Flipping the classroom

“Flipping the Classroom” is a pedagogical method that starts by exposing students to new material outside class, usually through videos and readings. The teacher then uses class time to assimilate the knowledge through comprehensive learning situations3.


3. Brame, C. (2013). Flipping the classroom. Retrieved, August, 29, 2013.

A flipped classroom is a situation in which theoretical information transferred from the teacher to students is taken out of the lectures and presented as material to be used for preparation before the lecture6. In the lecture, the teacher can discuss important questions about the material and assess the students’ level of understanding. These discussions can take place between teacher and student, as well as between students through peer discussion. When students discuss the material in pairs or in groups, the teacher can use tools during the lecture to determine whether they understand the material. Examples of such tools include demonstration/presentation moments, online voting tools to have students answer several questions, and formative multiple-choice tests. The information that these assessment tools obtain from students can provide teachers with insight into aspects of the materials that need more explanation.


6. De Boer, V., Winnips, K. (2015), Flipped Classroom at the University of Groningen. Retrieved January 26th from: http://www.rug.nl/e-learning/projecten/flipped-classroom

Flipped classrooms enable teachers to spend more time on interactive learning activities in class, leading to significant learning gains for students relative to traditional lectures2, 5. Studies have demonstrated that students score significantly better on tests, projects and homework assignments in flipped environments. Students apparently benefit from receiving feedback from their peers and instructors during in-class time2. Such feedback allows them to correct their misconceptions and reflect on their own learning3.

According to Bishop and Verleger2 “video lectures are as effective as in-person lectures at conveying basic information.” For this reason, some teachers experiment with creating video lectures, microlectures, pencasts, creencasts or event recordings of their ‘traditional lectures’, which introduce students to the materials. These videos consist primarily of basic information, and they tend to focus on the types of learning represented at the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy1. The goal for students is to remember and understand the content before the lecture, so that in-class activities can focus on learning at the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. In other words, in-class activities should focus on helping students to achieve deep learning3.


1. Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P., Cruikshank, K., Mayer, R., Pintrich, P., ... & Wittrock, M. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy. New York. Longman Publishing. Artz, AF, & Armour-Thomas, E.(1992). Development of a cognitive-metacognitive framework for protocol analysis of mathematical problem solving in small groups. Cognition and Instruction, 9(2), 137-175.

2. Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013, June). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. In ASEE National Conference Proceedings, Atlanta, GA (Vol. 30, No. 9, pp. 1-18).

3. Brame, C. (2013). Flipping the classroom. Retrieved, August, 29, 2013.

5. Crouch, C. H., & Mazur, E. (2001). Peer instruction: Ten years of experience and results. American journal of physics, 69(9), 970-977. 


  • Make sure that the other courses or module components within the quartile/module follow the same approach with regard to self-responsibility and interim assessments. This will prevent ‘competition’ for student effort.
  • Make high-quality videos (students like to see one of their own teachers). 
  • Refer to specific pages and resources (e.g. in the micro-lectures).
  • Formulate your learning goals specifically, and make them transparent to students.
  • Draft a clear, logical schedule of preparation, in-class moments and assessments.


  • Explain what flipping the classroom is and how it works.
  • Be clear about your expectations regarding independent and active study behavior.
  • Start with a less open set-up in order to help students get started.


  • Spread the study load.
  • Work with small groups of students.
  • Give students an active role.
  • Use methods and tools that support active participation (e.g. group discussion).