The flipped classroom has evolved from the early 1990s when Alison King published “From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side.” The focus is still on the importance of using class time for the construct of meaning rather than information transmission, but the impetus is on active learning. The flipped classroom has taken on new meaning and adopted more of an open-ended definition. The emphasis is on getting students to think for themselves. In the Google era, students just type in a topic of interest and an array of information is displayed for them, no brain power required. How do we get students to process and use the information uncovered by the search engine? The flipped classroom is not strictly about watching lectures at home and doing homework in class, it is an opportunity for students to experiment, ask questions, and participate in the process of learning.

Feedback is such an important part of the learning experience and by actively working through information with the instructor present, there is the added opportunity for immediate feedback, adding meaning to the student’s efforts and clarifying whether expectations are being met. Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on achievement and by providing more feedback we can produce greater learning (Hattie, 2008). Flipped learning allows for actionable, timely, ongoing feedback.

Using a flipped model can increase student-student interaction, adding more engagement by having students working in groups. Students can discuss topics for a greater understanding or work together to solve difficult problems. They no longer need to look to the instructor as the sole disseminator of knowledge and can begin to formulate ideas and think for themselves. The emphasis is on learning as a goal rather than just completing assignments.

If you have questions about how you can implement flipped learning or would like to discuss adding engagement to your class, contact us at ConsultLS@vcu.edu.

Hattis, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta‐analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.