What is the Flipped Classroom?


The flipped classroom refers to a model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of class to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students. After class, students manage the content they use, the pace and style of learning, and the ways in which they demonstrate their knowledge, and the teacher becomes the guide, adapting instructional approaches to suit their learning needs and supporting their personal learning journeys. Rather than the teacher using class time to lecture to students and dispense information, that work is done by each student after class, and could take the form of watching video lectures, listening to podcasts, perusing enhanced e-book content, collaborating with their peers in online communities, and more. Students can access this wide variety of resources any time they need them. In the flipped classroom model, valuable class time is devoted to more active, project-based learning where students work together to solve local or global challenges — or other real-world applications — to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Teachers can also devote more time interacting with each individual. The goal is for students to learn more authentically by doing, with the teacher guiding the way; the lecture is no longer the expected driver of concept mastery. The flipped classroom model is part of a larger pedagogical movement that overlaps with blended learning, inquiry-based learning, and other instructional approaches and tools that are meant to be flexible, active, and more engaging for students. It has the potential to better enable educators to design unique and quality learning opportunities, curriculum, and assessments that are more personal and relevant to students’ lives.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • The flipped classroom model can work well with large classes, allowing a lecturer to provide preparatory content prior to a lecture, and readjusting the lecture time for tutorial type tutor to student engagement, allowing open discussion and problem-solving- Teresa.Logan-Phelan Teresa.Logan-Phelan Jan 29, 2015
  • Apart from improving learning we should also be looking at its application for reducing teaching costs - brian.mulligan brian.mulligan Feb 11, 2015 Rather than seeing it as an opportunity to reduce "teaching costs", is it not an opportunity to redesign learning and have more collaborative deeper learning experiences - broadening the understanding of what it means to "teach" - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • There is a lot of interest in the flipped classroom model at my institution, as an approach that supports more active and deeper learning.
  • The flipped classroom has significant potential for blended learning programmes - improved engagement, interactive learning, student commitment - anne.walsh anne.walsh Feb 12, 2015 Yes! - Sam Sam Feb 13, 2015 - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 - Muiris.OGrady Muiris.OGrady Feb 15, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • The "flipped classroom" is a concept that has been associated with education for a very, very long time. Students have always engaged with content outside of the formal setting. The difference is that now we have a range of media and opportunities through the use of digital technologies that were not available prior to this.- deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 Agree. Digital tools offer and extra dimension and greater possibilities. The key element is what we ask students to do with the content outside the classroom, to engage them so that they can get the maximum benefit of the active learning in the classroom. Designing activities that will encourage students to engage with the content outside the classroom is still a challenge, regardless of the media used- Gerry.Gallagher Gerry.Gallagher Feb 15, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • The 'flipped classroom' is one of the most widely debated aspects of higher eductaion enabled through the use of digital technologies. The debate tends to be polarised and often fails to recognise a) that the lecture is not dead but is an element in a wider blend of media and pedagogies, and b) that in many subject areas this practise has been in operation for decades - take the example of science where laboratory sessions put theory into practice with a high element of inquiry-based learning, peer collaboration, time on task and intervention by the eductaor only at key moments.- b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015 - paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015
  • Flipped Learning is increasingly coming on-steam in institutional continuing professional development for academic staff. As with most learning technology tools and practices, the application of the flipped classroom varies to the learning environment and context. The application of this learning mode can vary from blunt (e.g. mandating students to engage with heavy and boring theoretical content on their own time) to sophisticated (e.g. using the face2face setting as an opportunity for groups to present work-in-progress projects to their colleagues and receive constructive formative feedback from peers and mentors; with groups reflecting on, and applying useful suggestions into the next iteration of the project).- paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • add your response here
  • The usual model used for flipping the classroom has the student watching video lectures/listening to podcasts, reading etc BEFORE class, so that they can come to class ready to take part in activities. - sharon.flynn sharon.flynn Jan 19, 2015
  • Agree with Sharon, providing content and readings before a class should be supported with relevant face to face discussion and problem solving.- Teresa.Logan-Phelan Teresa.Logan-Phelan Jan 29, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • Flipped classroom should also consider the 'classroom', i.e., the physical space in which activities take place. Many of the more active learning activities that are believed to accompany 'flipped classroom' are not easy to carry out in the lecture theatre. Learning spaces (physical and online) need holistic consideration. Too much of our HE built infrastructure in inflexible (lecture theatres and classrooms) and this is a factor when thinking about 'flipped classroom' is alternative spaces are not readily available or bookable. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015 - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • There's also the idea of the 'in-flipped' classroom where recorded lectures/materials are made available during rather than before the class, at workstations. Groups rotate through workstations, watch or listen to sessions and then discuss, clarify concepts covered, explore in more detail, etc. - NSweeney NSweeney Feb 7, 2015
  • Potential for cost reduction - particularly in low-enrolment courses over many campuses - brian.mulligan brian.mulligan Feb 11, 2015
  • Collaborative development of resources for flipped teaching between multiple institutions (and possibly collaborative delivery) - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015- brian.mulligan brian.mulligan Feb 11, 2015
  • Consider the logistics of planning the flipped class approach for students who are studying at a distance and only come together for f2f occasionally,planning flipped activities requires significant preparation for students who work virtually.- anne.walsh anne.walsh Feb 12, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • There are implications for investment in digital infrastructure and support staff, policy implications for the use of recording and streaming technologies, as well as safeguarding, quality assurance and regulatory implications in the use of web reources and opensource tools.- b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015
  • There is a perception that the flipped classroom replaces the 'lecturer' when in fact the move away from a monolithic, single-channel didactic approach of the lecture to a more learner centric model moves the educators to a higher plane of designer, architect, valdiator and orchestrator of learning.- b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015 - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015
  • As discussed throughout this page, the flipped classroom model entails providing lecture type materials before face-to-face sessions. But another model could be envisaged: students explore new concepts or practice new skills, through carefully planned and scaffolded tasks, guided by their teacher/tutor during lab or small group sessions, and are then provided with out-of-class online activities that link two face-to-face sessions. This is the model I have been using (and refining) in the last couple of years for language teaching and it is proving rather successful. The advantage is that teachers can identify and address misconceptions or misunderstandings right away. The major constraint however, is that you need sufficient resources in terms of teaching/tutoring staff and lab spaces to implement this. But overall, I find that students do respond positively, although many say that it is a lot of work... - francoise.blin francoise.blin Feb 14, 2015
  • Taking full advantage of the possibilities of technology in education requires different approaches, the flipped classroom being one. Social context of students is relevant in so far as access to technologies is available outside of usual hours. - awebb1107 awebb1107 Feb 15, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015



(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on third-level education in Ireland?

  • Improved learning, reduced unit costs - brian.mulligan brian.mulligan Feb 11, 2015 Not necessarily - as one would expect that the students would have time for greater engagement with faculty - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • Active learning, engagement, collaboration, teamwork are all improved - potential of enhancing core/generic skills - anne.walsh anne.walsh Feb 12, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • The flipped classroom is not as 'efficient' in terms of contact hours and SSR as the maintsay lecture. As with laboratory and studio work, the new pedagogies will challenge staff resourcing and space management. Strategies and pedagogies for online engagement will require development and must include analytics to identify learners that are struggling or disengaging and to trigger the appropiate level of intervention.- b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015
  • Opportunities for academics to reconsider their use of limited contact with students; and to think creatively about their course design and pedagogical approaches. - paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Flipped classroom model promoted and planned for our institution.- Teresa.Logan-Phelan Teresa.Logan-Phelan Jan 29, 2015
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  • We have a number of staff who have engaged with flipping the classroom, some more than others. A particularly good case study is that of Bryan McCabe, who has flipped his civil engineering class for the last three years. A blog post describing his approach can be found here http://learntechgalway.blogspot.ie/2013/04/first-experience-of-flipped-learning_12.html Bryan has pre-recorded screencasts of his lecture materials, which have been distilled down to the core information that students need to know. Students are incentivised to engage with the recordings through a number of MCQ-style self-tests and simple problems. Class time is used to work through more complicated problem sets, in a group environment. - sharon.flynn sharon.flynn Jan 19, 2015
  • We use the flipped classroom approach for many of our blended learning programmes - anne.walsh anne.walsh Feb 12, 2015

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