Skills Hub

Flipped learning

Flipped learning (sometimes called the ‘flipped classroom') is a teaching approach that reverses the traditional lecture format by providing you with content and/or tasks before the lecture (such as videos or articles). Class time is used for active and collaborative learning activities.

In a flipped lecture '...the classroom becomes a space for dynamic, interactive learning where the teacher guides students to apply concepts they have learned online and engage creatively with the subject matter through group work, discussion, and peer feedback.' (Sharples et al. 2014)

How flipped learning can help

By covering some of the lecture content before the class, you will have more time to discuss complex concepts with your lecturers and peers. You will be able to apply your learning through problem-solving and participation in collaborative tasks. The flipped learning style may help your lecturers to check your understanding and notice if you are struggling with topics.

Flipped learning may be particularly helpful if English is not your first language or you find it difficult to make notes in lectures while listening and reflecting.

Preparing for a flipped lecture

Preparation is very important if you are to get the most out of a flipped learning opportunity. Here are some active ways you can prepare for a flipped lecture:

• Make notes on the key points or issues in the materials set by your tutor. Note any points you find difficult or confusing. If the difficult bit is in a video or audio recording, write down the time it occurred so you can find it again. See the Skills Hub pages on effective Note-making.

• Watch recordings with friends and discuss the key themes to gain a clearer understanding.

• Complete any pre-class tasks and note any aspects you would like to discuss with your lecturer and peers.

• Write your own revision questions (with answers) based on what you've learned.

• Produce a mind map showing the connections between different concepts. It will help you to visualise the association between different issues.


Students viewing laptop

After a flipped lecture

You can re-read the materials after the class and update your notes, review difficult concepts, address any prior misconceptions and reflect on what you have learnt.

• Read your notes again. You may understand some difficult concepts you didn't understand at first, so you can update your notes.

• Follow up on any further reading or other materials recommended by your lecturer.

• Review the materials before the next class.

• Make a note of anything that is still not clear, so you can check it.


student working on laptop


Educause. (2012). 7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms. Retrieved 10 October 2018 from

Sharples, M., Adams, A., Ferguson, R., Gaved, M., McAndrew, P., Rienties, B., Weller, M., and Whitelock, D. (2014). Innovating Pedagogy 2014: Open University Innovation Report 3. Milton Keynes: The Open University


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