AtoZ of TEL: Flipped Classroom

Also known as ‘Flip Teaching’, this is a form of blended learning where technology is used to switch (flip) the delivery of teaching content to students. This enables tutors to spend more time interacting with students during face to face sessions instead of lecturing.


What is a flipped class? from TEXAS Learning Sciences on Vimeo.

The Flipped Classroom was mentioned in the Open University’s Innovating Pedagogy 2014. This annual report lays out the pedagogies that are most likely to make an impact upon the teaching and learning over the coming years. Each pedagogy mentioned is giving an impact rating and the expected timescale that it could be expected to have an effect. The flipped classroom is rated with a potential impact of ‘High’ and a timescale of ‘Medium (2-5 years)’.

Open University: Innovating Pedagogy 2014

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter. (Flipped Learning Network)

Section of the Flipped Classroom infographic

The traditional method of delivery is to deliver the bulk of the course content via a lecture. The students would try their best to both listen to the delivery whilst simultaneously try and make meaningful notes that they could refer back on at a later date. The students would then be given tasks to complete in their own time (homework) such as further reading or applying the knowledge gained during the lecture.

The flipped classroom reverses this instructional process and the bulk of the content is delivered to students at home through interactive, tutor-created videos and movies. Using these resources the students would first study the subject by themselves, make notes etc., essentially moving the lecture outside of the classroom. The student then applies that knowledge in the classroom by solving problems and doing practical work. The tutor takes on the role of a facilitator allowing for additional learning-based activities, including differentiated instruction and project-based learning, allowing more opportunity to spend 1:1 time with the students, especially those struggling.

Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmen of Woodland Park, CO are some of the pioneers of flipped learning and have completely flipped their classroom teaching with their students able to spend more time in class perfuming experiments and interacting with the tutors.

Another pioneers of the flipped classroom learning model is Salman Khan founder of the Khan Academy In this TED Talk he shares his story being creating the hugely successful not for profit Khan Academy and the power of the Flipped Classroom.

Through giving students more hands-on time with the tutor, they are better able to assimilate the information and create new ideas, skills that fall into the upper portion of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Evaluation of the Flipping the classroom has shown that it reduces the dropout rate among students and increases the amount of information that they learn.

A flipped approach means that the instruction no longer becomes a one-time only event and the student’s sole opportunity to acquire this information and take notes. Students can review the material as often as they need and at a pace best suited to them. This is something that students with additional needs such as Dyslexia or international students for whom English is a second language find invaluable.

Here in the Faculty of Environment, we have access to a number of technologies to create content for a flipped delivery. Leeds has Mediasite Lecture Capture for scheduled recordings and for at your desk recording, there is the Mediasite Personal Capture. For editing and converting video content recorded from outside the university there is Coral Video editor and Microsoft Movie Maker, both available for you desktop machine via the universities Software Centre.

Other sources of content could be services such as Box of Broadcasts, VideoLeeds, Youtube and Vimeo.


Additional videos


Further Reading



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