What is Flipped Learning?

Contributed by:
Jonathan James
Flipped Learning is an approach that allows teachers to implement a methodology, or various methodologies, in their classrooms
1. What Is Flipped Learning?
While often defined simplistically as “school work at
home and home work at school,” Flipped Learning Definition of
is an approach that allows teachers to implement
a methodology, or various methodologies, in their
Flipped Learning
Flipped Learning is a
To counter some of the misconceptions about this pedagogical approach in
term, the governing board and key leaders of the which direct instruction moves
Flipped Learning Network (FLN), all experienced from the group learning space
Flipped Educators, have composed a formal to the individual learning
definition of “Flipped Learning.” Explicitly defining space, and the resulting
the term may dispel some of the myths repeatedly group space is transformed
promulgated by teachers, the media, and into a dynamic, interactive
researchers. learning environment where
the educator guides students
These Flipped Learning leaders also distinguish
as they apply concepts and
between a Flipped Classroom and Flipped
engage creatively in the
subject matter.
Learning. These terms are not interchangeable.
Flipping a class can, but does not necessarily, lead
to Flipped Learning. Many teachers may already
flip their classes by having students read text
outside of class, watch supplemental videos, or
solve additional problems, but to engage in Flipped
Learning, teachers must incorporate the following
four pillars into their practice.
Citation: Flipped Learning Network (FLN). (2014) The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P™
Reproducible PDF can be found at www.flippedlearning.org/definition.
The Flipped Learning Network is a 501 (c) 3 with the mission of providing educators with the knowledge, skills, and
resources to implement Flipped Learning successfully. The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P™ and the definition were written by This work is licensed under a Creative
the FLN’s board members: Aaron Sams, Jon Bergmann, Kristin Daniels, Brian Bennett, Helaine W. Marshall, Ph.D., Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-
and Kari M. Arfstrom, Ph.D., executive director, with additional support from experienced Flipped Educators. NoDerivs 4.0 International License
2. The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P™
Flipped Learning allows for a variety of learning modes; educators F.1 I establish spaces and time frames that
often physically rearrange their learning spaces to accommodate a permit students to interact and reflect on
lesson or unit, to support either group work or independent study. their learning as needed.
They create flexible spaces in which students choose when and where
they learn. Furthermore, educators who flip their classes are flexible
F.2 I continually observe and monitor students
to make adjustments as appropriate.
in their expectations of student timelines for learning and in their
assessments of student learning. F.3 I provide students with different ways to
learn content and demonstrate mastery.
In the traditional teacher-centered model, the teacher is the primary
L.1 I give students opportunities to engage
source of information. By contrast, the Flipped Learning model in meaningful activities without the teacher
deliberately shifts instruction to a learner-centered approach, where being central.
in-class time is dedicated to exploring topics in greater depth and
creating rich learning opportunities. As a result, students are actively L.2 I scaffold these activities and make
them accessible to all students
involved in knowledge construction as they participate in and evaluate through differentiation and feedback.
their learning in a manner that is personally meaningful.
Flipped Learning Educators continually think about how they can
I.1 I prioritize concepts used in direct instruction
use the Flipped Learning model to help students develop conceptual for learners to access on their own.
understanding, as well as procedural fluency. They determine what
they need to teach and what materials students should explore on their I.2 I create and/or curate relevant content
(typically videos) for my students.
own. Educators use Intentional Content to maximize classroom time in
order to adopt methods of student-centered, active learning I differentiate to make content accessible
strategies, depending on grade level and subject matter.
and relevant to all students.
The role of a Professional Educator is even more important, and often
more demanding, in a Flipped Classroom than in a traditional one. During
P.1 I make myself available to all students
for individual, small group, and class
class time, they continually observe their students, providing them with feedback in real time as needed.
feedback relevant in the moment, and assessing their work. Professional
Educators are reflective in their practice, connect with each other to P.2 I conduct ongoing formative assessments
during class time through observation and by
improve their instruction, accept constructive criticism, and tolerate
recording data to inform future instruction.
controlled chaos in their classrooms. While Professional Educators take
on less visibly prominent roles in a flipped classroom, they remain the P.3 I collaborate and reflect with other
essential ingredient that enables Flipped Learning to occur. educators and take responsibility for
transforming my practice.