12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 17, 2013 8:46 AM by Lynne Hoffman RSS

What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?

Jane Brown Master
Currently Being Moderated

Barbara De Santis posted a resource link to Inside the Flipped Classroom -- THE Journal and Amy Gordon started a discussion on The specified item was not found.  In fact, if you search Thinkfinity Community for "flipped classroom" you will find 165 saved resources, indicating a gobal interest in this topic.


Multiple references indicate that in a flipped classroom


  1. Students prepare for class by watching video, listening to podcasts, or reading articles that access their prior knowlege.
  2. Students then reflect on their learning and organize a list of questions regarding what is confusing them.
  3. Students log in to a social site like a Thinkfinity Community group and post their questions to their teacher.
  4. The teacher reviews these questions and creates a lesson plan that addresses the areas of confusion but does not re-teach what the students already understand.
  5. In class, the teacher poses questions or give problems and students work collaboratively in small groups to answer the questions or solve the problems.
  6. The teacher mingles with student groups, listening to their conversations, and guides learning as appropriate until students understand.


What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?  Respond from the teacher the student, perhaps the administrator or the parent point of view.  Will you be trying this next year?  Why or why not? 

  • Re: What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?
    tabryant New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great question! Here are some pros and cons I can think of quickly.


    Some PROS:

    • The students are engaging with materials predetermined by the teacher, so the teacher maintains a certain level of control. The questions the students prepare may be broad, but the teacher's got a ground base from which to work.


    • Students are thinking critically.


    • Students get to vocalize what they're not understanding, which gives them a sense of choice and/or involvement in mapping out how their learning is proceeding (rather than feeling like they're being talked at). Although some students may have quicker comprehension than others, by knowing in advance what students are struggling to grasp, your lesson plans will entail information that's probably less redundant to the students than it might otherwise be.


    • Students get to boost their electronic skills, which is helpful in such a social media/computer-based society. And Thinkfinity Community is a great platform to use with the class.


    • Students may feel more comfortable working together in groups than working off of pitches from the teacher.


    Some CONs:

    • While reading printed materials outside of the classroom isn't usually a problem, especially if the teacher prints them off and gives them to the students, not all students may have access to computers at home/outside of school. So if the teacher's planning on having students watch a video or listen to a podcast (which are really great ideas and can be very visually and intellectually stimulating), it'd be helpful if the student has the ability to access these tools on school grounds in case s/he can't do so at home. If the school's library/media center doesn't have access to whatever the students should watch/listen to, the teacher may want to show/play these tools during class.


    • Some students don't fair well in group environments, whether they're shy or embarrassed, etc. They may fair better in written responses or one-on-one conversations. So the teacher has to consider how s/he evaluates student group participation and keep in mind that just because one student doesn't speak up as frequently as another doesn't mean that student is less articulate or didn't do the homework; his/her learning style just might not be conducive to group settings.


    • Small group assignments require a certain level of monitoring and engagement to make sure they don't derail, which can be tricky on a class-by-class basis. Students might not stay on task and start talking about unrelated topics. Group dynamics might also differ such that one group needs more time to answer a question, while another speeds right through the questions/problems. So time management and an adequate arsenal of work for students to do that enhances their learning (and isn't "busy" work) is key--and that's an issue for any class.


    I'd consider trying a more head-on flipped classroom style. I used to teach writing-centered courses and the cons above are some of the tricky spots I encountered in the process. But there's something to be said when students are able to learn from and off of each other with reinforcement from the teacher. Some students might even learn better if they're in a position to answer another student's questions, stepping into a teacherly role themselves.

  • Re: What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    In a Tech & Learning article titled, "Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping Over The Flipped Classroom," Lisa Nielsen gives her take on the cons of a flipped classroom:


    1. We have yet to bridge the digital divide...
    2. Flipped homework is still homework.
    3. More time for bad pedagogy.
    4. Grouping by date of manufacture...
    5. Lecturing doesn’t equal learning.


    I encourage you to read her article which explains each of her five points in greater detail.


    What do you think of her reasons for opposing a flipped classroom?



  • Re: What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?
    Jane Brown Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Do you have misconceptions about Flipped Learning?


    I enjoyed reading Aaron Sams and Brian Bennett's article, The truth about flipped learning (eSchool News, May 31, 2012).


    Do take a look, it is worth a read.  What misconceptions did you have and did this article change your understanding of flipped learning in any way?

  • Re: What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just read another article on the flipped classroom that gives some advice regarding the reasons for the Flipped Classroom Model, basics on the Flipped Classroom, and how to flip your entire school or district.  Take a look at TechSmith's "Teachers Use Technology to Flip Their Classrooms."


    The article includes these five benefits for flipping a classroom:


    • Gives teachers more time to spend 1:1 helping students
    • Builds stronger student/teacher relationships
    • Offers a way for teachers to share information with other faculty, substitute teachers, students, parents, and
      the community easily
    • Produces the ability for students to “rewind” lessons and master topics
    • Creates a collaborative learning environment in the classroom


    The site includes real world examples as guides for using the Flipped Classroom Model.


    Does anyone plan to try this in your classroom or school in the coming year?  If you have used the Flipped Classroom Model, please share your experience.



  • Re: What are the pros and cons of a flipped classroom?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Tech & Learning online magazine included an article recently on "Flipping the Classroom" that provides an excerpt from the book, Flip Your Classroom (©2012, ISTE® International Society for Technology in Education) by authors Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, that outlines reasons why educators should consider this model.


    The article states that teachers around the world have adopted the flipped classroom model and are using it to teach a variety of courses to students of all ages. 


    What do you think of using the flipped classroom idea to differentiate instruction?