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What is “Flipped Learning”?
By Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
Flipped Learning is an approach to teaching in which the “teaching” part of a lesson takes place outside of the classroom and time spent in the classroom is used to give students the opportunity to apply the concepts they have learned in interactive and creative ways. The “teaching” part of a lesson is usually learner-centered (i.e., it is up to the student to choose when and where he/she will learn) and is often accomplished through supplemental videos, assigned reading, group discussions, research, or other tasks. Then, teachers structure classroom time in such a way as to engage students in the content, give them a chance to explore concepts, and apply information they have learned in ways that are meaningful to the students. Classroom activities often include the use of manipulatives, lab experiments, presentations, project preparations, and collaboration.
F-L-I-P, the Major Components of Flipped Learning
The Flipped Learning Network (FLN) has identified four major components, or “pillars” that teachers must incorporate into their classrooms in order to engage students in Flipped Learning:
  • F is for “Flexible Environment.” In a Flipped Learning classroom, students have the flexibility to choose where they would like to work, when they would like to explore new concepts, how they would like to apply new skills, and whether they would prefer to work independently or in groups.
  • L is for “Learning Culture.” Students are actively involved in their own learning process by choosing activities that are meaningful to them and will help them to explore topics and curriculum content further.
  • I is for “Intentional Content.” Teachers must decide which concepts to teach and how to make the content accessible to their students. They must also decide what materials are needed to assist their students in applying their knowledge.
  • P is for “Professional Educator.” Teachers must constantly observe their students, provide feedback to them to assist them in learning, and assess their students’ work.
Flipped Learning – Flip or Flop?
Flipped Learning has been around since the 1990s and many teachers who have used it have reported success with it. Those teachers have stated that their students were more engaged, they performed better on standardized assessments, they outperformed other students in traditional classrooms, and their failure rates were lower. But does Flipped Learning work for all students? No. Just as there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to learning, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to teaching. Critics of Flipped Learning have pointed out many shortcomings of the instructional method – it means more work for students and teachers, the supplemental lessons are not easily accessible to everyone (due to limited internet, inadequate technology, etc.), and some students don’t do well in a self-directed learning environment so they fall further behind.
Students learn in different ways (See Handy Handout #369, “What are Learning Styles” for additional information) and most students can benefit from a variety of teaching methods. Flipped Learning is just one of many different instructional approaches that teachers can use to reach their students.
“Why Flipped Learning Is Still Going Strong 10 Years Later,” accessed October 6, 2017,
“Definition of Flipped Learning,” accessed October 6, 2017,

*Handy Handouts® are for classroom and personal use only.
Any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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