Skip to content

The Flipped Classroom

2015 Summer Program for Flipped and Hybrid Teaching

Interested in adding online lectures to your course? Want to redesign your course to be flipped or hybrid? Consider participating in our Summer Program for Flipped* or Hybrid** Teaching.

*Flipped: A pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. 
** Hybrid: 33–79% of the instruction is delivered through electronic means and in-class seat time is reduced.

What is the flipped classroom?  Why do we want to flip a college class and is there one method?  What other questions do you have about flipping?

The Flipped Classroom has many origins–some old, some new.  In a sense, it is a new version of previous approaches to making the classroom more active and engaging, thus leading to better student learning outcomes.  The active learning movement spans back decades, if not earlier (depending on how far back you wish to go!).  However, the growing interest and resulting research on active learning classrooms really picked up speed in the 1980’s and ’90s.

The Flipped Classroom method came about recently, starting in the K-12 arena and moving then into higher education.  When students are engaging in difficult homework tasks after class, it can cause problems for them.  Can a parent of a high school student help with algebra, chemistry, and research writing homework?  Can a college student find tutorial help exactly when they need it?  If the concepts and tasks are at a high cognitive level, this situation can be a barrier to learning.

If we move the easier concepts out of the class time–ideas and knowledge delivered by lecture, reading materials, discussions, and other in-class methods–then we can work with our students in class on the more cognitively difficult work.  This idea has a lot of appeal to middle and high school students and parents, of course, since students often watch video lectures at home (and technology advances make it easier for teachers to make these videos).

The same for college students!  They can do reading, online sharing, watch video lectures–any number of activities out of class in order to “get” the foundational and easier knowledge base.  In class, the active learning and active lecture / discussions can hone in on the difficult materials.  “Homework” is replaced with in-class problem solving activities drawing on more stringent cognitive processes: application of knowledge, analysis of concepts and information, evaluation of concepts, creative and critical thinking.

How do you create a Flipped Classroom?  There are a variety of approaches yet one key recommendation is to be cautious about “flipping” the whole class.  Try a short unit first, to see how it works for you and your student.  Another key recommendation is to consider how to hold students accountable for the pre-class work.

The links below offer further explanation and suggestions:

How to FLIP your class in 4 steps

Seven myths about the flipped classroom

Five best practices for the flipped classroom

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.