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Flipped Learning

On this page:
» What is it?
» Why do it?
» How to do it
» How to get help
» Articles & Resources

What is It?

The adoption of the "flipped" approach to teaching (sometimes called the inverted classroom) has been gaining in popularity in recent years. A group of educators from the Flipped Learning Network have proposed this common definition:

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.
The definition statement from the Flipped Learning Network [PDF]

Reversing the traditional model of teaching—lecture followed by homework—flipped instruction means that before attending class, students engage in knowledge transfer or "first exposure" activities such as reading, listening to, or viewing a lecture. This may be followed by a short online assessment to ensure that students are engaging with the work. Then, class time is used for more dynamic and participatory activities such as problem-solving clinics, peer instruction, debates, labs, or working on assignments in groups and/or with direct instructor/TA support.

Like the best studio session or lab, the flipped classroom invites students to shift from being a passive presence in the classroom to becoming engaged, active participants in the learning process.

Although, this instructional model has been in practice in some disciplines for over 20 years, its recent surge in adoption is due, in part, because of the availability of new technologies such as easy-to-learn screencasting software for recording lectures and perhaps in part due to high-profile media stories, such as Turning Education Upside Down–The New York Times (Rosenberg, 2013) and How ‘Flipping’ the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture–The Chronicle of Higher Education (Berrett, 2012)

Why do it?

Produced by Pennsylvania State University Teaching & Learning with Technology

How to do it

Keep in mind that there is no single right way to implement the flipped method of instruction. Your students can benefit from even small modifications, such as incorporating more active learning techniques into the classroom and/or moving only some of the information dissemination outside of class. Whether you want to start out slowly or plan a complete course redesign, the Center for Teaching & Learning can consult with you on how to proceed. To start, we suggest that you consider points of the course where students typically need review or clarification, or where the class dynamic seems “flat“ e.g., having poor attendance, low engagement, or evidence of decreased learning. A few approaches are to:

How to get help

Please check the CTL calendar of events because we offer workshops each semester on both the flipped classroom and screencasting. To consult with an individual member of the CTL staff on how to implement flipped instruction, write to ctl@uvm.edu. For help with screencasting software, write to ctldoc@uvm.edu.

Articles and Resources


Video: Aaron Sams explaining why he flipped his classroom

Aaron Sams is a co-author of the book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. He has been an educator since 2000. He was awarded the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.

Video: Flipped/Mastery Educational Model: Student Impressions, Jonathan Bergman & Aaron Sams

Jonathan Bergmann is a co-author (with Sams) of the book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. He has been teaching for 25 years and received the Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching in 2002. .(see above about Aaron Sams)
Media Articles

From The New York Times
» Turning Education Upside Down (Rosenberg 2013)
» Five Ways to Flip Your Classroom With The New York Times (Epstein Ojalvo, Doyne 2011)

From The Chronicle of Higher Education
» How "Flipping" the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture and
» Getting Students to Do the Reading: Pre-Class Quizzes

From Faculty Focus
» Looking for ‘Flippable’ Moments in Your Class (Honeycutt 2013)

From USA Today
» 'Flipped classrooms' may not have any impact on learning and Rebuttal/clarification from e-Literate

From Inside Higher Ed:
» Still in Favor of the Flip

From Slate
» What Is a “Flipped” Classroom? Is Your Kid in One Right Now?!

From The Flipped Learning Network

» The Flipped Learning Network website
The mission of the Flipped Learning Network is to provide educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources to successfully implement Flipped Learning. The network site is focused on a k-12 audience, but is a helpful resource for higher education, as well.
» FLN Podcasts
» The FLN definition statement [PDF]
» Flipped Learning in Higher Education (White Paper) Authors: Neil Aronson, Pearson Intern, Summer, 2013, Kari M. Arfstrom, Ph.D. Flipped Learning Network & Kenneth Tam, Pearson.
Flipping the Classroom to Solve the Time Problem
Avoiding the Flipped Learning Flop at West Point

Other Resources

From The Center for Digital Education
» The Flipped Classroom Increasing Instructional Effectiveness in Higher Education with Blended Learning Technology [PDF-4page]

From Campus Technology
» Flipping To Adapt to Multiple Learning Styles at Minnesota State University (Quirk Dorr 2013)

From Campus Technology
» 6 Expert Tips for Flipping the Classroom (Demski 2013)

From North Carolina State University Friday Institute
» FIZZ: Flipping the Classroom

From Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
» Flipping the Classroom (Brame)


Getting Students to Do the Reading: Pre-Class Quizzes on WordPress

FLN: Flipping the Classroom to Solve the Time Problem