Characteristics of a Flipped Classroom

flipped-classroom1Flipped classrooms are starting to gain in popularity across various levels of education.

Empowered by today’s tech tools, learners can now absorb content on their own time and then use class time to practice what they’ve learned.

It is this blended learning approach that makes flipped classrooms an attractive option for educators.

Lecturing can be done in a virtual environment using elearning and a robust learning management system. Even quizzes can be administered during non-standard classroom hours so that it can instead be used towards the practical application of the concepts being taught.

While this structure is primarily used in education (both universities and K-12 in the United States), one can see how it would also be of value to the corporate sector.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in that space is that there has to be ample incentive for employees to take the online courses prior to the live training sessions. Not impossible of course, but certainly a bit more challenging than in a school setting given that a student’s grade is tied to their participation.

So what does a flipped classroom look like today? There are a variety of characteristics in a flipped classroom environment. Below are some findings from a study conducted by the University of Queensland (Australia).

Subjects Most Flipped

  • Science
  • Math
  • Programming

Resources Leveraged

  • Screencasting
  • YouTube
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks

Tech Used For Access

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Mobile Devices

Key Educator Concerns

  • Limited home connectivity
  • Accurately measuring learning gains

Teacher Tools

  • Learning management systems
  • iTunesU

Motivation For Flipping

  • Improve grades
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Improve professional skills
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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. Hey, Justin. I have used ‘flipped’ learning in a corporate and an association context. As an example, I offered a four-module online set for pre-work on a banking topic. Then used the two 1 1/2 hour sessions at the conference for application. The first was review of the pre-work and yes, about 1/3rd had not taken the modules. So i focused on those who had done the pre-work but my topic is complex, so those who had did not mind a review as long as it was not just a repeat of the pre-work.

    The second 1 1/2 session was small group case study process, again, much more in depth than we could have done if we had to provide the learning at the same time as the application.

    The client was thrilled and it was a much better use of the face-to-face time.

  2. Kathy

    Thank you for this article. I’m particularly interested in your statement, “Perhaps the biggest challenge in that space is that there has to be ample incentive for employees to take the online courses prior to the live training sessions.” That is the challenge we are facing in our corporate organization as we start to use flipped classrooms. What recommendations do you have for ensuring employees take the courses?

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