Flipped Classrooms 101: A History, Benefits and Tools for the Learning Model

Seven years later, two high school teachers in Colorado learned about some software that would record lectures live. Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams committed to pre-recording their lectures for the following year, dubbing the experiment “pre-broadcasting.” Students who didn’t have internet at home were given USB drives containing lectures if they had a computer at home, or DVDs burned with lectures if they didn’t have a home computer.

Since then, the flipped classroom pedagogy has taken off. But what is it, and what are the benefits in education?

Unlike in a traditional classroom setting, in a flipped classroom, lectures happen outside of class, using video learning technology. Scheduled time in class is used for exercises, projects and discussion.


Teacher helping students.Flipped classrooms offer a host of benefits for students, teachers and parents alike. Some of the biggest advantages include:

Students can spend more 1:1 time with instructors during class. Rather than teaching the lesson during the instructional period, the teacher can provide extra help to those who need it.

Students can learn at their own pace. Because students can watch the lecture as many times as they need, as well as pause and rewind along the way, they have more control over the pace of their learning.

“Technology like captioning helps to support visual learners, those who are hard-of-hearing, and English language learners.”

No more missing out. If a student is sick or has to miss class for another reason, they can still watch and learn from their teacher in the same manner as their peers.

Parents can more easily help their children through video learning. Rather than reading the book and trying to figure out how to teach the material, if a parent has a child struggling, they can simply watch the lesson from the teacher and provide assistance.

Software can help identify areas where students are struggling. This makes the model itself a helpful diagnostic tool.

Tools to Facilitate Flipping Classrooms

Flipped classrooms require access to lecture capture tools and video content management systems. Instructors need to be able to easily produce lecture capture for a flipped classroom session and make it accessible to their students via computer, tablet or mobile device.

With the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform’s Software Capture application, teachers can record lectures using nothing more than their on-board webcam and an inexpensive headset microphone.

In a college or university, podium computers or hardware capture provide the opportunity for high-quality recording of lecture content. This can be integrated into the organization’s existing LMS to help students access content in a familiar way.

Whether an instructor is using their own laptop computer for lecture capture or a podium computer, they can integrate Smart Boards, document cameras, and screen recording to produce a full-featured lecture capture for their students.

Planning and Preparing a Higher Education Flipped Course

Planning a Flipped Class with YuJa Enterprise Video Platform

For instructors, planning and preparation for a flipped class may initially take more time than planning for a traditional class. With tools like Lecture Capture and a Video Content Management System (CMS), instructors can easily produce lectures and make them accessible to students across a spectrum of devices. Additionally, video lectures and materials created for the course can be reused the following semester and can even be updated for years to come. 

To plan for a flipped class: 

  • 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. Consider chunking your material for increased engagement.
  • Assemble resources each class period. This might include lecture capture content, as well as 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 before the associated class period. Make sure that you plan ahead to ensure students can quickly search and find stored lecture material in your video library when it’s time to study for exams.

Using Class Time in a Flipped Classroom Model

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

Preparing Students for a Flipped Classroom

In 2021, many students have been part of a flipped classroom at some point. Still, instructors can help set the tone for a flipped classroom to support student success with 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.

How Do Students Benefit From a Flipped Classroom? 

Studies have shown that students benefit from this structure through increased interaction, improved test scores and more effective student engagement. Other students benefits include: 

  • The ability to watch lectures when it’s convenient
  • Flexibility for students to learn at their own pace
  • More opportunities for 1:1 time with instructors

With the right tools, instructors and students alike can find success in a flipped classroom. 

Join the Hundreds of Organizations Deploying High-Impact Learning Solutions