past 5 years both in K-12 and Higher Education - but what is it? In short, flipping the classroom means providing learning content to students outside the scheduled classroom time instead of using classroom time for lecturing. The classroom time is then dedicated to activities that promote active learning.

Why is this effective?

Typically classroom time has been spent sharing content with students and then having them practice applying what they’ve learned on their own without any scaffolding or timely feedback. Research has proven that blended or flipped classrooms are the most effective pedagogical approach to learning (when compared to fully online or traditional face-to-face) because they move learning in the classroom from being a ‘passive’ experience to an ‘active’ one for students. In a flipped classroom, students are responsible for consuming the content on their own, and then the instructor uses classroom time to guide students through activities, help them get back on track, answer questions, etc.

In summary, blended learning works because it:

  1. Is student centered, making students active participants in their learning
  2. Gives the instructor time back in the classroom to scaffold student learning
  3. Provides students with immediate, timely feedback
  4. Makes learning intentional and purposeful by engaging in real world activities

View this Flipped Classroom Infographic for a graphical representation (click to enlarge).

Next Steps

The next step once you’ve decided you want to flip your classroom is to decide on your approach. This article from the eLearning Industry outlines ‘7 Tips to Create a Blended eLearning Strategy’ and is a good starting point. Some other tips include:

  • Start small and keep things manageable
  • Inform students of what a flipped classroom is and the expectations for them (and consequences for being unprepared)
  • Ask for feedback from others in your department
  • Over plan...some activities will take more time and others less, so it is important to be prepared. This is very different from delivering a lecture.

Still not convinced? Read this teacher’s account of ‘Creating Successful Blended-Learning Classrooms’ (Tolley, 2014).

Approaches to Flipping

Examples of Flipped

Tools

Additional Resources