The Flipped Classroom

This section will present information on an alternative learning environment model known as the "Flipped Classroom." This is one of several learning environment models that have come about recently, and makes extensive use of technology-based resources inside and outside of the classroom.

What is the Flipped Classroom Model?

  • Developed by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, the flipped classroom is an alternative learning environment in which students watch recorded lessons on their own time, then engage in various meaningful learning activities during class time.
  • Learning is the goal for students, not the completion of assignments. This creates what Bergmann and Sams call a “culture of learning.”
  • The classroom teacher creates videos, podcasts, or interactive lessons.
  • Students watch those lessons at home or in a computer lab.
  • Classroom time is dedicated to lesson enrichment, collaborative (as well as inquiry-based) learning, and answering student’s questions on content and concepts.

Classroom Applications

  • Jr./Middle School and High School classrooms (subject-specific courses).
  • Mostly utilized in math and science classrooms, but could be structured for other disciplines, as well.
  • Blended and on-line courses. As more districts are obtaining more technology-based resources (i.e., smart boards, tablets, web-based software, etc.), more web-based learning models have come about.

Advantages and Benefits

  • Increases student interaction and collaboration. Small group work is prevalent in flipped classrooms.
  • Students struggling with content and/or concepts have more access to the teacher. In a flipped classroom, small-group or one-on-one help is more likely to occur than in traditional classrooms.
  • Less time is devoted to traditional “lecture” formats. The classroom becomes student centered, with teachers serving as a guide in the learning process. The flipped classroom lends itself to collaborative learning, discovery-based learning, as well as inquiry-based learning.

Disadvantages and Limitations

  • Not all students have access to the Internet at home, or transportation to and from school. This could make accessing the online component challenging or even impossible for some students. At this time, the flipped classroom model will only work in certain districts where this can be alleviated to some extent. For example, a district in Michigan extended the hours of its computer labs so that students could access the content before and after the school day.
  • Some educators may not be willing to learn the technology necessary to “flip” the classroom. There is a pervasive idea of sticking with “tried and true” methods of teaching. Professional development sessions should be developed to help inspire innovation and use of technology-based resources.

Additional Resources The Flipped Classroom

  • This section provides educators with additional resources for the Flipped Classroom Model

Research Base

  • This section provides an overview of the research-based model of a Flipped Classroom, as well as a diagram of the model's various components