Articles / Flipping the classroom

This post is designed as preparation activity prior to a short workshop for university staff on “Flipping the classroom”.


See the post: Flipping the classroom – follow up for further information

Over the past few years, the term “Flipped Classroom” has gained traction in education across much of the Western, English-speaking world (and also is developing elsewhere, eg. in France and Spain).

It describes a way of thinking about teaching and learning which:

  • Is more engaging for the learner
  • Is more effective
  • Makes most efficient use of valuable resources

During the workshop, I will explore the ideas behind the flipped classroom, and examine how it might work in your situation.

Prior to the workshop there are a number of activities for you to do. They should not take more than 45 minutes in total, and probably much less.

These activities are designed to:

  1. Introduce you to the concept
  2. Get you thinking about the key issues
  3. Allow the workshop facilitator to gauge the session more closely to your needs
  4. Enable you to participate fully in the workshop

Activity 1: Read a short research paper

The practice of flipping the classroom (known as “Peer Instruction” then) was formally recognised, practised and researched by Eric Mazur at Harvard University in the 1990s. It was a response to his finding that undergraduate physics students were continuing in their misunderstandings of concepts, even while being able to solve problems.

The paper, Peer Instruction – ten years of experience and results ” (Crouch, C. &Mazur, E., Am. J. Phys., 69, 970-977 (2001)) discusses the model, how it works, and how they have adapted it over time.

Activity 2: Watch a 5 minute video

Eugene Kim, from University of San Francisco School of Law, discusses how he uses the flipped classroom model to enable him and his students to teach and learn more effectively.

Activity 3: Answer three “Warm-up” questions

Your answers to these questions will be used by your workshop facilitator to help them plan the session. You will need to consider the content of the previous two activities in order to answer the questions. There are some supplementary resource links below the questions, which you might want to use to help your thinking.

Write as much as you like, and spend as much time as you need in doing the Warm Up.

You will be asked for your workshop code, which should have been provided by the workshop organiser. Don’t worry if you can’t find it though!

If the questions do not display below, or you would prefer to see them in a page on their own, then open the questions in a new tab or window.

Supplementary resources

(All links should open in a new window or tab)

Brame, C.J. (undated) “Flipping the Classroom“, Vanderbilt University, Centre for Teaching

Goodwin, B. and Miller, K. (2013) “Research Says / Evidence on Flipped Classrooms Is Still Coming In“, Educational Leadership, March 2013, Vol 70, No. 6, Pages 78-80

Atteberry, E. (2013) “Flipped classrooms may have no impact on learning“, USA Today article

Hill, P. (2013) “A response to USA Today article on Flipped Classroom research“, e-Literate article

Johnson, L.W. and Renner, J.D. (2012) “Effect of the flipped classroom model on a secondary computer applications course: student and teacher perceptions, questions and student achievement” (pdf), Doctoral thesis, University of Louisville

Hennessey, M.A. (undated) “New Study on the Flipped Classroom by Concordia’s Dr. Jeremy Renner Shows Mixed Results“, (summary article of the above doctoral thesis), Concordia University

Sowash, J. (2012) “Five things I wish I knew before I flipped my class” (video), GoEdOnline. Much of this matches what is said in the summary of the above doctoral thesis.

Dye, D. (2012) “What is Peer Instruction” (video), Imperial College. Dr Dye explains (to an audience of new undergraduates) what Peer Instruction is about, how it’s different to the traditional lecture and why it’s important to embrace it.

Toaddy, S. (2013) “Flipping the large enrollment Psychology classroom” (video), North Carolina State University




Posted: 06 June 2014

Tags: Learning