Flip My Classroom

What is a Flipped Classroom?

The flipped model of learning is one in which students’ first contact with the new material takes place outside of the classroom. This allows students to interact with the content and process the new material at their own pace. Oftentimes, the instructional content is accompanied with short, low-stakes questions, which students typically submit electronically. Answering these questions ensures students are engaging with the instructional content. Class sessions are carefully planned by the instructor to incorporate activities that focus on higher cognitive tasks. These activities, often aligned with active learning strategies, allow students to engage with the new content through hands-on activities, discussions, and projects. The goal of a flipped classroom is to focus not only what students learn throughout the course, but how they learn the new content.

Benefits for Instructors

The flipped model of learning provides opportunities for the instructors to:

  • review student responses to the low-stakes content-related online questions prior to class and identify learning gaps in advance of the class session
  • begin class with filling in the learning gaps
  • implement active learning strategies (workshops; team-work; hands-on activities; peer reviews; etc.) during class
  • leave in-class space for more instructor-student interaction and student-student interaction
  • target different learning styles by addressing issues such as accessibility of content

Benefits for Students

The flipped model of learning allows students to:

  • review lecture materials and new content in advance and as often as they wish
  • identify their own learning gaps, and attend class sessions prepared with questions
  • engage in higher cognitive skills tasks during the hands-on and collaborative in-class activities
  • be accountable for their own learning by being prepared to discuss the class content during class
  • interact with the instructor and other students more frequently

Recommended BU-supported Tools for Flipping the Classroom

Faculty Voices

BU faculty share their experiences transforming multidisciplinary lecture-based course into a flipped, active learning experience. Watch these Faculty Voices videos:

Connect with a Learning Community

Digital Learning & Innovation is committed to building learning communities and creating gathering places for Boston University leadership, faculty, and staff technology users to share ideas, meet and connect with colleagues, and discuss platforms designed to improve students’ learning experiences. All of our communities of practice meet via Zoom or in-person and are supported by Digital Learning & Innovation, Educational Technology, and Center for Teaching & Learning staff. Connect with a Learning Community.

Teaching Guides & Resources

View this list of teaching guides or email the Center for Teaching & Learning and schedule an appointment today ctl@bu.edu.

Technology Support

The Educational Technology team provides training in this area. Visit BU TechWeb for training information or schedule a consultation, email askedtech@bu.edu. View TechWeb workshops & trainings here. You can also sign up for a consultation with Shipley Center's multimedia production specialists.