Flipping the Classroom Day 1

What is flipped classroom?

The idea of the flipped classroom was first developed in 2004 by Jonathon Bergman and Aaron Sams. It has now become a bit of a ‘pedagogical phenomenon’, particularly with the growth of online teaching environments which provide new platforms for the flipped  classroom models to take off.

In a flipped classroom model, the part of learning where students sit and listen to lectures is moved to before class. Content delivered through video, readings, eBooks, PDFs is now provided for students to go through before coming into the classroom or lecture theatre. The classroom/lecture theatre component is moved to a learning environment in which students engage in activity with each other and with the content in a more active way. As you can see in the model below, the higher order levels of thinking (analysing, evaluating, and creating) are done in class together with peers and teachers rather than outside of class.

Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Image source: https://federation.edu.au/staff/learning-and-teaching/clipp/elearning-hub/flipped-classrooms/flipped-classroom-model Viewed 5/09/2016

Original source: Image: Williams, Beth (2013). How I flipped my classroom. NNNC Conference, Norfolk, NE.

According to Mok (2014): In a traditional instructor-centered classroom, the teacher delivers lectures during class time and gives students homework to be done after class. In a flipped, or inverted, classroom, things are done the other way round: the teacher “delivers” lectures before class in the form of pre-recorded videos, and spends class time engaging students in learning activities that involve collaboration and interaction. Passive learning activities such as unidirectional lectures are pushed to outside class hours, to be replaced with active learning activities in class. The term “inverted classroom” appeared in the literature as early as 2000 (Lage, Platt and Treglia, 2000)

Mok, H. N. (2014). Teaching tip: The flipped classroom. Journal of Information Systems Education, 25(1), 7-11. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1616142329?accountid=8330

Why flip your classroom?

One of the benefits of flipping your classroom is the way in which in class time can be used for more interactive and collaborative activities rather than juts as a means of delivering content. It opens up opportunities for students to work and problem solve together with the guidance from the teachers. Students from the UNSW Business School explain how a flipped approach to their classes has impacted their learning experiences.

End of Lectures As We Know Them? – UNSW Business School Flipped Classrooms

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Coffee Course Introductions

If you would like to introduce yourself to your coffee course colleagues, you can add a post to the Padlet and say hi! Say as much or as little as you like!

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Share your thoughts

What do you think of this model? We invite you to share your thoughts on how it might benefit your teaching practice or why you are interested in this topic. Feel free to respond to one of the prompts below if it helps, and we encourage you to respond to the posts of others as well.

Please note: If you are participating in the course for professional development at the ANU, you will need to write a short response to each post to receive credit for this course.

A few ideas

  • Why did you take this short course? What interests you about flipped classroom?
  • How is this model different or similar from your current teaching practices?
  • Do you think this model would be of benefit to your students ? How?
  • Contribute one positive and one negative thing about flipped classrooms.


Leave a Comment

Use the comments section  to share your thoughts.

33 thoughts on “Flipping the Classroom Day 1

  1. Being a clinician with uncertain patient workload doing a coffee course is a great way for me to keep engaged in the education side of things as I can do the posts at my own time.
    I think clinical learning in hospitals has always had an element of the flipped classroom as we often tell our students to read relevant papers etc and then discuss after seeing clinical cases. What we have not been good at is preparing the prereading and other content in a systematic and interesting way. IT needs to be always workable to do this.

    1. Michael, thank you for the comment – I’m really glad the model of the coffee course suits you! I also think many disciplines use a somewhat “flipped” model in their teaching already, but you are absolutely right that this is often not approached in a systematic way. Hopefully the next few posts give you some ideas as how what technologies can support your flipped delivery, but in a sustainable and workable way. Looking forward to learning more about your teaching practice!

  2. I’m looking forward to this coffee course and learning more about the flipped classroom environment. I have always thought that the flipped classroom model makes sense in terms of ensuring there are engaging materials during the class time, and having active learning. Coming from CBE where typical class sizes are 500, I have always had concerns whether this model can work in large courses. Active learning would have the biggest impact in small groups of less than 50, however, to break a course of 500 into 10 classes would reduce student contact with the lecturer as it would not be possible for a lecturer to attend all classes of 50. I Look forward to hearing about solutions to these problems (hopefully).

    1. Hi Steve,
      I have seen it work in class cohorts of 2-300, but these were very quantitative courses like accounting where there is a fixed method and a fixed answers. In these cases, the “lecture material” was put online for students to watch several times before hand and then students came to class to actually “do” the work rather than see a tutor go through the answers to homework. It seemed to quite effective

  3. Hi everybody. I’m looking forward to this coffee course on flipped classrooms. I’ve recently moved from UNSW and I’m quite familiar with the flipped classrooms there and some of the subjects taught in the flipped format. Now working in CBE I would love to use the flipped classroom at ANU and I think it will benefit students greatly once they get used to the different format. I think the good thing about the flipped format is that it really helps those who want to learn – learn more and learn efficiently. However, I do know that when you have a few students who don’t really wish to learn (i.e. those who normally don’t want to come to lectures and are disengaged with doing work) it can be a lot more difficult than with a traditional lecture/tutorial format.

  4. Thank you for keeping true to the “15 minute” concept – enough time to read and make a short post.
    What follows falls outside the 15 minute limit however.

    Today’s material has, so far, increased my discomfort with the term “flipped classroom”.

    As you say, the term originates with Jon Bergman, a US High School teacher. Aaron Sams is also a US High School teacher, though both now appear to make money on the lecture circuit promoting the flipped classroom concept. See http://flippedclass.com/ At the secondary level, at least in the Australian context, ‘chalk, talk and homework’ has long been frowned on as a teaching methodology and at least a component of interactive activities in the classroom is the norm. At the tertiary level, we should make a distinction between the US and Australian norms. Here most courses run on a Lectures + Tutorials model, where all students attend (or rather have the opportunity to attend!) the same lecture but are divided into smaller groups (perhaps 15 – 25 students – I don’t know the average) for tutorials. Lectures are typically Powerpoint-type presentations with little audience participation, whereas tutorials are all about active student participation.
    In the US, especially at Fresher and Sophomore level, many courses use a quite different model in which the course cohort is divided into semi-autonomous`sections’, for example of say 50 students. Each section is taught by its own instructor, and is run somewhat like a high school class, with a mixture of activities, but mostly ‘lecturing’.

    My discomfort with the term “flipped classroom” is the implication that it involves a complete reversal of what one is currently doing:
    “The classroom/lecture theatre component is moved to a learning environment in which students engage in activity with each other and with the content in a more active way.” (sorry – can’t work out how to put that quote from the blog’s opening remarks in italics)
    It is the word “to” that offends me. Yes, we can talk about moving lecture component __from__ the classroom to online and other sources, and we can talk about enhancing the interactive activities we already provide in tutorials, but this is evolution, not a revolution. I joined this coffee class in the hope of being exposed to possible ways of continuing that evolution in my own teaching. I will just have to grin and bear the discomforting label.

    1. Hi Malcolm – thanks for this thoughtful reply. I think you have touched on some of the issues with “flipped classroom” that others struggle with as well, particularly with the issue of just how “revolutionary” this model might actually be. I have heard similar feedback from many teachers who have heard this term “flipped” as something incredibly innovative, but when they unpack the components of this model it often is very similar to their current practices. I find the US/Australia comparisons very helpful as well.

      I hope we can share some strategies and tools to help you with evolving your teaching, and keep asking these questions about the model. (Glad it took 15 minutes as well!)

    2. Hi Malcolm, it is true that for a long time in Australia the model has been mass lectures and a set of readings, followed by tutorial discussion and often application via case studies or practical work. So the concept as such is not so new to us. However I guess the introduction of web based technology brings more possibilities and makes it more flexible, so that there is no need for everyone to be together in one room at a particular time for lectures.

      Again, recorded lecture videos have also been available for some time so neither is this particularly new. There is now scope, though, for academics to do more than just be a talking head with students as a passive audience. Students can read material at their own pace, watch short video clips of experts or their lecturer expounding on a particular aspect of the material, make their own discoveries by searching the literature, and test themselves for their understanding using quizzes and games – all before attending the face to face problem-solving or discussion component. This seems to be an evolutionary (as you say probably not revolutionary) step towards a more constructive approach to learning.

  5. Hi everyone, I have been experimenting with different class delivery modes for some time including elements of the flipped classroom. I have found it rewarding but also a bit of a challenge. The need to develop weekly quizzes to check the students’ understanding of the content they prepare prior to class takes time to develop; developing structured activities to foster the group dynamics and learning also takes time (things that work in one class don’t always work in another) and keeping it current and topical is important. Also the teaching space i am allocated is really set up for teaching-as-perfomance and not only is it difficult to get interaction between different students in the group, with some on different levels, it is hard for me to interact with each group – thats been my thoughts to date. So i joined the group in order to further develop my understanding and learn some techniques that will increase the learning experience.

  6. Thanks to you all, I have learnt from reading your comments already. I am interested in the model because many of my students gave feedback requesting more practical materials to be incorporated into the lectures but it is often not easy given the necessity to cover all the theoretical stuff as well within the limited lecture time. Meanwhile, some students asked if I could go through all the lecture slides first before giving practical examples. The good thing about the model is the possibility to save some time for a workshop approach so as to satisfy the students’ desire to apply the knowledge with our assistant and help during the lecture time. The success of applying this model however would be conditional on how prepared and proactive the students would be; for those students who still struggle to follow the lecture materials given the more traditional model, the new model could be worse for them. I guess We may need to go a bit slowly and take one step at a time to see how it goes.

  7. The beauty of this model of training (the coffee course) is that the 10 min chunk still seems achievable even when it’s late and time got away from me during the day. Knowing there will be more tomorrow offers an added incentive to keep up.

    As for the flipped model, there are certainly some valid issues to address when it comes to putting it into practice. Large courses particularly offer up major logistical challenges – though we are on the verge of having to deal with this anyway at ANU in the next couple of years when a number of large lecture theatres will disappear as part of major campus redevelopments.

    The question of how revolutionary or evolutionary this approach is, is interesting, but personally I’m more curious about what kind of pre-class resources (or activities) might be offered to students and what the in-class activities look like. Do we scrap the tutorial or design a set of learning experiences that run over the week? Perhaps the role or work of the tutor now evolves to something new in the face to face session.

  8. Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for your contributions and feedback. We are glad you are enjoying the Coffee course model.

  9. Coming a little late to this – but made it !

    I have a slightly different interest in the flipped classroom model – I’m interested in how the support and management of teaching and learning changes as we ‘evolve’ into increasing introducing these sorts of diverse models into tertiary teaching practice. How will we go about measuring teaching loads for example, in a context which has traditionally focused on contact hours? Where do staff go for video / audio / media production services or support? What is the impact on the places and spaces we have / use? Lots of implications as I think some basic assumptions about the nature of University teaching and learning still very much underpin the services and resources we have.

    Looking forward to learning more about flipping.

  10. A little late to reply, but I guess better late than never! This format really works well for me as I can complete this at my leisure in what little spare time I have. Another bonus over face-to-face workshops, I can keep coming back here to reference course materials etc.

    As a Program Coordinator I’m always looking for new ways that CCE teaches can engage our students across our different program areas. I already have some ideas on courses that we could implement a flipped classroom. Looking forward to continue the learning journey!

  11. Thank you for organizing this wonderful course. I could take the course during the teaching break. It was really efficient to manage my time.

    I like the idea of the flipped classroom, because it is really a good way to communicate with students. Especially, in the language class, it is very useful to introduce language in the class as well as outside of the class.

    At the same time, I know it is a bit of a challenge for students to prepare for or to understand something (related to the course) before the class.

    I am currently thinking about how to apply this idea of the flipped classroom to my second part of teaching this semester.

    Thank you for this wonderful information!

  12. Thanks very much for running this coffee course Katie, Janene and crew – it’s very timely for us in the library as we’re doing a revamp of some of our offerings. This short and concise coffee course is a great resource – and I love that I can come back any time to the readings.

    Like Colin, I am interested in the sorts of pre-class resources (or activities) might be offered to students and what form the in-class activities can take. In our case, our generic sessions (as opposed to our in-curriculum training and biannual programs for international students) are opt-in, often one-off and we don’t have continuing contact with a group throughout the semester. This poses a particular challenge in terms of building rapport and facilitating interaction with time-poor students and staff! I see flipped approaches as opening up some alternative possibilities for us.

  13. Taking a better late than never approach with my comments… Apologies for their lateness!

    While I’ve heard a lot about the flipped classroom, this is the first accessible course I’ve seen on it. The idea of creating a more interactive and supportive teaching environment meshes well with my teaching philosophy so I’m always keen to develop further skills.

    I’m currently working as a tutor so there’s already elements of the flipped classroom in my teaching practices as the time I get to spend with students is primarily spent engaging in active learning activities. I would be interested to see if it would be possible to incorporate more elements of the flipped classroom into lectures and wattle content as well. At the same time though, I would be concerned about how to engage students who don’t do the passive learning beforehand and the effect this would have on the class time spent together for the rest of the cohort.

  14. If lecture material was flipped for my Business Communication subject where I tutor, I would not have to focus so much on any lecture reviews and could spend more time on putting the learnings into practice.

  15. I am interested to see how the Information Literacy Program within library can undertake flipped classroom environments. Like Aliya mentioned “Where do staff go for video / audio / media production services or support?” Library/ILP is attempting to make their own in house for costs savings but receiving feedback on low quality. Have used fee-based services on campus when budgets allow.
    My question is how do we package this for students for Library training which is more of a support service than a degree based course on campus currently we are listed as 1.5hr training sessions on ISIS.

  16. Thanks for creating this site for learning about the ‘Flipped Classroom’ model. I am participating quite late compared to most, but I still very much appreciate the opportunity to explore these materials.
    Seeing the diagram of Bloom’s taxonomy comparing the tradition and flipped modes has been very helpful for my understanding of this format. I have heard the term ‘flipped’ used very frequently, but this explanation is often skipped over or missed. I found this diagram very interesting to reflect upon because according to it, I have not actually experienced or taught using a fully traditional model for a very long time! My own teaching and learning experiences seem to be mostly ‘flipped’ even if teachers are not using this term to describe their own style. The video of student perspectives was also good to see. I am very interested in different learning spaces, so to hear students commenting on the type of room as well as the strength of their interactions was useful.

  17. I really like the idea of the flipped classroom, but it’s already quite clear than many of my students don’t prepare at all for tutorials and I suspect of those who have timetable clashes or other reasons for not attending lectures in person, not all of them watch the lecture recordings on Echo. I would worry that shifting all “sit and listen” learning to their own time would mean that it never happens at all for some students! However, I do think that it it is a good idea to incorporate collaborative learning activities in the classroom rather than sticking to the unidirectional model. I already try to incorporate discussion during lectures and object-based learning in many tutorials. But really, this is student-centred learning, which I think is essential, at least in my field.

  18. I’m taking this course because flipped classroom is the framework of the ANU Medical School’s Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching Strategy and I would like to learn as much as I can about it.

    As a Learning Designer working in the areas of Law and Medicine, I can see the benefits of the flipped classroom in both disciplines. These students need to do a lot of reading – e.g. cases, the law, so much textbook medical information … And because they can do this at their own time, very limited classroom time can then be used in the application of the concepts and theories from the readings (or videos).

    I’ve been told by teachers in these disciplines that they flip their classrooms but I’m not entirely sure if they are really flipping. I hope to be able to critically assess their approaches after this course.

    From observation (yes, I have actually attended several Med School lectures!) it is true that the lecturer slides, notes, videos and articles are made available before the lecture day. But during the lecture it was still the typical content delivery lecture, with the teacher talking thru every PowerPoint slide. And there are reasons for this:
    1. There are other types of class session in the Med School where they do the application of the theories and concepts. They have tutorials, they have case based learning sessions, PBL sessions and clinical skills tutorials with real-life volunteer patients. (This is somewhat related to Malcolm Brooks’ post)
    2. A lot of the lecturers are busy, time-poor clinicians who deliver the 1 hour lecture sometimes straight from the hospital.

    Looking forward to learning more about this model and learning from others’ experiences.

  19. The concept of a flipped classroom appeals to me quite bit (also because I found traditional lectures very boring as a student myself), and with information becoming more readily available I believe we will have to make this transition eventually in order to stay relevant to our students. Though I do see both positive and negative aspects of flipping the classroom. The positive things have been covered at length in the blog’s readings and videos and others’ comments: it’s more student-centred, engaging, and a more efficient use of time. When it works well in my classroom, I value that the students learn skills on top of knowledge. However, I’ve also encountered certain difficulties with it. One important one is that if the students don’t do the work before class, the activities will not work. Theoretically, I like the idea of incorporating assessment into each week (and the students in the UNSW video seemed to like the spread in workload), but it does take a lot of time to prepare (and grade if it’s not a quiz).

  20. I have been hearing about flipped classrooms (without actually knowing what it is) as a revolutionary approach to education for a while now. Imagine my disappointment upon reading Day 1’s materials to find that my department has already been doing this for over a decade. The expectation here, at the postgraduate level, is that the readings provide the core knowledge, and class time is for using the lecturer’s expertise to build on that core knowledge. Thus, you are expected to come to class prepared, and lecturers are often guest presenters with theoretic or practical expertise in specific areas.

    Having experienced flipped classrooms as both a student and academic, I think there are both positives and negatives. The flipped model benefits independent learners and allows for much deeper learning than the traditional model. In contrast, the flipped model does not seem to suit students who are here just to get a piece of paper at the end of their degree, nor those who require a bit more guidance with time management and navigating readings. From a teaching perspective, it means ensuring you provide the best resources (readings, pre-lectures, etc), as the whole system fails without this. Depending on the topic, this can either mean very little updating (classics rarely change), to having to keep up-to-date with the latest research and publications. Further, as Ksenia noted, this model hinges completely on students having done (and understood) the work. The flipped model can backfire when students are not across the core content. For these reasons, my experience so far suggests that the flipped model seems to work better in postgraduate, rather than undergraduate, settings.

  21. I am really interested in the idea of the flipped classroom, in part (like Ksenia) because I really hated going to lectures as an undergraduate. I am interested in implementing this in my own teaching (eventually), although there seem to be a lot of difficulties in navigating this process — so I’m looking forward to what the rest of this course can tell me.

    It seems that the most common advantages and disadvantages have been well-covered in other comments here. From some other reading I have done, navigating them really depends on good course design, which is really an issue of time and support for teachers. In my experience, having that time to completely redesign and restructure a course is one of the main challenges faced by convenors, so I’m interested to hear how others have managed this problem.

  22. I think teaching becomes enjoyable and meaningful with flipped classroom because students come prepared and are confident and ready to participate in class. It also eliminates learner frustration and as they work at their own pace. They are ‘doing’ and not just listening ensuring better absorption of information and perhaps retaining knowledge longer. I think the flipped classroom creates a fun and engaging learning environment for both the teacher and learners.

  23. I think teaching becomes enjoyable and meaningful with flipped classroom because students come prepared and are confident and ready to participate in class. It also eliminates learner frustration and as they work at their own pace. They are ‘doing’ and not just listening ensuring better absorption of information and perhaps retaining knowledge longer. I think the flipped classroom creates a fun and engaging learning environment for both the teacher and learners.

  24. in my educational practice, I have always had a strong philosophy of active learning and interaction in the classroom. so the flipped classroom model sits comfortably with me. one challenge is to balance the pre~class learning time and ensure it is not too onerous for students. if students don’t do the pre~learning prior to class it can impede their own learning journey as well as that of their peers. looking forward to this course and learning about how the model is used in other disciplines.

  25. I had heard of flipped classrooms through ANU CHELT conversations and put the concept straight into action at the first opportunity, during a course I designed and convened in Semester 1. My formula was to carefully work through what functionalities I could activate in Wattle (balanced with time available to design the course, which was barely a few weeks). Face-to-face sessions with students were 100% discussion-based, round-tables with ANU experts and Canberra-wide practitioners. This formula worked brilliantly for students who had strong fundamental knowledge. For those with very little base knowledge, however, the preparatory materials on Wattle (articles, videos, summaries), were not enough. The missing link was tutorials to discuss Wattle materials, which would then ensure all students were able to participate in roundtables actively. When I had a debrief session with all he students after the end of the course, over lunch and outside the classroom environment, I found that students themselves had excellent ideas about how to improve the course. In addition to tutorials, we also discussed short 20-minute videos (tedX style) which if made available with enough time prior to the start of the course, would have meant that students could turn up on day 1 with an increased level of assumed knowledge. Therefore avoiding having two streams of students, those attending optional tutorials while the course was running, and those who were already up to speed. Can’t wait for next iteration of the course so that I can put these ideas into action!

  26. I used to work as a language teacher in a tertiary education setting, and that’s where I experimented with ‘flipping’ my classroom – especially in the blended learning courses that I taught. It felt a bit daunting at first, but it soon became such a rewarding way of teaching! Flipping allows you, for example, to do more role play and discussion activities – which I believe to be very valuable in foreign language education.
    Reading through the comments and the suggested reading, what really resonated with me is that there is no “one size flips all” model. And how (much) you flip really depends on your field, resources, time, etc.

  27. I think that one of the huge advantages of the flipped classroom model is the opportunity for active rather than passive learning. One challenge I have encountered however, is how to incorporate the flipped classroom into what is, in my area, a timetable largely designed for didactic teaching, and delivered by numerous different lecturers. This means that there cannot be a blanket move to this style of teaching, and results in a rather piecemeal approach with students constantly having to change their routine to accommodate the different teaching methods. Another is motivating the students to complete the online components required for the face-to-face sessions. Without this, I have found that I end up having to deliver a summary of the online content, which bites into the time for the students who have done the pre-class lesson, and really doesn’t provide enough information for students to participate fully in the session. I’m hoping that this course will help me to find some different approaches that can resolve these difficulties.

  28. I took this course because I have been curious about flipping my entire unit at the ANU. I have piloted this, bit by bit, with certain modules of the unit with some success but have some more rough edges to polish. In particular, I find cultural differences in expectations about how learning looks like/is achieved quite difficult to manage in a very international classroom.

  29. I have been flipping courses for more than a year now, but I don’t think I have really achieved the true sense of flipping yet. I am interested in learning more from this course and others about best practice. I am also interested in how to train tutors and students in mode of teaching/learning so that they can benefit more from the flipped mode.

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