Center for Teaching and Learning

Flipping the 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 Tegrity), or research assignments. During class time, instructors become facilitators of the learning process by helping students work through problems 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 flipping gurus Bergmann and Sams (2012).  The University of Texas at Austin, has a nice “Quick Start” guide to help you determine what kind of flip is best for your course.

Why “flip”?

Also know 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 active 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, and may include collaborative learning, case-based learning, peer instruction and problem sets.

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