What is Flipped Classroom?

Flipped Classroom (FC) moves traditional lectures outside the classroom, usually through videos, so that valuable in-class time can be reserved for higher level cognitive activities.
This is a working definition we put for beginners of FC. However, we do not want to limit the WHAT question to one single version because its adopters, researchers, or observers never reach a simple agreement on it. Instead, we review points that have commonly accepted and encourage you to come up with your own understanding.

Essential elements of FC

No universal definition is available for “Flipped Classroom”. However, academics tend to agree that a flipped classroom includes two elements:
Pre-recorded lectures
(students view the videos by themselves for pre-class preparation or post-class review)



In-class activities
(in-class time is now focused on interactive activities, such as Q&A sessions, discussions, or other active learning activities)
Flipped classroom is sometimes called “inverted classroom”, as it inverts activities inside the classroom with activities outside the classroom.

Traditional class VS Flipped class

How did FC begin?

Flipped learning is a powerful pedagogical movement in the 21st-century education. Its practice has spread to many classrooms in the west. Students are no longer passive audience of lectures; they have become pilots of their own learning. But how did they get there? It all began in Colorado, United States with Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams in 2007.
As two passionate high school chemistry instructors, they became concerned with students who often missed a lot of class time. They began recording their lectures and then posted them on YouTube for students who were absent to catch up with the class. The next year, they asked all students to view the videos before class, and used class time to discuss the concepts from what they have learnt at home.

How has FC evolved?

Since then flipped classroom has evolved. For example, some instructors would use computer games and audio recordings as pre-class learning materials. However, for most of the time, video lectures remain the key feature of a flipped classroom. Video styles have evolved as well. Instead of recording the whole lectures (which can be less effective as we all know that students' attention span is short), instructors begin to use animations to enhance visual effects. Some instructors embed interactive elements such as online quizzes and discussions to make the videos more engaging.


The notion of ‘flipped classroom’ has gained its popularity in Hong Kong and rest of the world because it has the potential of substantially enhance teaching and learning. In one word, FC can achieve more than the traditional approach, when it is successfully implemented. Here are some potentials FC brings.
Active learning
Potentials of
Flipped Classroom Approach 
Immediate Feedback
Consolidated knowledge
Enhanced Interaction
Differentiated support
Reduced boredom
Empowered efficiency


Simply ‘flipping’ a classroom alone may or may not increase the odds of success. To harvest the best outcomes from the new pedagogy, we should think beyond the positive side and consider the possible challenges. 

Students in the following scenarios can run into challenges.

Weak Preparation

Failed Class Activities

Frustrated Self-learning

Technical Problems

Negative Reflection

Economical Barriers

Less Active Learners

Instructors carrying out FC may have their challenges too.

New Teaching Skills

More Time and Effort


Here our project, we are devoted to support instructors at every step of effective flipped classroom implementation with more constructive outcomes.

© Copyright 2018 by The Chinese University of Hong Kong.