Skip to main content

A #flipclass model informed by theory and practice

The following model is a mix of theory and experience obtained during a short pilot of the flipped model.

Design based on 2013 Business Government & Law Flipped Classroom Pilot at the University of Canberra.

Table 1: Principles followed

Independent learning, group or individual (pre workshop)

Workshop on campus

Principles applied to this study mode include:
  • Activities and content are aligned with learning outcomes and assessment.
  • Students cover content and concepts required for the workshop individually or collaboratively ahead of workshop. This may be a mix of online content and activities as well as engaging with objects/people/content in other real-world locations.
  • Students write down questions they have about the content/experience/etc and bring along, or submit online in advance, for discussion/help in a workshop.
  • Students take extra modules to develop underpinning skills (E.g. language, technology skills, etc) AKA the online bolt-on learning modules that students can be directed to.
  • Assessment could be used to focus students attention on core skills/knowledge/concepts prior to the workshop, or to make sure they have engaged prior to the workshop.
  • Engagement in forums and collaborative platforms extends social learning opportunities beyond the face-to-face contact time.
  • Content is linked to real-world context.
  • All independent learning is designed to engage students, promoting ownership of their own learning.

Principles applied to this study mode include:
  • Activities and content are aligned with learning outcomes and assessment.
  • Deep learning and skills development: activities are designed to help students achieve the unit learning objectives, and develop deep learning. Students are actively engaged in tasks that require application and integration of knowledge and skills.
  • Social learning: Peers engage with each other to problem solve, argue a point, provide peer feedback and instruction, etc. Tasks require students to be self-directed, tackling challenges and problems together.
  • Content is linked to real-world context.
  • Students take responsibility, investing in their own learning.
  • Teaching staff' are modeling skills and behavior, checking student progress and outcomes, modeling/verbalizing how experts reason and problem solve, providing a cognitive apprenticeship.
  • Evaluation: continually evaluate the design and impact of the new approach, this will provide the needed information to improve your workshops, etc, each week.
  • Ask students to reflect on and evaluate their own engagement and experience of the flipped model, this will help them to identify aspects of engagement they need to work on.

Further Information:

Active Learning
Flipped Classrooms
Cognitive Apprenticeships
Peer Instruction
Overcoming Misconceptions
Threshold Concepts (and here)
Core Concepts (versus threshold concepts)

Table 2: Translation from traditional Lecture/Tutorial model to flipped model 

Lecture/Tutorial Model
Changes to
Technology enabled Flipped Model
Staff use of Lecture Time
Extra Workshops and/or Digital Lecture Prep-time
Staff use of Tutorial Time
Workshop time
Student use of Lecture Time
Independent learning time
Student use of Tutorial Time
Workshop time

Table 3: Example weekly schedule for a 2014 Flipped Unit 


Independent learning: Pre-workshop Content (Readings, Videos, etc) and Engagement Strategies (activities/assessment)

Engaged learning in workshop

Major Assessments


Prerequisite Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation

One-minute paper
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Prerequisites workshop
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 1 workshop
One-minute paper
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 2 workshop
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 3 workshop
One-minute paper
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 4 workshop
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 5 workshop

Mid Semester Break
Exam Student Feedback on Teaching Survey
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 6 workshop
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 7 workshop
One-minute paper
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 8 workshop
Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation Topic 9 workshop
One-minute paper
 Content Activities, Assessment, Socialisation  Topic 10 workshop
Exam Week

Final exam

Design Elements and Rational

Design the learning experience in such a way that makes sense to students, and communicate the approaches you are using clearly. This is a different approach to what students are used to.

Take into account the context of the flipped classroom design. Design in a way that supports the overall goals of the course. Activities and content are aligned with assessment, this increases the VALUE PROPOSITION for students to engage in before workshop, during workshop and after workshop activities.

The lecturer role will transition to that of a facilitator of learning. It can be highly beneficial when getting started to co-teach with a colleague who can provide feedback on what is working or not.

As with the lecture/tutorial model, the online activities and workshops are offset with enough time for the student to engage with each topics' content and attempt the quiz prior to attending the workshop. For the flipped classroom model to work it is very important that students engage with the topic before coming to the workshop so that a) they come having identified where they need help so they can be mentored in these areas and/or b) so that they have the required knowledge and skills to engage in the pre-planned activities.

The example above incorporates quizzes both as an engagement strategy and  a formal approach to assessment for learning, where students are able to gauge their progress against the learning goals. This approach helps both students and staff detect and diagnose learning issues as the semester progresses, allowing action to be taken to rectify individual learning issues and/or adjust the curriculum design. Each week each when a new topic starts the associated quiz is opened. Quizzes are closed prior to the workshop for that topic. This is just one possible approach to engaging students and evaluating/assisting their learning.


Popular posts from this blog

What does 2021 hold for student #learningexperience at my university

"Handwriting Text E-Learning Loading. Concept meaning Forecasting the future event"   by  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0 This year we have a unique opportunity to capitalise on what was 2020 and all the impacts it had on learning and teaching.  Staff ICT literacy levels and confidence increased because they had to use digital tools for teaching, there was no choice. This situation was complicated, academics of all levels of ICT literacy had to adapt. Some staff had zero experience with digital tools and were using online tools for the first time, while others are always pushing boundaries and looking for alternative tools available from central support areas. As with staff, some students have very low ICT literacy, while others blaze ahead of the curve, using the tools like pros and needing much instruction. They just work it out. Shifting this cohort of students and staff to fully online was a massive undertaking and a huge shock for everyone.  Going into 2020

Good assessment design is hard, here are some resources that might help

Designing good assessment is an art and a science IMHO. Here are some great resources, as much for my record as they are useful for others. (nice) (multiple pathways to cater for student diversity)

Make your #onlinelearning experience more personal with a #lightboard

In August 2019 the DVCA at UC wanted to invest in some light boards as he had seen the educational benefits at the previous university he worked for. I was tasked with putting in a comprehensive bid to an annual equipment fund and, if successful, follow the process through to implementation working with AV Services, and Library Services. As of March 2020 the Library houses UC's first ever Lighboard, and academic staff are putting it to good use. The Lightboard is a glass panel filled with light which stands between the teacher and the audience/camera. The teacher faces the camera (viewers) and writes on the glass using liquid chalk (for best results), the results glow on the glass, and a camera is used to record the session. The camera we use flips the image horizontally so the writing appears in the correct orientation without having to flip it in a post production process. The videos capture the face and hand movements/gestures of the teacher, as well as the hand written conten