The Flipped Classroom


The CTL is well positioned to support courses which enhance the residential-learning experience by promoting active in-class learning made possible through students’ using appropriate interactive technologies outside of class. This model encourages students to engage with course concepts, peers, and instructors, which results in deeper learning, stronger collaboration skills, and more effective feedback.

Students tend to learn more through flipped courses than traditional lecture courses for several reasons:

  • Interactive technology and digital tools enable students to learn more about course concepts outside of class.
  • Then, in class, students actively apply what they learned: they generate new ideas, solve problems, think creatively, and interact through hands-on activities.
  • The instructor can provide more effective feedback in response to their questions and quickly identify and correct misunderstandings.

Face-to-face interactions in flipped courses take many different forms; they include working problem sets, investigating case studies, small group work, discussions, and mini-lectures. Interactive web-based or digital technologies support the course learning goals; they include student response systems, software that automatically grades problems, assignments that result in digital products, wikis, blogs, and video or screen-cast lectures.

The flipped classroom moves content traditionally presented through lectures to digital media format that students study before class so that they can spend class time working problems or doing case studies.

BU Faculty Who Have Flipped

CAS Earth & Environment Professor Bruce Anderson transformed his multidisciplinary lecture-based course into a flipped active learning experience.

CAS Writing Program lecturer and CTL Faculty Fellow Pary Fassihi created online instructional videos with built-in assessments and learning exercises. She offers students one-on-one online feedback sessions on their writing. And she also reorganized class time into lecture and group work using automated response devices.

How the CTL Can Help You Flip

The CTL’s Blended Learning Challenge (application information coming soon) is an initiative which supports a cohort of faculty members from across the University as they develop innovative and technology-rich educational strategies to enhance students’ learning in an existing or new course. Instructors participating in this program can propose to transform an existing traditional course into a blended, flipped, or hybrid technology-enhanced course; but they may also propose to develop a new blended, flipped, or hybrid course. Participating faculty represent an array of disciplines affecting both graduate and undergraduate students. Participants will receive support from CTL staff for the (re)design, delivery, and evaluation of their courses.