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Using a Flipped Classroom Design

Caroline Mott
Radford University
EDET 620


There are many classrooms all over the world that are being flipped. A Flipped
Classroom approach is a mixture of an online and a traditional course. This approach has been
around for a decade or so, but becoming increasingly more popular. Flipping a classroom is
implemented by the use of the Internet to teach content. While classroom time is used for
understanding and applying the information, rather than direct instruction. This teaching method
allows for more productive and collaborative classroom time. Evidence and research illustrates
that this approach is effective for both teachers and students. For example, a study done by
LearnDash, illustrated that 96% of teachers would recommend this approach (Ferriman, 2014).
There is a growing number of schools and districts using one of the newest methods in education
(LaFee, 2013).
Flipped Learning was first experimented in 2004 by Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams
in Colorado. Since 2004 this method of using educational technology has exploded. It first began
as an experiment because teachers were afraid that their students who regularly missed class
were falling behind. If the students were absent or needed extra help, they were able to watch the
lesson outside of class. This led to a shift once they realized this could open up time in class.
They found that this experiment led to more productive and interactive activities, especially
compared to the traditional method of teaching. From the beginning this method has had the
ability to transform the learning environment through the use of technology and creating teachers
to be used as guides (Edudemic, 2015).
The overall trend of using a Flipped Classroom strategy has increased from 48% in 2012,
to 78% in 2014. Most teachers have had experienced a positive change in student engagement
after they implemented this design (Ferriman, 2014). There is still a lot to be learned about the


success of using a Flipped Classroom can have on students and teachers. Resources, tools, and
new ideas are constantly being introduced, especially as the availability of technology increases.
I am very interested in how to use a strategy such as, a Flipped Classroom because of the
many possible benefits it provides for both the teachers and students. Students spend their time at
home listening to the material prior to class and are able to be engaged in the content in class.
Instead of doing traditional homework alone, this approach allows students to have support from
their peers and teacher through challenging concepts. Inverting a classroom also allows for
classroom time to be more effective and productive for everyone. I believe that this strategy of
learning can be applied for many different subjects and curriculum.
To understand the best way to implement Flipped Learning is through literature. The
literature is crucial to research because it also examines both the benefits and criticisms of this
approach. Evidence through research illustrates this by exploring the purpose, methods, tools,
and even case studies that make up a Flipped Classroom. Literature provides detailed insight on
when using a Flipped Classroom would be most beneficial and less troublesome.
First, the purpose of Flipped Learning is to push most of the basic and fundamental
learning outside of school. This opens up class time for deeper and more personalized
instruction. This strategy fundamentally changes how instruction is taught and delivered (LaFee,
2013). Flipping a classroom is to completely re-think the traditional teaching method. The
Flipped Learning network has developed a current definition of what flipped learning exactly is:
Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the
group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is


transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides
students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter (Flipped,
In much simpler terms, Flipped Learning is about moving passive learning elements
outside of the classroom, leaving class time for interactive, hands-on experiences. For example,
by having students watch a video lecture at home, results in spending class time learning through
activities. Flipped Learning is more than having students simply watch videos, but rather giving
students the ability to take control of their own learning. A Flipped Classroom purposely inverts
the traditional teaching method by providing instruction and support for activities done in class
(Flipped, 2014). There are many tools and resources that are currently available and becoming
more readily available for teachers to use. But first, it is important to understand the most
effective way to design this approach, of using educational technology as a primary way to
deliver content.
Flipping a classroom has the ability to use many kinds of educational technology to
influence student engagement and learning ability. This approach is set up to provide an
opportunity for students to actively learn (Edudemic, 2015). The best method to begin the
implementation is for teachers to choose one unit in the curriculum and try flipping it.
Teachers can do this by creating instructional videos for direct instruction and having their
students watch them at home (Phi Delta, 2011) This allows for students to work at their own
pace, write down any questions, and re-watch any part of the lesson. This method allows the
teacher to revisit any specific area of concern to create quality class time (Edudemic, 2015).
Using this method, homework takes on a greater value. It is important that students do their


homework by watching the lesson so they dont fall behind in class. This method provides
many benefits that contribute to the success of this teaching approach.
It is also important to study other methods that content can be delivered through. One
example instead of simply using videos, a teacher can use a blog to flip a classroom. A blog can
be used similarly to video lessons to teach the content. However, a blog can also be used to
create an online learning community. A teacher can set up a blog to assign readings before class,
pose questions, and develop discussions. This provides a source for students to participate in
discussion, questions, and stay up to date. This is another method that engages students in
curriculum (Haile, 2015). This is another possible method that teachers can use to implement
educational technology in their classroom to enhance the learning atmosphere. Not all flipped
classrooms require the use of recorded videos. There are many possible mediums that teachers
can use to deliver the curriculum to their students outside of class.
The heart of this method is to move the delivery of material outside of formal class
time. However, there are many methods teachers can go about doing this. For example, educators
can use extensive notes, video recorded lectures, and many other appropriate means. This
method of instruction and application leads to many benefits because it allows the students to
actively learn and work on meaningful activities (Butt, 2014).
First, students are able to watch lectures outside of class time at their own pace. While
working at their own pace, it allows for students to communicate with other peers and even the
teacher through online discussion. Teachers become guides on the side, to allow their students
to take control of their own learning (LaFee, 2013). This allows the students to practice problem


solving and critical thinking skills. Having students work at their own pace allows them to revisit
any topic that they may be challenged by.
Next, content engagement can be facilitated by the teacher in the classroom. Educators
are able to provide more instant feedback to the students. It can be hard to stay focused during a
long lecture, but discussions and hands-on experiences keep students engaged. Another key
element of this benefit is that teachers are able to explore the content with their students and
increase interaction. With the teachers having more direct interaction with their students, they
have the ability to be more aware of student struggles (Edudemic, 2015). This aids in teachers
ability to design activities and revisit any challenging topics.
Along with having students collaboratively working together, Flipped Learning allows
teachers to make activities more personalized. Flipped Classrooms help teachers support the
individual needs of their students. The use of interactive technology is a natural fit to recognize
students diverse learning styles and to promote hands-on application (Holmes, 2015). Students
do not just get to work with their teachers, but they also get to spend class time working with
their classmates. Also, because of the flexibility it allows students to work through difficult
content and reduce frustration (Edudemic, 2015). There are many available resources for
teachers to make these many benefits possible.
There are many tools and resources that are available for teachers to use that aid in
implementing this strategy. Flipping a classroom reverses the expectations of the common
classroom and has the students prepare before class (Murray, 2014). The availability of online
videos had increased student access to technology. Many companies provide video lessons for


teachers to use for instruction. For example, Khan Academy has over 2,400 online lessons, of a
wide selection of topics readily available. Many other common resources available are: YouTube,
GoogleDrive, and Blogging that can play a role in flipping a classroom. However, there are
many new resources that are perfectly suited for Flipped Learning (Edudemic, 2015).
For example, Camtasia is a website that allows teachers to record your own computer
screen or yourself. This program allows to add interactive elements, such a quiz, to the video.
Wikispaces is another tool that allows for more collaboration between students and teacher.
Students can be given assignments, study content, or discussion. Next, EdModo is the largest K12 social network. This allows for students and teachers to use resources beyond their own
classes. This source also includes analytics to make class time more productive and allows access
from mobile devices and desktop. Another sources that serves as a platform for flipped learning
by allowing the teacher to load any resource they feel is relevant to the curriculum. Finally, Poll
Everywhere, provides organizations for assignments and content. Poll Everywhere can serve as a
tool for pop quizzes during class time, choices to vote on, and the ability to group students based
on choices (Edudemic, 2015). These are just a few examples of tools and resources that teachers
have accessibility to.
Case Study:
An important element in research is studying case studies and how this method has been
implemented in real life. Dalia Zygas, a 30-year veteran teacher, flipped her chemistry class in
Northlake, IL. She quickly saw a positive change in her students. She personally found a
difference in that she was not collecting paper to indicate whether or not her students had done
their homework. Instead, they demonstrate through classwork if they understand the content
(LaFee, 2013).


Another case study is from Aaron Sams who reported many benefits by using this
method. This research illustrates that many benefits and effectiveness of flipping a classroom.
When students arrived at school, they would begin labs, problem sets, or interactive activities.
Under a traditional lecture model, students would write down notes from lectures and would try
to interpret when they would through an assignment at home. However, with the new teaching
method, it allows teachers to be present with students are trying to understand new information
(Flipping Classrooms, 2011).
A third case study is from McCammon, who saw an increase in student success and
engagement, parent involvement, administrative support, and teacher job satisfaction. He found
that when he surveyed more than 500 teachers, nearly 90% of respondents who had implemented
this approach reported improved job satisfaction. Also, he found that there was an increase in
student standardized test scores and student attitudes (Brunsell, 2013). Even though there are
many benefits of using educational technology to enhance student engagement and learning, it is
necessary to look at the criticisms.
Along with the many benefits and case studies that illustrate the effectiveness of
implementing this method, there are many criticisms to consider. Another criticism is that it may
not be truly applicable and scalable beyond classrooms. It requires teacher to learn how to use
new programs and prepare lessons far in advance.

It also requires students to be highly

motivated to want to learn and prepare for class ahead of time (LaFee, 2013). It seems
unreasonable to expect students to watch videos outside of school for hours every night (Siegle,
2014). This is also important that the teacher works hard to fully implement this learning
method, or it can cause the student to fall behind.


Another challenge that implementing a Flipped Learning style is that using educational
technology as a main sources of learning may not be practical in schools where most students do
not have sufficient technological resources. Although many students have computers and the
Internet access at home, this is not the case for everyone (Siegle, 2014). This create even more
challenges for students who dont have access to technology outside of class.
A question that is often by teachers is How do we fit it all in? Educators are constantly
searching for the most effective instructional strategies to help their students learn, retain, and
apply the curriculum (Murray, 2014). Flipped Classroom approach, also known as an inverted
classroom is just one approach that teachers can use technology to focus teaching activity on
what the student actively does. Educators are able to bring active student engagement into the
classroom through active learning (Butt, 2014). Teachers become more engaged with students
during various activities.
The goal of using innovating technology is to help students establish higher-level
cognitive skills. Just recently, technology has emerged as a key tool for teacher to use to facilitate
student learning. Teachers not have access to abundant sources of web-based instructional tools
such as; homework, reflection activities, practice exercises, feedback, and videos. These webbased methods have flipped how teachers are able to deliver curriculum. Teachers can now
deliver curriculum prior to class time. As research shows this increases content exposure and the
ability to utilize class time more effectively through active learning (Murray, 2014). This
learning environment has the opportunity to become student-centered, where the teacher is
responsible for guidance and support (Butt, 2014).


Research continues to search for the latest technological innovations to promote a shift
toward active learning. Literature promotes that technology has the potential to support student
learning. Although some forms of technology have been available for 100 or more years, for
example, the chalkboard, the focus now is how the advanced technology is being used. Research
shows that educational technology is rapidly growing and improving students learning
environments (Holmes, 2015). It will be interesting to see how Flipped Classrooms will be
refined and evolved as it becomes more popular.


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Flip a Classroom. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(9), 1572-1573.
Holmes, M. R., (June 1, 2015). Moving from Flipcharts to the Flipped Classroom: Using
Technology Driven Teaching Methods to Promote Active Learning in Foundation and


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