Flipping Your Classroom

Recommended Timeline

1-3 months before course for larger projects; 2-3 weeks before a class for one-time project or assignment

In a flipped classroom, students are first exposed to the course content prior to class, using assigned reading, videos or other preparatory material. Some type of pre-class assessment (which may or may not count as part of the class grade) can help both students and instructors gauge student understanding. Class time is used partly for targeted additional instruction as necessary and mostly to allow students to explore, expand on and actively apply the course content using directed activities designed to meet course learning objectives.

Contact us » Ready to get started, but need some help?

Basic Approaches

  1. Write your course learning objectives (what the students should be able to do at the end of the course), and then work out the specific objectives you will try to meet in a given class session. This will help you align your assigned content and your planned activities with your intended outcomes.
  2. Consider ways to provide students with course content outside of class. This can be a set of relevant readings, short video-based modules (created by the instructor or already existing online), open educational materials, or some other format.
  3. For any given class session, consider your objectives for that session and plan activities that can be used in class to provide a deeper understanding your course material.
  4. Contact one of our teaching consultants to help you work through the design and implementation of a flipped class.

Three Evidence-Based Methods for Flipping a Class

1. Team-Based Learning

Team-based learning is a collaborative learning teaching strategy designed around units of instruction, known as “modules,” that are taught in a three-step cycle: preparation, in-class readiness assurance testing and application-focused exercise. Each class typically includes one module.

2. Peer Instruction

In Peer Instruction, the instructor presents students with a qualitative question that is designed to engage student difficulties with fundamental concepts. Students consider the problem independently and vote their answer to the question. Students discuss the issue with their neighbors for several minutes then vote again. Disagreements and misconceptions are then resolved with a class discussion and clarifications.

3. Interteaching

Interteaching is a type of peer-focused activity in which a course instructor develops a “prep-guide” that includes questions to guide students through a reading assignment. Students come to class with their completed prep-guides. A short lecture is given to clarify any typically difficult concepts from prior material, then students are paired to discuss and develop understanding of material provided in the prep-guide. The instructor and/or teaching assistants move around the room to help guide discussions and answer questions.

After the paired discussion, students write to reflect on what they have learned and point out areas of confusion. These reflections are submitted in order to allow the instructor to use them to inform his/her preparation for the next class.

Additional Resources

Flipping the ClassroomVanderbilt University Center for Teaching
An in-depth introduction to flipping the classroom including evidence-based research supporting its effectiveness.

How Flipping the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional LectureThe Chronicle of Higher Education
This article includes several examples of flipped classrooms at higher education institutions.

Contact us » Ready to get started, but need some help?