The flipped classroom is an approach involving student engagement in course material through videos, readings and other activities prior to class, with in-class time spent on application activities and feedback. This approach is reported to have a positive effect on student learning (van Alten et al., 2019), and varied effects on student satisfaction. For example, in a recent study, students reported rating flipped courses more highly than other types (Samuel, 2019) while a current meta-analysis showed no significant effect on student satisfaction (van Alten et al., 2019).  These results may be seen due to a variety of contextual factors implicated in the implementation of the approach, as well as student- and instructor-specific factors. A summary of findings suggests that viewing videos outside of class is not the main mechanism by which enhanced learning occurs through the flipped approach, but rather through the in-class time allocated for active learning (DeLozier &  Rhodes, 2017).  

This resource provides a variety of recommendations for instructors interested in implementing the flipped approach. 



“Take small steps.”

Start by flipping a significant portion of a course and evaluating the results. Given that both the instructor and students need time to adjust to the approach, allocating plenty of time for developing the course, and giving learners guidance and practice with the method is important. Consider these questions before choosing to flip: 

  • Specifically, where can flipping enhance the course?
  • What are the learning outcomes that students should achieve during this portion of the course? 
  • What are classroom activities and assessments that can help students meet learning outcomes?
  • What are the contextual considerations for learner’s receptivity to the approach of which to be mindful?

“Curate or use existing course materials as appropriate.”

If high-quality materials are available and relevant to your course, consider gathering existing videos and assignments rather than initially creating all of them. Utilize readings from prior iterations of the course as relevant. 

“Keep course materials well-organized and accessible.”

Be vigilant about utilizing an organizing structure for course materials through a learning management system such as Moodle so that students can easily find them. For example, ensure that course videos and other materials are logically arranged and have titles representative of the topic or concept. Also make sure that course material is accessible to students. See Creating Accessible Digital Materials for more information.  


“Explain the rationale behind why the class will be taught with this approach.”

Be explicit as to why this teaching method is being utilized. Incorporate such reasoning on the course syllabus, and discuss it the first day of class. Below are a few approaches for fostering student buy-in that have worked for other instructors, or are generally promising. Consider if any of them, or a combination thereof, may work in your course with your students.

  • Approach #1 – At the beginning of the course ask students to reflect upon “great” and “not so great” learning experiences. Typically students will prefer more active learning activities over passive lectures.  Explain to students how the course will align with their thoughts on “great” courses and present some of the research supporting such assertions (Garver, 2016). 
  • Approach #2 – Minimize referring to the course as “flipped” to reduce preconceived notions, but clearly explain to students how the course will be run, and the rationale. 
  • Approach #3 – Ask students who previously took the flipped course to share tips and success stories at the beginning of the course to peers in the class. 


“Use pre-class activities and assessments that align with learning outcomes.”

Example pre-class activities may include videos (kept short at 5 – 10 minutes), readings, interactive activities, and simulations. 

“Discuss outlets where students can find support if confused about concepts in pre-class activities.”

Keep in mind that the goals of pre-class activities are prior exposure to material and not complete mastery, and discuss this idea with learners. Indicate how students can seek help if they are stuck on a particular topic or concept (e.g. office hours, online class discussion board or chats, e-mailing the professor, etc.).  

“Incorporate short assessments.”

Assessing students at the beginning or prior to class can enhance student learning due to the testing effect (van Alten et al., 2019). Make an appoint to always have students answer a few questions during or after watching videos or completing other pre-class assignments. Questions can be delivered on a learning management system and scored automatically for ease of grading, or if in class, clickers (e.g. Poll Everywhere, Kahoot) can be utilized or conventional paper quizzes in smaller courses, or those with sufficient grading support. Most flipped classrooms see success with very short assessments (e.g. 5 min, 5-7 questions) at the beginning of class that are worth a low percentage of the grade (e.g. 5%). Instructors may also consider including pre-class activities and assessments as part of students’ class participation grades (Honeycutt, 2016a). 

“Motivate student completion of pre-class work.”

Clearly establish at the beginning of the course that students are expected to complete the pre-class work. Be careful not to re-lecture on the material from the pre-class assignments, but rather serve as a guide. In addition to the assessments, another strategy to motivate students to complete their pre-class work includes requiring them to bring a “ticket” to class. An example “ticket” might be three questions they had about the pre-class activities that indicate where exactly in the material these questions were arose (Honeycutt, 2016b).  To motivate unprepared students, some instructors have set up a corner in the classroom where students can finish their pre-class work, but must also complete in-class assignments in a timely manner (Honeycutt, 2016a). 


“Design interactive, engaging, in-class activities aligned with learning objectives.”

These can take a variety of forms, and several examples are noted below. Additionally, consider existing activities and assessments. 

Problem-solving sessions

Group discussions


Clicker questions (e.g. Poll Everywhere, Kahoot)

Immediate feedback and assessment techniques (IF-AT)

Case studies

Problem-based learning

Project-based learning

Experiential learning

Field trips


Process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL)


Minute paper

Muddiest point

One sentence summary

What’s the principle? 

Pro-con grid

Student-generated test questions

Classroom opinion poll

Goal ranking and matching

Process analysis

Chain notes

Group work analysis

Jigsaw classroom

Fishbowl technique

Role Play

Laboratory activities


Interactive animations

Final Considerations 

Consider assessing the impact of using the approach by comparing student grades, perceptions on learning and attitudes between previous semesters with similar course content delivered using a different teaching method. Be open to making changes after learning which aspects are most successful. 


DeLozier S &  Rhode M. (2017). Flipped Classrooms: a Review of Key Ideas and Recommendations for Practice. Educational Psychology Review, 29, 141-15. 

Garver MS. (2016). Chapter 7: Flip Don’t Flop: Best Practices for Flipping Marketing Courses. In Best Practices for Flipping the College Classroom. JB Waldrop & MA Bowdon, Eds. New York: Routledge, p. 97-98. 

Honeycutt B. (2016a). Five Ways to Motivate Unprepared Students in the Flipped Classroom. Available at: www.facultyfocus.com 

Honeycutt B. (2016b). Ready to Flip: Three Ways to Hold Students Accountable for Pre-class Work. Available at: www.facultyfocus.com 

Samuel ML. (2019). Flipped pedagogy and student evaluations of teaching. Active Learning in Higher Education

van Alten DCD et al. (2019). Effects of flipping the classroom on learning outcomes and satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Education Research Review, 28, 100281

Waldrop JB & Bowdon MA. (2016). Best Practices for Flipping the College Classroom. New York: Routledge. 

Additional Resource 

Flipped Learning Network