Center for Teaching and Learning

Flipping the classroom

graphic showing traditional classroom vs. flipped classroom

What is “flipping”?

Flipping the classroom is a “pedagogy-first” approach to teaching. In this approach in-class time is “re-purposed” for inquiry, application and assessment in order to better meet the needs of the individual learners. Students gain control of the learning process through studying course material outside of class, using readings, pre-recorded video lectures (using technology such as Panopto), or research assignments. During class time, instructors facilitate the learning process by helping students work through course material individually and in groups.  There are numerous ways to flip your class.  In fact “every teacher who has chosen to flip does so differently,” says Bergmann and Sams (2012).  The University of Texas at Austin, has a useful “Quick Start” guide to help you determine what kind of flip is best for your course.

Why “flip”?

Also known as “inverting” a classroom, this approach seeks to preserve the value of lecture (expertise and custom delivery), while freeing up precious in-person class time for active learning strategies.  The main goal in flipping a class is to cultivate deeper, richer learning experiences for students when the instructor is present to coach and guide them.  Emphasis is on higher-order thinking skills and application to complex problems. Common activities include collaborative learning, case-based learning, peer instruction and problem sets.

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