Flipping Classrooms

In 2007, science teachers Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams at Woodland Park High School in Woodland Park, CO found themselves frustrated by the amount of content students were missing due to absences. After discovering software that would record PowerPoint presentations, they created the pedagogical model of the Flipped Classroom. Soon, they were using the model with all their students, freeing up class time for students to engage deeply with the concepts being taught.

What is this concept of a flipped classroom?

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model where typical lecture and homework routines are reversed. Teachers using this model work to reverse traditional classroom routines through employing technology to record direct instruction for students to watch at their own pace and on their time. When students come into class, they are already familiar with the content. Classroom time is used for concept-engaging activities, concept mastery, and collaborative work. In this model, the classroom teacher takes a more facilitative role and serves less as an expert transferring knowledge.


What does research say about this model?

UNC School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor, Jacqui McLaughlin, spoke at the UNC School of Education on Wednesday March 18, 2014. She shared her extensive research on flipped classrooms at the postgraduate level within the School of Pharmacy. She has found that this model of teaching can be effective and that students value the efficiency of learning, quality of content, and meaningful class time engagement. Here is her advice for effective flipping:

  • Quality professional development is needed before teachers can begin this model.
  • The model must be driven by the pedagogy and the content, not the technology.
  • Remember that technology is not a one-size-fits-all intervention.
  • This must be a collaborative enterprise between teacher, students, and technology.
  • Informal, formal, summative, and formative assessments are critical. Teachers must employ routine assessments in order to ensure that students understand the content.

Resources for Flipping Classrooms

  • Flipped Learning Network This network defines flipped learning and provides many explanatory and example videos, research, resources, conference information, and support. This is a great place to start learning about this model.
  • Flipped High School Clintondale High School is a completely flipped high school in Clinton Township, MI. This is their school site with explanations and examples of flipped classrooms.
  • 21 Things for Teachers This page details many media for teachers to use for the out-of-classroom, content-delivery portion of the model.