Flipped and Hybrid Classrooms

You’ve probably heard the terms “Flipped,” “Hybrid” or “Blended” learning before. All three are valid approaches to teaching with documented evidence of student success. All three require some element of online teaching, but can still provide great results in a primarily face-to-face setting. We’ve compiled some resources, ideas and literature that can help you develop “flipped,” “hybrid” or “blended learning activities in your courses.

Want more information about the differences between “flipped,” “hybrid” or “blended” learning? This article from the Temple University Center for the Advancement of Teaching breaks it down in greater detail.



Hybrid or Blended Learning  

? Ten questions to ask when designing a blended course (Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo)A useful starting point when thinking about blended course redesign. 

?Introduction to Hybrid TeachingA 17-page guide that introduces hybrid learning including a summary of the benefits of hybrid learning, planning your course, and how to structure classes and activities.  

?UCF Blended Learning Toolkit – An open resource with a variety of tools for instructors interested in developing blended learning in their courses.  

?Best practices for designing blended courses (Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo)  – A quick resource for instructors getting underway with blended learning.  

?Some examples of blended courses (Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) – Helpful examples of blended learning in practice  

?Updated E-Learning Definitions – Useful resource on the different definitions of e-learning from both a course and a program level.  

?Nine Alternatives to Lecturing Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) – Engaging alternatives for a lecture-based course.  


Flipped Classroom

? What is a Flipped Classroom? – A 60-second video introduction to the flipped classroom.  

? Course Design: Planning a Flipped Class (Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo)Good overview of flipping, including the rationale to do so, benefits, and challenges  

? Flipping the Classroom  – This 41-minute LinkedIn Learning course provides a beginner introduction to flipping your classroom.  

? 6 Expert Tips for Flipping the Classroom (Demski, 2013, Campus Technology)Useful best practices for flipping a class  

? Flipping the Classroom – Provides advice on how to support students new to a flipped format and how to get started designing a flipped course.   

? Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom (Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) – A list of techniques for the out-of-class portion of your flipped classroom  

? In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom (Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo)  – A list of techniques for the in-class portion of your flipped classroom  

? Why Flipped Classrooms Fail – In this three-part series, Julie Schell highlights some of the most common mistakes with flipping (and how to avoid them).  

    Faculty-to-Faculty Ideas

    Idea TitleSummary
    Introduce Students to Flipping“Preparing students for a flipped classroom environment is one of the key components for success. An introductory icebreaker can pave the way and one of the ones I use is to have students form small groups to brainstorm answers to the following two questions: 
    1) What are things instructors do that make learning easy? 
    2) What are things instructors do that make learning difficult? Usually, the activities that students describe as helpful relate to a flipped learning approach while those they describe as counterproductive are related to a more traditional classroom design.” (Heidi Bonner, ECU Department of Criminal Justice)
    Good Course Design is Essential“Flipping your instruction means having your students absorb content (usually delivered as lecture) before they get to class so that they may apply it in class (usually done as homework). There are two challenges and one glorious gain to this approach. First, you should strive to “package” your pre-class content delivery as pithily and memorably as possible – no one wants to watch a long boring lecture! Second, hold your learners accountable for remembering and understanding the pre-class knowledge. Canvas, for instance, lets you embed quizzes right into a video; other options are “cheat sheets” filled out at home that help students tackle the planned in-class activities or “entry ticket” surveys at class start. And here is the magnificent benefit: If you figure out how to tackle the first two tasks, you will soon find that you can do more with your learners in class. Flipped learning is a meta approach that lets you climb higher on Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, to analysis, evaluation, and creativity. It smoothes the path for deep learning, task-based learning, or project-based learning. It helps you “light the fire” in your students, who can apply your discipline-specific knowledge to solve real-world problems, delve into questions of social justice, and deliver knock-out group projects.” (Birgit Jensen, ECU Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures) 

    In-Class Activities

    Utilize Individual Activities“Individual activities can be most beneficial and relevant if your students have demonstrated difficulty with understanding the content or material introduced to them out of class. Individual exercises can be used in advance of group ones to help students navigate a “higher-risk” group activity and can be helpful for students who need more individual reflective time to learn.” Individual activities can include polling and problem-solving. (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 
    Clickers/PollsClickers/polling are “ideally used to provide immediate feedback to students about concepts learned outside of class . . . In order to determine whether or not students have read and fully understood the out-of-class material, pose multiple-choice questions and poll students to gauge the variance in answers.” (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 
    Problem-Solving“In-class problem solving activities allow students to tackle problems during class with their peers and the instructor on hand to discuss challenges. They are ideally used to increase practice time on problem solving and provide immediate feedback to students about misconceptions.” (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 
    Utilize Group ActivitiesGroup activities are key to the flipped classroom. “Each student will bring their own individual understanding of the content to the lesson, and together, in small groups, they will be able to draw on each other’s knowledge and understanding of the material to forge new understandings and better recall the content.” (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 
    Team MatrixThis activity is appropriate when new concepts that are quite similar to one another have been introduced. First, “present pairs of students with a list of characteristics that may or may not be shared between concepts and have the students determine which characteristics belong to each (or both) concept(s). Discuss answers with the entire class afterwards to check comprehension.” (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 
    IF-AT Cards  Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT) cards “function like multiple-choice questions; however, rather than circling a letter or filling in a scantron bubble, a learner scratches the card to reveal the correct answer. This assessment or group work method has two major benefits: it provides immediate feedback to students (so they do not falsely recall an incorrect answer as correct) and can provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively. Students begin by answering the list of questions on their own without the use of IF-AT cards. Afterwards, students work with a group to answer the same questions, come to a consensus on what they think is the correct answer, and then scratch the card to discover if they are correct. If the students are incorrect, they can discuss the question again and make another attempt.” (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 
    Case Studies  “Students review a case study concerning a specific, real-life problem or scenario. Applying what they learned in the out-of-class portion of the flipped classroom, the group will discuss how they would tackle the problem and what solution they would prepare. Each group can then debrief with the rest of the class and present their solution.” (In-class Activities and Assessment for the Flipped Classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.) 

    Online Activities/Assessment 

    Ensure Engagement with Reading  In a flipped classroom it is important for students to identify and engage with the most important concepts and information in the assigned readings. Utilize one of the following as assignments to ensure they do so:  

    - guiding questions  

    - reflective questions  

    - annotations 

    - highlights of key points or parts

    (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 
    Provide Student Choice  Require students to create a reading response for readings. Responses could take one of the five following forms: 

    - Drafting five "big" questions on key concepts in the chapter, and either answering two or writing a commentary on why they think these are the core issues of the reading. 

    - Making a visual or graphic organizer for content in the reading, or a chart or list that organizes and categorizes ideas. 

    - Completing a reading response journal. 

    - Convening as a study group and recording and writing up the ideas discussed. 

    - Creating a song or rap about the assignment. 

    (Roberts & Roberts (2008). Deep reading, cost/benefit, and the construction of meaning: Enhancing reading comprehension and deep learning in sociology courses. Teaching Sociology). 
    Online QuizzesQuizzes can be used in many ways depending on the instructor’s objectives.   

    - “Low-stakes online quizzes or self-assessments that are not graded can be used to gauge the students' learning of the material and ensure their understanding of the threshold concepts covered online. They also form an efficient vehicle for giving the students fast and constructive feedback. 

    - Consider using an online version of ConcepTests that focus on a single concept, are of intermediate difficulty, and cannot be solved using equations but focus on real understanding of a process or theory. 

    - Online quizzes can use a combination of multiple choice, multiple select, and short answer questions. Ask questions that go beyond just testing for coverage of the material or simple recall (i.e. have at least a couple that are difficult to answer without thinking about the material in an analytical way).  

    - Consider asking the students to include a rationale or provide the reasoning for their responses. 

    - A final question that asks for their "most difficult or confusing points" about the material can help uncover learning bottlenecks that can then be addressed in class.” 

    (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 
    Online DiscussionsIdea Spark - Discussion Boards

    Discussions can also be used in many ways depending on the instructor’s objectives.  “Instructors can give quick and constructive feedback on their contributions, wait to debrief, or continue the discussion in class. For example, consider asking the students to: 

    - participate in an instructor/TA led online discussion that relates to the activity that they completed; 

    - start, facilitate and run a discussion concerning what they learned and/or how to apply it; 

    - use group discussion boards to develop, articulate, and formulate their ideas and logic before presenting/defending them in class; 

    - formulate a question about the online topic or reading for further discussion in class. 

    Allow the students adequate time to post their ideas and comments. The instructor can also consider using a "post-first" discussion, so the students can post their ideas without being biased by other students’ postings; the class discussion posts only appear after the student’s first post has been made.”

    (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 
    Concept Maps“Concept maps provide a visual representation of connections between concepts that students have learned. These concepts are connected by directional, labelled links to show the relationships between them. Concept maps are excellent tools that can provide instructors with a formative assessment of students’ learning and misunderstandings after the online learning activities. For example, the instructor can post an incomplete concept map where students are asked to fill in the blanks to build a complete map that is then submitted to an online drop box where they get feedback on their individual work either online before class or at the beginning of the class.” 

    (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 
    Peer Review/Assessment“By reviewing their peers’ work, students consolidate, reinforce and deepen both their own and their peers’ understanding of the material they learned. This can help students to build critical analysis skills, become comfortable with receiving criticism and justifying their position in further in-class discussions. This activity can be done using an online discussion board or a group dropbox in which students all have access to each other’s submissions.  The instructor will be able to evaluate the students’ critiques and their understanding of their peers’ work.” 

    (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 
    Utilize Rubrics (and Share Them with Students)Rubrics provide students with a roadmap to success. It is essential to tell students what you expect of them in a flipped classroom, and rubrics show students the way. Rubrics abound for a variety of activities and assessment:

    - For low-stakes assignments, consider grading students on effort not degree of correctness.  This rubric for “effort grading” was developed by Eric Mazur's group at Harvard. (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 

    - This rubric developed by Kathy Marrs was adapted from de Caprariis et al., 2001 and blends both correctness and effort. (Online Activities and Assessment for the Flipped classroom. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo) 

    - Finally, this rubric was developed for use with concept maps. (Rubric for Assessing Concept Maps. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo)  


               Related Literature  

              • Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative Learning Techniques. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 
              • Bates J.E., Almekdash H., Gilchrest-Dunnam M.J. (2017) The Flipped Classroom: A Brief, Brief History. In: Santos Green L., Banas J., Perkins R. (eds) The Flipped College Classroom. Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations. Springer, Cham 
              • Cho, M. H., Park, S. W., & Lee, S. E. (2019). Student characteristics and learning and teaching factors predicting affective and motivational outcomes in flipped college classrooms. Studies in Higher Education, 1-14. 
              • Garrison, D. Randy, and Heather Kanuka. “Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education.” The internet and higher education 7.2 (2004): 95-105. 
              • Hao, Y. (2016). Exploring undergraduates’ perspectives and flipped learning readiness in their flipped classrooms. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 82-92. 
              • IonasIoan, Matthew Easter, William Miller, and Gayla Neumeyer. “Using Open-Source Tools to Design and Develop the Online Component of a Blended-Learning, Instructor-led Course.” International Journal of Designs for Learning 3.1 (2012): 12-26. http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ijdl/index. Web. 14 Nov. 2012. 
              • Jaster, R. W. (2013). Flipping college algebra: Perceptions, engagement, and grade outcomes.MathAMATYC Educator, 5(1), 16-22. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=90557243&site=ehost-live 
              • Karabulut‐Ilgu, A., Jaramillo Cherrez, N., & Jahren, C. T. (2018). A systematic review of research on the flipped learning method in engineering education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(3), 398-411 
              • Maycock, K. W. (2019). Chalk and talk versus flipped learning: A case study. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 35(1), 121-126 
              • McGee, P. & Reis, A. (2012). Blended Course Design: A Synthesis of Best Practices. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 7-22.  
              • McKeachie, William and Marilla Svinicki (eds.), McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, College Teaching Series, Florence: Cengage Learning, 2006. 
              • McLaughlin, J. C. (2014). The flipped classroom: A course redesign to foster learning and engagement in a health professions school. Academic Medicine, 89, 1-8. 
              • Miller, Andrew. “Blended Learning: Strategies for Engagement.” Edutopia. Herff Jones Nystrom, 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 May 2015. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blended-learning-engagementstrategies-andrew-miller 
              • Missildine, K., Fountain, R., Summers, L., & Gosselin, K. (2013). Flipping the classroom to improve student performance and satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(10), 597-599. doi:10.3928/01484834-20130919-03 
              • Roach, T. (2014). Student perceptions toward flipped learning: New methods to increase interaction and active learning in economics. International review of economics education, 17, 74-84. 
              • Strong, Richard, Harvey F. Silver, and Amy Robinson. “Strengthening Student Engagement: What Do Students Want (and What Really Motivates Them)?” Educational Leadership. ASCD, 1995. Web. 21 May 2015. Strengthening-Student-Engagement@-What-Do-Students-Want.aspx> 
              • Vaughan, M. (2014). Flipping the learning: An investigation into the use of the flipped classroom model in an introductory teaching course. Education Research & Perspectives, 41(1), 25-41.  
              • Weinstein, S. E. and Wu, S. (2009). Readiness assessment tests versus frequent quizzes: Student preferences. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21 (2), 181-186. [this is an online journal: http://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/]