What is Flipped?

What is Flipped? A Flipped Learning Primer for Anyone New to or Interested in Flipped Learning


Flipcon16 is this coming week in Allen, Texas and while nearly all of the experts, pioneers, and authors of the #flipclass movement will be there one goal of Flipcon is to share the joys of the flip with the uninitiated or those just starting out.  There are great books, blogs, and websites all about flipped learning, including http://flippedlearning.org/, but here is a short primer and set of examples that might help clarify some of the purposes, terms, and potential methods of flipping to teachers and administrators new to flip. To be clear, the flipped method of teaching is a broad spectrum, from basic flipped classroom, to flipped mastery, to gamification, and beyond.  http://bit.ly/Whatisflipin6min


Simply stated the flipped classroom is school work at home and home work at school. More completely flipped is redefining what happens in the “group space” and what happens in the “individual space” Many times in practice it reflects a time shifting of current methods and activities to provide more time in the group space by shifting some direct instruction to the individual space.

Here are a few examples from a nearly infinite spectrum of how a basic flip might work.


One early entry door to a flipped classroom is traditional in-class at-the-board lecture with full class recording for future flip use.

Very Short Example:  http://bit.ly/wiftradexample.

Explanation of pros and cons:http://bit.ly/wiftradexplain

BIG TAKEAWAY: Taping live can only be banked for future use rather than with current students but does theoretically cuts down on filming time.  This method also means that the presentation isn’t customized to a flipped learning style.


Another early entry point is a traditional in class at the board lecture no class pre-recorded.

Very Short Example:  http://bit.ly/wifsemitradexample

Explanation of pros and cons.http://bit.ly/wifsemitradexplain

BIG TAKEAWAY:  The pre-recording can be done in advance for use with current students and efficiency and economy of instruction can be gained. This method can also be tailored to flip learning style but requires post editing and uploading.


This is a full flip lesson using a webcam and document camera in conjunction with a learning management system (LMS).  The examples above would also benefit from utilizing an LMS but this is an example of a more mature flip, although this is the same basic format I started with just three years ago and if I can do it you can too. Be sure and watch the explanation video.

Edpuzzle version http://bit.ly/wifflip101edpuzzle YouTube version https://youtu.be/Mk3Xp9VMPJ4

Explanation of pros and cons.http://bit.ly/wifflip101explain

BIG TAKEAWAY: Quick to do, can easily “bank” videos ahead for classes, and most importantly can be quickly and easily tied to Canvas, Google Classroom, Edpuzzle, etc and can be customized for a full flip experience. Utilizing tools like Edpuzzle and other interactive overlays moves student from watching to interacting with the videos more effectively.

“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 Learning Network (FLN). (2014) The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P™ http://flippedlearning.org/definition-of-flipped-learning/

Flipped Learning as opposed to the flipped classroom embodies the four pillars of F-L-I-P.   http://bit.ly/whatisflipfourpillars

Flexible Environment – Learning Culture – Intentional Content – Professional Educator

This example differs from the flipped classroom examples in that in flip learning the whole approach to the subject changes and the video would be an example of the introduction to a multi-week approach and set of goals that students will move through somewhat asynchronously and not every student will need every direct instruction video.

Example: http://bit.ly/wiffliplearnexample

Explanation of pros and cons and further explanation of the process. http://bit.ly/wiffliplearnexplain

BIG TAKEAWAY:This is a major shift in how the geometry is approached. It would be somewhat difficult to jump to having never flipped in terms of amount of preparation and ability to anticipate what students will need, but if you have build a library videos and experience in Flip 101 this is a fairly small progression to a whole new world.


Flip mastery takes the principles of mastery learning and marries them with modern technology to make a sustainable, reproducible, and manageable environment for learning. The key elements are as follows:

  • Students work either in small groups or individually at an appropriate pace.
  • The teacher formatively assesses students and gauges student understanding.
  • Students demonstrate mastery of objectives on summative assessments. For students who do not master a given objective, remediation is provided.
  1. 52 Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day.  J Bergmann & A. Sams

I have no example of flipped mastery for this as I am moving this way myself, but the flip learning concept above would slide right into a flipped mastery system on a broader basis.  Flipped mastery also requires the biggest adjustment on the part of parents and students as it may not look like the “school” they are used to.  This is the amazing thing about flipped learning and the flipped learning community, this is all a journey of growth in the way we teach, the way we interact with students, even the way we interact with the content that some of us have been mastering for years.  

The flipped method of teaching is a spectrum, and there is a place on the spectrum that will fit your talents, your subject matter, your students of any age, and open new doors for you as an educator.  If you are new to flipping there is a lot of room to grow.  If you are just learning about flipping, it is not difficult to start doing.  If you are a seasoned #flipclass veteran you don’t need me to tell you that flipping removes physical and mental walls and expands our classrooms and relationships with our students. Flipcon16 or a regional flip conference is a great way to become a part of a community of educators that is truly flipping education on its head.


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