November 8th, 2013 E-Learning

flipped-classroom1It isn’t uncommon for classrooms today to be flipped, but what exactly is a flipped classroom?

For some this may be a new term, but it has actually been around for the last decade or so, but it is becoming more popular in today’s educational setting.

A flipped classroom is when the lecture that is normally done in class is delivered in a different format, such as video, and students view this lecture content on their own time at home.

Instead of giving the lecture in class, the teacher engages their students with various activities. These can take the form of labs, simulations, and exercises. The most important aspect is that the teacher gives individual attention during this time.

What are the Benefits?

While the traditional model certainly has its place, a flipped classroom approach that leverages out-of-hours elearning does have its benefits.

This model allows for a better teacher and student interaction, improved test scores, and more effective student engagement. What’s more, if a student misses a day of class, they can catch up quickly since they always have access to the course content through the elearning modules.

One particular case study of Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, MI shows some pretty impressive results. When a flipped model was implemented, they found:

  • The English class failure rate decreased from 52% to 19%
  • The Math class failure rate decreased from 44% to 13%
  • The Social Studies failure rate decreased from 28% to 9%
  • The entire 9th grade failure rate went down 33% in one year

Needless to say, the flipped approach had pretty significant results for this particular school.

The Future of the Flipped Classroom

Given the tangible results of a flipped classroom, we can reasonably expect to see more of it over time. The technology today just makes it too easy.

For example, one study has found that roughly 12 million college students are already taking one (or more) of their courses via elearning. In 2014, it is estimated that 3.55 million students will take all of their courses online.

Technology is a driving factor for the adoption of the flipped classroom. All a teacher needs to do is implement a classroom learning management system to deliver their learning online.

This sounds complicated, but WordPress has been used in this capacity for quite some time given its ease-of-use and ability to support nearly all media types – and using a learning management plugin like LearnDash just makes it all that much easier.

The traditional educational landscape is changing quite rapidly, and the conduit is technology. Elearning has made learning more accessible, and devices like tablets and smartphones make for constant accessibility. It will be exciting to see how the flipped method is refined and evolves over time.



“The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality”
“Flipped classrooms put students in charge of learning”
“My View: Flipped classrooms give ever student a chance to succeed”
“The Post Lecture Classroom: How will Students Fare?”
“Promise of the ‘flipped classroom’ eludes poorer school districts”

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


5 responses

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Justin, EXCELLENT post. I appreciate the specific examples and cited sources to explore. My review of literature supports your definition of FLIPPED as being “when the lecture that is normally done in class is delivered in a different format, such as video” (or other media).

Many thanks Randy – I think the case study is quite powerful and a good example (which there aren’t enough of, at least publicly).

Hi Justin, We just made this infographic based on your article

Good work

Very cool, thanks for sharing Jorge

Hi Justin,

Thanks for the great post. I work for a company of 3500 employees who are spread out over the entire province where I live. I want to apply the flipped classroom model in our organization to ensure that time spent travelling and the cost of attending training is well spent. Having learners complete base courses via elearning will enable them to focus on practice and application in the classroom. I believe this model will help us transfer learning on the job by allowing learners to practice the new skill in an environment where a SME can help them along, answer questions and provide feedback before they are expected to perform the skill on the job.

Avatar Arla Rowbotham

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