Flipped courses are increasingly popular in colleges and universities. These courses take the traditional classroom structure and turn it upside-down. Course lectures become homework, and projects, discussion, and hands-on activities are relegated to the classroom.

Planning a Flipped Class

For instructors, planning and preparation for a flipped class can be time-consuming, and may take more time than a traditional class. Fortunately, the video lectures and materials created for the course can be used the following semester and for years to come. 

  • Decide what content to include in the course. Make a list of individual topics for the course, then determine which resources are needed to support course topics and classroom sessions.
  • Assemble resources for students for each class period. These can include custom-created lecture capture content, but can also include websites, online video content, or chapters from a textbook. 
  • Organize content for the course in a logical and accessible way. Students should have access to content well before the associated class period. 

Preparing Students for the Flipped Classroom

Flipped classroom structures are not only new for many instructors, but also for many students. Instructors can help to set the tone for a flipped classroom, and to support student success. The key to student success in the flipped classroom is clear and defined expectations. 

Instructors may find it helpful to spend the first class period explaining how the class will function, and how flipped classrooms benefit student learning. During the first class, students should see what class materials look like, understand that the lecture captures and other material should be viewed before the class session, and have an idea of what classroom activities to expect.

Using Time in the Classroom

Since flipped classroom structures reduce or eliminate the traditional classroom lecture or presentation, class time is available for other purposes. 

Classroom time can be used to:

  • Facilitate discussion and collaboration.
  • Respond to student questions and encourage engagement. 
  • Work on assignments, like essays and projects.
  • Engage in problem-solving or role-play activities.
  • Incorporate hands-on learning activities.