Recently, not only have I had the opportunity to venture to Kelowna, B.C. to participate in the Flip Network Conference, but I was also able to introduce this concept to my colleagues in grad school at the University of Calgary.  A little hesitant about the concept at first, meeting the conference presenters and seeing how passionate they were about this concept, I became more curious of this approach. Below, I am summarizing my notes I took from the conference, but first, here is a quick video to introduce you to the concept and team I was fortunate enough to meet.

The flipped classroom is not pedagogy; rather, it is a method of facilitating instruction.  At the heart of the flip is the video lesson, but this is done to merely allow the teacher more time to work one-on-one with learners.  By no means does it replace the teacher, and by no means does it become the instruction – it is not the KHAN Academy Rather, the video becomes a vehicle to help move teaching and learning forward.  Or, as a classmate of mine, Greg D’Aoust (2012), said this morning, it becomes a tool to help teachers in their practice.

Here is a great video on what the flipped classroom is not:

So, why Flip?

Well, here are some great reasons:

  • When lecturing, you promote passive learning, cause cognitive overload and student’s attention falls off.  It relies on note taking, but people don’t ever really learn how to take effective notes.
  • The less you talk, the more students learn
  • Promotes hands-on, inquiry-based learning
  • Students have the technology – students are moving forward, but education is slow to change with them
  • Promotes master learning
  • Allows for effective collaboration
  • You will no longer be working harder for your students than the students are
  • This eliminates the stress of having to re-teach to students who come in late or are absent/ill.
  • For mixed classes, you can have students accessing different videos at different times – more than one lesson occurring at once!

Some Things to Consider:

In a flipped classroom, it is essential that there are computers available for learners to access the videos (preferably 4 – 5).  This way, if they do not watch the required video, or if they advance at a faster pace, they are able to effectively utilize class time.  When students are required to watch a flip video, consider having some sort of outline that corresponds with the activity so they are actively engaged in that video.  An obstacle you will have to overcome is the digital divide – have a plan for those students who do not have a computer or internet. To solve this, you can invite students to come to class early or place videos on a USB.

As I leave you to reflect on this concept, one last video to consider watching is below. Many educators already have online course management systems (CMS) to support student learning.  In this blended approach, creating videos and uploading them for student reference seems like a great fit.  However, as an educator, remember that the video should not replace your presence with your learners; rather, make them an extension of your practice! Also, simply recording a video of what you are going to do in class and then uploading this is not considered flipping your class.  If it were, then why would students then need or want to go?  Instead, think of the video as a means to replace the lecture.  This then frees up face-to-face time, allowing for the integration hands-on activities that will allow for personalization and an increase in learner engagement.

Flip Classroom as a Vehicle to the Future <a href=”



Special thanks to Carolyn Durley, Paul Janke, Graham Johnson, and everyone else involved in the Flip Network Conference this past June in Kelowna, BC


4 responses »

  1. flipperteach says:

    Hi Amber, great post!! Thanks for reflecting and sharing from your perspective on the conference, I am glad to hear you got something useful from it. Are you thinking of flipping any of your classes for next year? What was the general response you got when you presented the idea of the Flipped Class to your grad class?

  2. admazur says:

    In discussion, some colleagues in my cohort and at my school are definitely interested in giving this a try. I will definitely be making some videos this fall to share with my learners. People are curious, which is exciting to hear! Oh, and we may be buying whiteboards in the fall as well. I am so happy I attended your conference!

  3. admazur says:

    Reblogged this on ambermazur.

  4. […] An informative blog with more explanatory videos of flipped classrooms, including one that clarifies what a flipped classroom is not, is found at: The flipped classroom. […]

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