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Flipped Classroom Pedagogy

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Flipped pedagogy refers to a specific and widely used variety of blended learning, discussed in depth here.

What is flipped teaching?

Flipped teaching is a specific variety of blended instruction in which traditionally in-class activities (especially lectures) are done as homework, while traditional homework activities (like working through practice exercises) are done in class. A typical example of a flipped class is one in which the instructor pre-records the lectures, posts the recordings to Canvas for students to watch before class, and then assists the students as they work through assignments during class time. Such an approach is designed to maximize the special power of the in-person classroom to facilitate social learning while moving content delivery like lecturing to out-of-class homework time, where students have the best opportunity to focus individually.

Challenges of flipped teaching

While flipped teaching now has a great deal of empirical support, there remain significant challenges to those undertaking it, mainly in preparation (which is often extensive) and student adaptation (students often feel at first that they are not learning as well as in traditional classes).

Fortunately, the pervasive remote teaching of 2020-21 has eased both of these challenges: many departments and instructors have accrued considerable preparatory materials (pre-recorded lectures, engaging activities) for online delivery, and students have greater experience with various modes of online interactions. In addition, the widespread adoption of technologies like Zoom, Panopto, and Canvas has made pre-recording and posting material a great deal easier.

Resources for flipped pedagogies

The Center for Teaching and Learning is happy to provide consultations for those beginning or fine-tuning a flipped class. In general, the way to begin is the same as with any blended instruction: looking first at your learning goals for your students, considering the assessments and activities that will allow them to meet those goals, and then designing the class based on which activities are most likely to work best online, and which are likely to benefit most from in-person instruction.

For those interested in getting started with self-recording media, the Stanford Center for Professional Development offers this helpful guidance. Also, consider these strategies for developing pre-recorded instructional videos.