Flipped Classroom

What is a Flipped Classroom?

A flipped classroom (also called Flipped learning or Flipped teaching) is a type of blended learning where students are introduced to content at home and practice working through it during lecture or tutorial time. This is the reverse of the "vintage practice" of introducing new content at university and then assigning homework and projects to be completed by the students independently at home.

For the Faculty of Arts, this means students prepare the content or complete readings before class, and then use class time for hands-on activities and discussions. So, basically, almost every tutorial at our faculty is a case of a flipped classroom. Students access the reading and other material prior to the tutorial from home and come (hopefully prepared) to class, where time is used for active and social learning activities rather than explaining and teaching the material.

The tutor's role in this setting isn't to provide a summary or analysis of the readings, but to engage in active discussion through collaborative active learning, think-pair-share activities, whole class discussions, or quizzes and other games.

My students are always unprepared. What do I do?

Rethinking when students have access to the resources they most need underlies the flipped classroom approach. However, students will often arrive to class having done no preparation, for any number of reasons. If you are finding that your students unpreparedness is impacting their progression and your lesson plans, consider the following:

  • How are your students being asked to engage with the material? Is it accessible? Is it engaging?
  • The material might be appropriate to the course year level, but not your students' understanding. Gauge the general level of the cohort, and adjust your lesson accordingly - there is no point in charging ahead with a lesson your students won't understand.
  • It is okay to take time at the start of a lesson to work through the preparation material independently, as a class, or in small groups.

Importantly, in a Flipped Classroom, remember that the focus is on active discussion and collaborative active learning. As such, when students are consistently unprepared, the tutors role becomes engaging with the materials alongside students, to improve their confidence and ability in engaging with materials.

Contact the Faculty of Arts LD&P team  to learn more, ask how you can best employ Flipped Classrooms in your unit, and empower your students to engage with their peers and unit materials.