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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 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). Below are resources on how to get started and strategies and examples to help you determine what kind of flip is best for your courses.

Before you ‘flip’: What you need to know

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:

Selected resources:

Quick start guides

Flipping practices: Strategies for engaging students

On flipping with group-based and peer instruction:

Examples of flipped classrooms:

  • How and Why I Flipped My Classroom, Michelle Pacansky-Brock (2009), a PowerPoint presentation of a flipped art history course in a community college.
  • Leaving lectures behind, Jimmy Ryals (September 2011), on a flipped Physics classroom using the SCALE-UP model at North Carolina State University.

More in-depth discussions of flipping practices: