Flipped Learning

"Flipped Learning makes learning, not teaching, the centre of the classroom." - Jon Bergmann

What is the strength in the flipped model? Is it the one-on-one time with the instructor, more focused lecture material, the check-ins, progress monitoring or a combination of all of these factors? One strength is the switch from teacher-centred learning to student-centred learning. Students can learn at their own pace (either faster or slower/more repeats) and get individualized assistance from faculty. Peer-learning also can take place more easily. The faculty is the "head learner" in the classroom, they solve problems with the students if problems come up that the faculty or another peer can't answer.

Incorporating Flipped Learning

On their own...

  • Have students listen to podcasts
  • Have students watch videos that instructor creates on own, or with others
  • Have students watch narrated PowerPoints
  • Have students watch videos that others have created (YouTube, TED) - the key is to realize that the particular instructor for the class doesn't have to be the one to create the videos - they can come from anywhere in the world...experts in the field!
  • Build interactive lessons around videos (TEDEd)
  • Students produce their own videos to teach concepts to classmates, or for the next class of students who will take the course after them
  • Mix up the "at home" work with articles to read, visuals to ponder, and Skype study groups
  • Students submit questions/reflections to instructor before class (same link as above)

In class...

  • Help students with (what used to be) homework, one-on-one support around the room
  • Class discussion - getting deeper into the issues/mastery / well-crafted questions to help students apply their knowledge and understand the issues
  • Labs/hands-on activities/problem work
  • Students teach each other
  • Student creates a project - or "artifact of understanding" to demonstrate synthesis of learning: reflective blog post, artwork, creative writing, sound recordings, media presentation, collection of images with reflective text 
  • Students work at own pace through the material
  • Possibly use real-time polling devices to gauge class understanding and further discussion


It should be clear how flipped learning is being used in the classroom. But what about online, is there a place for flipped learning in the online classroom? Coursera uses the video component (short video lectures interspersed with quizzes/questions) of the flipped learning model, but not the in-class exercises. In a Coursera course, students work on exercises outside of class, and hand them in for peer-review.

At RRU, many programs use a blended approach combining online courses with residency periods. Pre-reading material prior to residency means students arrive ready to discuss material, changing the traditional lecturer role from one of content expert to discussion leader.1

For online courses that use Collaborate, consider having students watch a video before attending the synchronous session - for technical reasons you don't want to have students watching videos in Collaborate.

The negatives of flipping,

More Resources

Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture for Higher Education

UDL & the Flipped Classroom

Flipped Learning: A Response To Five Common Criticisms

Advancing the Flip: Developments in Reverse Instruction

Flipped Learning | Turning Learning on Its Head

Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Learning

Flipped Learning Network

How do I create Video for my course - Video Production Resources at RRU

If you are interested in the flipped learning approach and are thinking about trying it in your course, please chat with the instructional designer for your program area.

1 Grundy, S. (2013). Comment: Online learning shaking up the world of education, Times-Colonist. January 30.