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Flipped Classroom


A flipped classroom is a type of educational strategy which reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content outside of the classroom. This delivery of instructional content is typically done online. 

In a flipped classroom, the instructor moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom. The instructor then uses the in-class time to foster more active learning. This is the reverse or “flip” of the more common traditional practice, which typically introduces new content in class, then assigns homework and projects to be completed by students independently at home.


The concept behind the flipped classroom is to rethink when students have access to the resources they need most. If the problem is that students need help doing the work rather than being introduced to the new thinking behind the work, then the solution the flipped classroom takes is to reverse that pattern.


Now that we understand what a flipped classroom is, we can move onto understanding some of the applications (or uses) of this pedagogical tool. Here are a few:

  • It is useful as a blended learning approach. In a flipped classroom, face-to-face (F2F) interaction is mixed with independent study, typically via technology.

  • It is useful for busy students. Flipping your classroom will allow students to learn content when they have the time and concentration span.
  • It helps students who might be struggling with course material. Students are able to pause, rewind, and re-watch content in their own time which puts less pressure on them to learn quickly and gives them more time to absorb information.

  • It helps students with different abilities to do well. Flipped classroom appeals to students of all abilities because learning occurs at the student’s own pace.

  • It increases student-teacher interaction. Because students do a lot of their engagement with the material before class, they are able to engage with the teacher more during class.

How to Effectively Flip a Class

One of the major factors in effectively employing any new teaching strategy is the time it takes to do it well. We recommend pilot testing the flipped model with a single class before engaging in a complete course redesign. Instructors should also ensure that they have a solid planning model to facilitate flipped activities. Here is a planning model for the flipped classroom. This model takes into account four (4) major segments or phases that instructors should focus on when employing a flipped classroom strategy.

Planning model for flipped classes. This flowchart starts with introducing the task, then "out of class task". This is followed by "assess learning" and lastly "in-class activity"Planning model for flipped classes. (Adapted from Waterloo University)

  • ​​Introduce the task

    The aim of this stage of the flipped class is to maximize student participation/readiness for the activities they will be doing online and in-class. Instructors should introduce the tasks by clearly explaining their expectations for what the students will be doing and the amount of time the students will need to invest to be ready for the class activity.  Explaining what they will be doing and why being prepared for the in-class activities is also important. For some students, active learning in the classroom will be a new experience so a “no surprises” approach can reduce possible anxiety about a more participatory approach to learning.


  • Out-of-class task
    Careful consideration should be given when selecting the choice of media for the pre-class activities and materials. Instructors can create their own materials such as narrated PowerPoints, screencasts and podcasts, or reuse online content such as websites, readings and videos. It is recommended that video content be concise–no more than 10-15 minute segments. and it can be helpful to students if there are guiding questions or prompts to help them recognize the key objectives of the preparatory work. If instructors include an online means for students to submit questions about difficult concepts or other questions, they can use some class time to discuss these issues. For examples of activities see CTE Teaching Tips, "Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom".
  • Assess the learning
    Before the in-class session both the instructor and the students can benefit from knowing if the students are adequately prepared for the in-class activity. Self-assessment quizzes or low-stakes online quizzes can be a good way to assess if students are adequately prepared. Ideally these assessments are short (3 to 4 questions), and include questions that provide an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned rather than questions that merely test factual knowledge. Formative feedback on the assessment questions and an opportunity for students to pose their own questions to the instructor can also be included. Evidence of preparation can also be provided through a short assignment or assessment at the beginning of the in-class portion of the flipped class. Learning and assessment are interconnected: low stakes or formative assessment is a valuable learning tool for students.
  • In-class activities
    The most effective activities for promoting deep learning are those that create opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, student-instructor dialogue, and opportunities for active learning. The objectives of an activity should be clearly linked to course objectives and assessments; the in-class activity time can be used to encourage students to be creative and make discoveries (and errors) in a relaxed, low-risk environment. For examples of activities see CTE Teaching Tips, "Active Learning Activities" and " In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom".
  • Motivation
    Student motivation, which underlies the whole learning process, can be affected by the design of the activity. An enthusiastic instructor who has good rapport with students and creates an open and positive atmosphere in class can motivate student participation and learning. Activities that are designed to be challenging, but achievable, can help motivate students. Also, students will be more motivated if they find personal meaning and value in the material and see that the course is relevant and linked to their future success. Providing frequent feedback to students as they complete their learning can also increase motivation.


In the flipped classroom model, students could read, listen and watch materials online through the learning management system (LMS) before coming to class. Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) used to support all courses at Ontario Tech University. Class sessions can then be used to work together on group projects and other learning activities.

There are several activities that faculty can flip in their courses. Some examples of these activities are listed below.

Pre-class Activities

In-class Active Learning

  • Watch an online lectures and tutorials
  • Review online course material
  • Read physical or digital texts
  • Participate in online discussions, forums, blogs, etc.
  • Perform research
  • Problem solving/worksheets
  • Quiz prep questions


  • Discussions or Debates
  • Reflection
  • Team/group or project work
  • Experiments/demonstrations
  • Presentations (students)
  • Peer assessment/instruction
  • Case-based learning
  • Field-based instruction
  • Problem solving/worksheets
  • Experiential learning
  • Quizzes/exams/concept inventories
  • Review questions



Bane, J., Bradshaw, E., & Spears, R. (2018). Flipped by Design: “Flipping the Classroom” Through Instructional Design.


Course design: Planning A flipped class. Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2018, February 28). Retrieved from: