7 Myths about the flipped classroom, debunked

Eric Mazur working with students during class time

Eric Mazur working with students during class time

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by Julie Schell

Myth 1: Flipped classrooms are primarily about putting lecture videos online
Debunked: Flipped classrooms can be just about putting lecture videos online and having students do homework in class,  but they can and should be about much more than that. Research-based methods for flipping your classroom include Just-in-Time Teaching and Peer Instruction. 

Myth 2: You need to flip your entire class 
Debunked: You can flip just one concept or topic, many, or all. When you are just starting out with flipped teaching, it is a good idea to pick a set of the key concepts or topics that are the most difficult for students and go from there.

Myth 3: Students will love not having lectures in class
Debunked:
While most of us have stared out at a classroom full of bored, half asleep students mired in the tedium of our lectures, when you try to flip you class you may face student resistance in the particular form of demands for more lecture. See this post for some tips on how to address this. 

Myth 4: Flipped classrooms are the latest edutrend
Debunked: 
The first modern call for pushing information coverage out of the classroom and guided practice in, dates to at least the late 1800s with the casebook method. Pre-recording lectures for out-of-class viewing shows up in the research literature in 2000.

Myth 5: There is only one way to flip a class
Debunked: 
According to Bergmann and Sams 2012, there are many of ways to flip a class and no one right way. Bergmann recently posted his definition here, and he says “you see there is no ONE way to flip a class and in this lies one of the great strengths of this methodology.” Peer Instruction is, of course, our favorite way to flip the classroom. However, we are also big fans of Team-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning.

Myth 6: Flipped classrooms replace faculty with computers
Debunked: This is definitely not the case. In a flipped classroom, instructors are essential and they do many of the same tasks that they do in traditional teaching environments, such as helping students learn, selecting and covering content, and assessing student achievement. The most prominent difference is that a flipped classroom leverages the instructor’s expertise during in-and-out of class time in different ways.  Flipped learning operates from the assumption that content coverage occurs primarily out of class and should be more of a shared role with the students, rather than just the job of an instructor.

Myth 7: Students will not do work out of class, even for credit
Debunked: 
Peer Instruction Network member Ives Araujo thought this too. So, for a semester he studied his university students’ completion and  engagement with pre-class assignments over the course of a semester. On average the large majority of students did their pre-class work AND demonstrated strong effort. Read how he measured this here.  He has since gone on to observe the same completion and engagement rates in high school classrooms. We do find that you need to provide credit (points) as a motivator, however.

Bonus Myth

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1 Comment

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  1. Anabella Martinez

    loved this quiz…the answers provided were succinct and clear.

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