What is the Flipped Classroom?

A flipped class is one that inverts the typical cycle of content acquisition and application so that

  • students gain necessary knowledge before class, and 
  • instructors guide students to actively and interactively clarify and apply that knowledge during class.

What is the flipped class from UT Austin CTL on Vimeo.

Instructors who are flipping their class often describe the impact of this shift by making comparisons like the ones in the following table.

What's Different About the Flipped Class?



(Before the Flip)

lecturewith audience.png


(After the Flip)


Before Class

Students assigned something to read

Students guided through learning module that asks and collects questions.

Instructor prepares lecture.

Instructor prepares learning opportunities.

Beginning of Class

Students have limited information about what to expect.

Students have specific questions in mind to guide their learning 

Instructor makes general assumption about what is helpful.

Instructor can anticipate where students need the most help.

During Class

Students try to follow along.

Students practice performing the skills they are expected to learn. 

Instructor tries to get through all the material.

Instructor guides the process with feedback and mini-lectures. 

After Class

Students attempt the homework, usually with delayed feedback.

Students continue applying their knowledge skills after clarificationa and feedback.

Instructor grades past work.

Instructor posts any additional explanations and resources as necessary and grades higher quality work.

Office Hours

Students want confirmation about what to study.

Students are equipped to seek help where they know they need it.

Instructor often repeats what was in lecture.

Instructor continues guiding students toward deeper understanding.

We thank Dr. Sacha Kopp for his creative input on this table.

Additional Resources

7 Things You Should Know About the Flipped Classroom 

7 Things You Should Know About the Flipped Classroom

This 2012 EDUCAUSE report is the best 2 page overview of what the Flipped Class is, where it came from, where it's going, and why it matters.

Snapshot of a Flipped Class

This infographic shows a typical sequence of learning opportunities before, during, and after a flipped class.

Pre-Flip vs. Post-Flip

This table shows the differences in the student experience of a traditional and flipped class.