Tips & Tricks - March 2017 - Succeeding in a Flipped Classroom

Published: March 21, 2017 By

girl talking to another girl

Flipped classrooms are a relatively new concept and many students have not experienced being in one. Professors use flipped classrooms because research shows that an active learning environment facilitates better learning. Flipped classrooms typically require students to watch lectures online and complete readings and quizzes before the class. The lecture period is instead used for activities about the material covered before students come to class. Since this is a new method for many students, it can be a tricky adjustment. Here are some tips for success in a flipped classroom at CU Boulder. 


1. Expect work to be continuous 
Rather than cramming for exams and midterms, flipped classrooms require you to keep up with daily assignments, readings, videos and quizzes often due before class. Get into the habit of completing assignments before class at the beginning of the semester. Check email and course webpages frequently for updates and assignments.

2. Show up present and prepared
Be present in class, physically and mentally. Be prepared and engage in class discussions. Talk with your peers, TAs, LAs and Professor when appropriate. Explain concepts to others and ask questions to clarify your understanding of concepts. Speak up when questions are asked. Don’t be afraid of giving the wrong answer--being wrong will facilitate you and your peers learning processes. 

3. Use out of class lectures and readings to your advantage
While online lectures may seem like a pain to watch, they allow you to work at your own pace. If you need to rewatch videos or reread sections of the work, go ahead. Try taking notes by hand when watching lectures or completing readings. Taking notes by hand has been proven to be more effective for memory than typing notes or not taking notes. 

5. Know that your education is everyone’s priority
If you are struggling, get help sooner than later. Professors, TAs, LAs as well as university tutoring services are all there for you. Resources for academic success: http://www.colorado.edu/orientation/tutoring-academic-support-services

6. Give honest feedback
Many flipped classrooms ask for feedback often. Being honest and taking your time on these assessments can help your instructor improve the class. Let them know what went well for you and what was tough. This way they can make continuous improvements to their class each semester.