The Top Five Benefits of a Flipped Classroom

October 21, 2013 

flipped classroom Photo courtesy of mahlness on Flickr.

A recent innovation in teaching is known as the “flipped classroom,” in which students watch recorded lessons at home, and work on homework and projects at school. With increased access to technology for the creation of educational videos, and a wide variety of instructional platforms and videos available online, this approach to teaching is gaining popularity.

Tina Rosenberg’s recent New York Times opinion article “Turning Education Upside Down,” focuses on flipped classrooms and how they work. Rosenberg advocates for this method of learning, citing proof from a couple of schools that have successfully adopted the approach.

There are many benefits to using the “flipped classroom” approach, but the following are our top five reasons why we love this teaching style:

1. A flipped classroom encourages hands-on or project-based learning.

The flipped classroom approach is centered on the student, and her progress in understanding material through practical application. The flip “frees up class time for hands-on work,” Rosenberg writes. “Students learn by doing and asking questions — school shouldn’t be a spectator sport.”

In addition, this approach stresses collaborative projects and group work, allowing students to partner together to find a solution. Collaborative learning can be one of the most effective ways to boost critical thinking and knowledge retention, according to a Journal of Technology Education article “Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking” by Anuradha A. Gokhale.

2. Teachers have more time to work one-to-one with students in a flipped classroom.

A flipped classroom provides students with the support they need, at the time they need it. Not all students have an environment at home that can provide help with homework. Sometimes these students get frustrated and give up on homework, Rosenberg notes.

With a flipped classroom, students can get immediate one-to-one answers to their questions. “In a traditional classroom, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but it’s those who don’t ask who tend to need the most attention,” according to Rosenberg. With a flip, the teacher can help coach students through the material, and has more time to monitor progress.

3. Students have time to digest the material and develop follow-up questions after viewing the material the night before.

If a student is confused about anything he’s watched in the online lesson, he can easily pause, rewind, and watch again. Teachers have transitioned from 20-minute videos to six-minute videos, Rosenberg says, to keep students’ attention and encourage repeated viewing.

4. Flipped classrooms bring creativity back to teaching.

The web provides access to thousands of lessons and videos that teachers can use to supplement their teaching. Technology has enabled teachers to have fun while filming a lesson, coming up with creative ways to teach a concept. One teacher interviewed in Rosenberg’s article said that “he feels like an ‘educational artist’ who doesn’t just talk and hand out sheets.” He continued, “‘I can create interactive lessons and exciting content. There’s so much more time to educate!’”

5. While further research on the efficacy of flipped classrooms is needed, initial results are encouraging.

Clintondale High School in Detroit is a fully “flipped school” with the results to back its change in teaching methods, according to the article. Graduation rates are up and the number of college graduates has increased dramatically since implementation.

To see more details on Clintondale’s success, click here for an infographic on Flipped Classrooms created by education software provider Knewton.

To read more about “flipped classrooms” and other approaches to learning, visit our blog, at


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