Flipped Learning: What Is It, And When Is It Effective?

from Brookings

Instructors are constantly on the lookout for more effective and innovative ways to teach. Over the last 18 months, this quest has become even more salient, as COVID-19 has shaken up the academic landscape and pushed teachers to experiment with new strategies for engaging their students. One innovative teaching method that may be particularly amenable to teaching during the pandemic is flipped learning. But does it work?

In this post, we discuss our new reportsummarizing the lessons from over 300 published studies on flipped learning. The findings suggest that, for many of us who work with students, flipped learning might be worth a try.

More here.

Posted in Education, Ideas, Innovation and tagged , , , , .

12 Comments

  1. I found the article “flipped learning: What is it, and when is it effective”, to be very interesting due to my personal experience with the flipped learning method, due to recent/current covid-19 pandemic. The article mentions that as a result of new teaching methods being discovered during covid-19, “teachers are becoming more ambitious in their teaching methods; one of which is flipped learning.” The flipped learning strategy is more dependent on the student side because, in this method, students are supposed to read and go over the class material before they get to class, so then during class, there is more time to “engage in active learning experiences such as discussions, peer teaching, presentations, projects, problem-solving, computations, and group activities.”
    As the article states, there are numerous amounts of benefits that this format of learning has to offer when in comparison with lecture-based learning. The author states that “students in flipped classrooms performed better than those in traditionally taught classes across all of the academic outcomes we examined. In addition to confirming that flipped learning has a positive impact on foundational knowledge (the most common outcome in prior reviews of the research), we found that flipped pedagogies had a modest positive effect on higher-order thinking. Flipped learning was particularly effective at helping students learn professional and academic skills.” I found this quote to be very interesting because I am personally in the middle of whether I find the flipped format to be better for me or not.
    In the past I have had a few classes where the flipped learning method was used. I feel that it has its advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to the advantages, I feel that it can be beneficial because when it comes to simple readings/material, I find that it is a waste of time to go over the readings during class and that I would rather have some activities which would better help my understanding of the topic such as discussions and practice problems. On the other hand, I can also have experienced some negatives with it. For example, when it comes to readings that are very difficult for me to understand, I would prefer to go over the reading in class because then it will help me understand what is going on. While I do find practice problems and in class, discussions to be more beneficial towards my understanding, if I don’t understand the topic at hand and we just jumped straight into the practice problems and discussions, I would be clueless on what to say or do.
    With that being said, I agree with the author on the basis that “flipped learning is superior to lecture-based learning for fostering all intra-/interpersonal outcomes examined, including enhancing students’ interpersonal skills, improving their engagement with the content, and developing their metacognitive abilities like time management and learning strategies.” As I mentioned in my own experience with this method, when it comes to my overall understanding of the topic, I find that doing problems and having discussions are much more beneficial for me when in comparison the standard lecture.
    Later in the article, I agree with the author’s findings on how “using pre-class quizzes and assignments to hold students accountable actually produced lower academic gains”. In the past, I have had my own experience with this in which my overall understanding of the topic wasn’t as good as it should be due to the weekly quizzes. As the article implies, my overall comprehension of the topic was lacking because I was more focused on trying to understand the quiz topics which often led to added stress which hindered my ability to fully understand the topic in a more relaxed manner.
    Lastly, I agree with the authors ending points on how they found that “students in flipped classrooms reported greater course satisfaction than those in lecture-based courses.” I find the overall topic of student satisfaction to be very important because that is what matters in the end. With that being said, despite the research, if students find that the flipped learning strategy is not of their liking, then it wouldn’t be as beneficial as it could be. In my personal opinion, I find these flipped classrooms to be better for my overall understanding when it comes to things that involve problems such as finance, accounting, and statistics, while I find the lecture-based to be better for more straightforward classes/topics.

  2. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about massive shifts across society in regards to how we handle our responsibilities and interact with our peers. The landscape for the workforce is being drastically altered as many open their minds to the viability of permanently remote work. While in many such cases it can seem relatively clear how productivity and efficiency are affected by a shift to remote work, the shift to a remote environment may be much more complex for students. The shift to virtual education has stripped students from the traditional classroom environment that they (as well as society in general) have been used to. Even excluding various problems such as teachers not being prepared to teach in such a virtual environment, several factors in this shift have complicated education for students. With the “human” quality of in-person interactions no longer present, lessons and teaching styles may feel a lot less effective. Many hands-on activities or presentations can generally lose their effectiveness, with the instructor having more difficulty monitoring student progress and assisting accordingly. Collaboration in group assignments, despite the existence of various programs meant to fuel collaboration, can be made more difficult without meeting in person. Each of these factors consistently affect student engagement in a negative manner. These complications may be intensified in younger students who may need the structure and in-person interactions of a traditional classroom to stay focused.

    Still, particularly with older students, the use of digital resources does have its merits in regards to enhancing education. The article notes the rising prominence of the flipped learning style, in which the general concept revolves around providing students with the general knowledge of a topic before class, then reserving class time for an expansion of this knowledge. Class time may include discussions, presentations, or various hands-on activities. Various studies examined by the article promote the effectiveness of this flipped learning style in regards to academic performance and student engagement. As a student myself, I find flipped learning to be a very interesting concept that would likely benefit me if executed properly. The traditional educational style should still remain with certain classes where immediate responses to the lesson are necessary for understanding, such as mathematics-based classes. Classes with more qualitative content, however, stand to benefit more from flipped learning, as the more in-depth discussions and activities involved in class time can provide more value to students than simply learning general facts. This is directly influencing student engagement, as noted by the article, and thus directly counters one of the main problems with virtual learning.

    I feel as though virtual learning and flipped learning do have their place in education to an extent, though should be carried out with moderation. Younger students would likely benefit from the maintenance of the traditional classroom style, to ensure they are able to develop their knowledge in the in-person environment they require. By college, or possibly the higher education level, flipped learning may be able to be more efficiently injected into the education of students.

  3. I am intrigued by this concept of flipped learning since it goes against teaching at its core. Because of this, I am skeptical on how effective flipped learning can be in most settings. I agree that it can have many benefits such as helping those create their own knowledge using their pre-existing frameworks. I also agree that watching lectures ahead of class and having access to them after class would allow students to remember the content much better (as long as they are being attentive.) However, I see a couple of big issues with this structure of learning.
    One issue I think of is if one has questions when he is watching a lecture at home. While I understand one can ask their teacher their questions the next time they see them or they can email them, I personally know that I remember the answers to my questions better if I get to ask my teacher right there on the spot and immediately get their explanation.
    The next issue I can think of with flipped learning is students not doing their due diligence with any of the lectures. While I understand that some students do not do their homework and I am not excusing their lack of effort, homework is an extension of what is learned and is not the end all be all regarding one’s grade. If these students refuse to learn and watch the lectures on their own terms, it does not allow teachers to use class time to help students with assignments. Instead, teachers and students will both have to do extra work. Teachers will have to waste class time going over the lesson again and students will have to use time they should be using watching lectures to do homework that should have been finished in class.
    Regardless of my skepticism, I would like to experience a class that uses the concept of flipped learning. The article has data that backs that students perform better, learn more and are more satisfied with the teaching when this method of learning is used and I would like to see if this holds true to me.

  4. This article was an especially interesting one to read and the topic was enjoyable to learn about, as I have experienced flipped learning first-hand. As the article discussed, this COVID-19 pandemic has pressured – and forced in many cases – instructors to adjust their teaching techniques. Learning is all about adaptability, and it’s clear that the same goes for teaching. Honestly, I think it’s about time that fundamental learning is taught in new, evolved ways on a grander scale. Traditionally-based learning – where classes are designed for lectures and practice problems and homework includes problem sets or group project work – was designed for students long in the past and learning was inevitably going to be gradually more digitized. COVID-19 simply sped up this process. As Patricia Roehling and Carrie Bredow explained in this article, the concept of flipped learning is best described as, “Students complete pre-class homework, then spend in-class time engaged in active learning experiences such as discussions, peer teaching, presentations, projects, problem solving, computations, and group activities.” This learning format is actually used in the majority of my own classes, and I find it much more helpful than the traditional way. Roehling and Bredow explained how, in this more updated setting, students are able to create their own knowledge when learning topics before class, and then are able to better utilize and reinforce that knowledge during the actual class period.
    I can say from personal experience that the flipped learning style that this article talks about has better resonated with me when compared to more pre-pandemic styles of teaching. In this class, in particular, I know I would have much less of an understanding if we were taught the cases and terminology solely in a class lecture. I try to put as much attention into my pre-class homework each week so that by the time I am actually in class and expected to already know the material, I can utilize that knowledge during our discussions, and it helps me strengthen my overall understanding. I do, however, recognize my privilege in that I have always been lucky to have had access to technology in my education and am used to learning and completing assignments on a digital platform. The article went into depth about how many instructors and/or students who are not as tech-savvy, have had difficulties transitioning from traditional learning to flipped learning. Ultimately, I think the concept of flipped learning is a step in the right direction and it only makes sense with an increasingly technologically-based world to evolve with it while teaching.

  5. I found the article about flipped learning quite interesting because it connects well with the covid-19 pandemic and I have personal experience with this learning style. As we know it, the recent pandemic has changed the way society performs everyday functions. The pandemic has created a huge shift where society is more reliant upon technology more than ever. Everything like doctor visits, schooling, and most jobs all transitioned to remote work and learning. Even still, many companies still allow their workers to work remotely even though most of the pandemic has been lifted. For educational purposes, universities and schools also resorted to remote learning. Unfortunately, many college students would agree that remote learning is not the same and is definitely less effective. Depending on the class, flipped learning has great potential to raise the effectiveness of remote learning. Flipped learning is when students “view online lectures as pre-class homework, then spend in-class time engaged in active learning experiences such as discussions, peer teaching, presentations, projects, problem-solving, computations, and group activities” (Roehling and Bredow). Flipped learning has the potential to be more effective for remote learning because it helps eliminate awfully boring and dry online classes. Depending on the circumstance, online classes tend to be more boring and less effective because there is much less interaction than in-person classes. Students tend to disable their cameras and are less willing to participate and make class fruitful. Flipped learning would increase interaction because the online classes would involve activities, problems, and examples where students are meant to participate and master the material/skills. If done correctly, flipped learning can definitely increase learning effectiveness. Unfortunately, flipped learning has some downfalls.

    From my experience, I have come across two major issues with flipped learning. The first issue being flipped learning is more suitable for certain subjects. Flipped learning is more suitable for informational classes that focus more on information, facts, and concepts. On the other hand, flipped learning does not work very well when it is applied to mathematical classes. My experience of flipped learning came from a high-level college math course, and it was not effective whatsoever. For me, it is much easier to learn math when the teacher thoroughly explains the formulas and demonstrates the concepts. In doing so, the teacher can cover all of the complicated details that are a part of math. In support of my opinion, the article on flipped learning states, “Mathematics and engineering courses demonstrated the smallest gains when implementing flipped pedagogies” (Roehling and Bredow). The second problem from flipped learning is the possibility of a teacher putting to0 much pressure on the students. Flipped learning creates an environment that could allow teachers to become lazy where they end up putting less effort into the class to make sure the students are understanding the material. Overall, flipped learning has the potential to improve learning effectiveness when it is used for the correct classes and by the right teachers

  6. Flipped learning is when a professor assigns homework before the class that is meant to go over this material. The thought process behind this concept is that the students will learn the material themselves, and then be able to be interactive and participative in class. This gives the teacher of a course a lot more room to be creative with how the class is run. The teacher can have student-led classes, group discussions, and go over the material with students and answer any questions they may have.

    The pros of this learning style are that the students will be familiar with the material already when they come into class. This helps progress class discussions and keeps students engaged. This type of learning also reinforces the material that the class has already been learning on their own.
    The cons of flipped learning are that students may not be able to teach the material to themselves as effectively as if a professor was teaching. This can lead to students being confused or even disheartened despite their efforts. Also some students may be lazy and unable to find the motivation to get the work done especially if the class is not something they find interesting.

    From my personal experience, I like the traditional style of teaching best. I am way better at retaining information that way and my experiences with the traditional style have been good. I have had the opportunity to be a part of a few flipped classes and they did not fit the type of style that I like to learn. I do better in a setting where a teacher can explain and review, and then when I review on my own everything is clear and makes sense.

  7. The use of flipped learning is meant for students to view online lectures, which would be typically seen in an in-person class, then the time spent at an in-person class would be mainly engaging in peer discussions, presentations, and projects. Research that has proved how flipped learning can be very effective for students has been growing in the last ten years. I believe that flipped learning can give students the opportunity to teach themselves the material on their own, then ask questions and review all of the material with their peers so that they have a better understanding of the subject matter. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teacher unions were forced to find new ways for students to learn at home instead of in the classroom. Although the worst of the pandemic is over, we can still use technology to our advantage by having both some in-person classes and virtual lectures as well. While I personally learn better with in-person classes, this can still help many students who get a better understanding of their subjects on their own. In spite of all the positives of having flipped learning in schools, some students may still prefer having all in-person learning without any virtual classes. Since there are students who do not know how to use computers and technology as well and would rather have physical work, there should be a system for both kinds of students. In my opinion, I think that the use of flipped learning should be optional for students if it were used in grade school, or in college. I believe that flipped learning can give students who are struggling and are easily distracted in class a greater chance of succeeding in their academics once they can take in all of the information independently.

  8. In the flipped learning concept, videos or screencasts in particular, which can be used to work through a new topic, are given to the students. They watch these videos at home and thus learn the new content. The input happens at one’s own pace, when one wants and where one wants. This leaves time in the classroom to do exercises. The teacher becomes a coach and can provide individual support. At the center of all considerations is the goal of establishing teaching that takes into account and builds on the previous experiences, interests, and backgrounds of the students. The method allows for individualization and differentiation in the classroom so that the students can be individually supported and challenged. I think this method depends on some factors to be able to judge it as success later. First, it depends on the independence of the students. College students are usually more responsible than elementary school students. Therefore, this method is more suitable for more experienced students. In addition, older students are better able to handle the necessary technology. Furthermore, the materials provided by the teacher are very important. The teacher must think carefully about how the students can achieve the best possible learning progress without being steered in the wrong direction. In my opinion, flipped learning is quite an interesting and promising approach. I think it’s good to let the students immerse themselves in the topic first, to form their own opinion. This also encourages critical thinking and more creativity. However, a lot of support from the teachers is still necessary to push the focus in more detail.
    The success of this method depends mainly on the “type” of the learner. It might be a good idea to offer a flexible program so that each student can choose his or her favorite learning method.

  9. In the article “Flipped Learning: What it is, and When is it Effective” I actually got very frustrated reading through it. As you’ve heard many times, due to the pandemic, many students and teachers have had to adjust their learning and teaching methods to accommodate for the weird times we are going through, and although there are many positives that we took away from online learning, flipped learning might be the worst outcome of the nontraditional schooling we faced this past year.

    Flipped learning is when “??students access lecture materials before class and engage in active learning or instructor-guided exercises during class time.” The idea behind flipped learning is that students are able to use class time to participate in active learning in order to promote “the development of more diverse and complex learning outcomes than are typically fostered in a lecture setting.” This forces students to use their free time out of school to focus on teaching themselves the material so they do not fall behind during classes.

    The problem with this is that all students do not have the same preferred learning methods. Having to teach themselves class material at their own time at home when powerpoints are not their preferred learning style will cause more harm than good. If a student does not do well with teaching themselves, all flipped learning will do is create a negative connotation to the school environment. In addition, COVID shined a light on the need to explore other creative outlets and explore more of the world at your own pace, not stay stuck to a screen longer in order to teach yourself classroom material so you can maybe understand classroom exercises that are being conducted during class. If a student were to fall behind on a lecture due to an unknown factor at home, when would the appropriate time be to catch up considering they would then have to catch up on what they missed and prepare again for what will necessarily be covered in class the next day.

    As a student who was forced to participate in flipped learning, I struggled a large amount. I hated that my free time outside of school was used to doing more school work and not engaging in any fun activities with my friends. The positives of flipped learning are prominent, but is it really worth the sacrifice of a child’s time outside of school. Nurturing other creative outlets seems to be more important in the long run, not just school-related materials.

  10. The COVID-19 pandemic has really pushed people to change how they conducted their way of life and forced us to adapt to the new circumstances. Over this period instructors have adopted a new form of teaching called flipped learning. Flipped learning has basically swapped the roles of lectures and homework to increase active learning with the students. Typically a student would go into class or an online lecture to listen to the teacher and take notes. Then when they go home they do homework by themselves. Flipped learning has swapped the objectives of homework and class time to have students engage more with their peers and professors. In this new technique, students would have an online lecture of sorts at home, which acts as a prelude to the class. Then when the student goes to class, they are engaging in a group discussion or project, rather than an inactive lecture. This new form of learning does have students more engaged with the work and will help students that benefit from hands-on learning. One theory states, “active learning enables students to create their own knowledge by building upon pre-existing cognitive frameworks, resulting in a deeper level of learning than [what] occurs in more passive learning settings (Roehling and Bredow). With the introduction of content from the lecture before class, students will be able to build on what they were exposed to previously. Whereas the current form of teaching unloads information in one sitting, leaving the student to comprehend all of the information and then replicate it during homework.

    Through studies conducted by the authors of this article, flipped learning is seen to be more effective than traditional lecture-based learning. They found that through a more active learning process, students developed a higher order of thinking as well as intra-/interpersonal skills. Personally, I think I would prefer the traditional lecture-based approach because I like getting all the information in one sitting while taking notes to review later on. Maybe this is because I’ve been doing it all my life and switching now would be a big step. If this was suddenly adopted now the kids would benefit the most because this new way of learning would be their foundations. Starting off in a social and dynamic learning environment would hold a lot of value in the long run. The studies conducted in the article were set in higher education and disregarded lower levels of learning. I’m curious to see what the results would be for elementary school classes because they are still developing their way of learning.

  11. According to the article, “Flipped learning: What is it, and when is it effective?” Flipped learning is an increasingly popular pedagogy or method and practice of teaching. What flipped learning entails is students viewing digitized lectures as pre-class homework and then spending in-class time in active learning activities like discussions, peer teaching, presentations, projects, problem-solving, and group activities. Essentially, the students are briefing themselves on information or even teaching themselves, and then under supervision/instruction, they are testing their knowledge whilst simultaneously learning. It is almost as if flipped learning is a test first, learn later method of teaching as opposed to trying to perfect the skills before examining them, hence the name: flipped learning.
    The authors of the article, Patricia Roehling and Carrie Bredow, two professors of psychology at Hope College, conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of flipped pedagogies combining data from 317 studies with over 51 thousand participants. They examined outcomes in the broad categories of academics, intra/interpersonal aptitudes (engagement in the course, metacognitive skills, and interpersonal skills), and satisfaction. The two psych professors’ analysis found that flipped learning can certainly be a more effective teaching method than lecture-based learning. The article says that flipped classrooms had a positive impact on student performance, foundational knowledge, and higher-order thinking. Students in flipped classes performed better than those in traditionally taught classes across all the academic outcomes that they examined.
    “Another reason to consider flipped learning is student satisfaction. We found that students in flipped classrooms reported greater course satisfaction than those in lecture-based courses. …in no context did flipping the classroom hurt course ratings.”
    Speaking from personal experience, one of the courses I have enjoyed the most throughout my college years thus far was a flipped class. In MGT 355 with Dr. Quinn Cunningham, students were required to complete a pre-activity worksheet before coming to class and participating in the work. Our foundational knowledge was put to the test in class, forcing us to use critical thinking to identify core problems and work towards solving them. Personally, I believe that skills and knowledge are much better retained when they are applied in this manner that is flipped learning.

  12. Flipped learning is not a learning method that would work for everyone. With this strategy in place students would basically have to teach themselves before class. Most students won’t want to have to teach themselves. The average student learns by the teacher/ professor teaching them the lesson and then they would do practice problems. If the students have to read a lecture beforehand they will most likely slack off and simply skim the lesson or for some not even read it at all. In my opinion this method will not be a beneficial learning method. The whole idea of going to school is learning lessons in the classroom and doing practice on your own. That’s how most students are able to learn. As mentioned in the article, “Another theoretical advantage of flipped learning is that it allows students to incorporate foundational information into their long-term memory prior to class” (Roehling). This idea doesn’t really make sense to me. Most students after learning something new chances are after leaving class they will forget the information. The average student is usually a hands-on learner. For someone that learns this way, flipped learning will probably not be a good method.
    In college it’s a different story sometime you have to read the textbook before the lecture in order to learn the material, and then the professor simply just goes over the information. As an adult you maybe able to prioritize your time accordingly to be able to learn the information in enough time for class. A young student won’t be able to handle that much stress of having to essentially teach themselves.

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