Saturday, May 4, 2013

The flipped learning

             First things first, I think it's important for us to understand what the flipped learning is and it is certainly not something that I came up with myself; the earliest work done in this field was by Eric Mazur , at Harvard who developed peer instruction in the 1990s. The flipped learning is pioneered by Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann. Above are a few videos on what flipped learning is.

Flipped Learning Defined
"Flipped learning is when teachers do not use face-to-face time to deliver direct instruction. Instead direct instruction is delivered asynchronously."

              I think it is pretty much expected , many people tend to have some misconceptions on what the flipped learning is,for it is more than just about flipping the class and I think it is best that we should clarify on that.


Myth 1: Flipped classrooms are primarily about putting lecture videos online
Debunked: Flipped classrooms can be just about putting lecture videos online and having students do homework in class,  but they can and should be about much more than that. Research-based methods for flipping your classroom include Just-in-Time Teaching and Peer Instruction. 
Myth 2: You need to flip your entire class 
Debunked: You can flip just one concept or topic, many, or all. When you are just starting out with flipped teaching, it is a good idea to pick a set of the key concepts or topics that are the most difficult for students and go from there.
Myth 3: Students will love not having lectures in class
 While most of us have stared out at a classroom full of bored, half asleep students mired in the tedium of our lectures, when you try to flip you class you may face student resistance in the particular form of demands for more lecture. See this post for some tips on how to address this. 
Myth 4: Flipped classrooms are the latest edutrend
The first modern call for pushing information coverage out of the classroom and guided practice in, dates to at least the late 1800s with the casebook method. Pre-recording lectures for out-of-class viewing shows up in the research literature in 2000.
Myth 5: There is only one way to flip a class
According to Bergmann and Sams 2012, there are many of ways to flip a class and no one right way. Bergmann recently posted his definition here, and he says “you see there is no ONE way to flip a class and in this lies one of the great strengths of this methodology.” Peer Instruction is, of course, our favorite way to flip the classroom. However, we are also big fans of Team-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning.
Myth 6: Flipped classrooms replace faculty with computersDebunked: This is definitely not the case. In a flipped classroom, instructors are essential and they do many of the same tasks that they do in traditional teaching environments, such as helping students learn, selecting and covering content, and assessing student achievement. The most prominent difference is that a flipped classroom leverages the instructor’s expertise during in-and-out of class time in different ways.  Flipped learning operates from the assumption that content coverage occurs primarily out of class and should be more of a shared role with the students, rather than just the job of an instructor.
Myth 7: Students will not do work out of class, even for credit
Peer Instruction Network member Ives Araujo thought this too. So, for a semester he studied his university students’ completion and  engagement with pre-class assignments over the course of a semester. On average the large majority of students did their pre-class work AND demonstrated strong effort. Read how he measured this here.  He has since gone on to observe the same completion and engagement rates in high school classrooms. We do find that you need to provide credit (points) as a motivator, however.

Here are some useful links on flipped learning:

flipped learning at a large scale

As for those skeptics , here's a result of a survey (click on the link if you can't see the picture) made in the U.S. (I think it can be replicated anywhere in the world , provided that it is implemented properly )

                    Once again , let me clarify that this isn't my idea , I don't get credit for this. I'm just sharing it because I think it is necessary for us to have a more effective way of learning.The primary reason why this is important is that we(students) are  most likely preparing ourselves for jobs that don't exist yet, for change is happening at an unprecedented scale.  With flipped learning,we can have many different nuanced perspectives as it helps us in our critical thinking(which I believe is important for  the challenges we face in the world).

     There may be very powerful positive points that are not all obvious at first sight. That is how entrepreneurs work. They see the value that those around them have not yet spotted-- there might be more positive points on the flipped learning that I haven't spotted myself, in which you can find out.  Value and benefit are by no means always obvious.

  Thanks for your time to read this , I really appreciate that.


  1. Hey Faizul

    I have been teaching programming for 30 years (only!)
    And was the first one in my univ to stop using a blackboard and start showing programs actually written on a computer in class (when computers first had the possibility to project).
    My first steps towards flipped-learning??

    We've just floated a mooc at

    So if we get it (pls vote!), you can rest assured I will ask you for tips on how to invert my (virtual) classroom!

    1. Hi Rusi,

      Sure , I will vote. I don't claim myself as an expert on virtual learning , but I'll certainly do my best to help. If you like , I can send you an email on some articles and an ebook(which I got from the TED community) related to it. I admire your effort in taking a different approach for teaching and learning and i wish you all the best with it! :)