Flipped Classroom vs. Blended Learning


You may have heard the terms Flipped Classroom and Blended Learning used a lot lately however, what exactly are these two new methodologies and what is the difference?

Flipped Classroom

The Flipped Classroom model essentially reverses the traditional way of instructional teaching i.e. what is usually done in the classroom is done as homework and what is usually done as homework is done in the classroom. The benefit of this model is that the teacher spends less time teaching the theory and more time interacting with students (class time is used more effectively to tackle problems, challenge misconceptions and explore concepts in more detail).

Blended Learning

Blended Learning is similar in some ways to the Flipped Classroom in that it enables teaches to use online tools to facilitate learning outside of the classroom however, what makes Blended Learning different from the Flipped Classroom model is that online tutorials are used to compliment / consolidate the learning in the classroom rather than reverse or replace face-to-face teaching.

Tips for flipping your classroom:

I'm not going to lie to you, flipping / blending your classroom is not without it’s pitfalls however, get it right, and the results can be extremely rewarding. Here are some tips to help you along your way:

  1. 1. Prepare your students. This concept will be as new to them as it is to you! Make sure that you share your expectations with the students and ensure that they understand the reasons for the change.
  2. 2. Use online quiz tools to test if students have understood the topic.
  3. 3. Use monitoring tools such as those built in to wikispaces classroom and blendspace to ensure students are viewing your tutorials outside of the classroom
  4. 4. Use forums, blogs, social networking tools or school’s VLE to provide support for students outside of lesson time
  5. 5. Don’t go mad! You don’t need to flip every lesson plus you don’t want to overwhelm your students. Start small or blend learning first then build up the frequency of flipped lessons as you and your students grow more confident.

  1. Flipped Classroom or Blended Learning – which one should you choose?

It’s clear that both models can be used to extend learning beyond the classroom but which one do you choose? The simple answer is that it all depends on your desired outcomes however, other factors such as time to prepare resources and access to technology outside of the classroom can also influence your choice.

Want to consolidate / extend the learning that takes place in the classroom? Then Blend your lessons. Want to make the best use of class time and make more time for practical / hands-on learning? Choose the Flipped Classroom model! Want to try the Flipped Classroom model but don’t want to jump right in, start by Blending your classroom first before completely flipping your classroom!

To find out more, visit: 1 in 6 Science Teach...

Author Profile

Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson

Teacher of ICT & Computing

12 stories


[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 2 years ago
It's not a choice, the flipped classroom can be an element of the blended setup. Read an excellent book on the topic recently. Blended - using disruptive innovation to improve schools by Horn & Staker. Well worth a read.
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