A Review of Flipped Learning

This review defines and describes the Flipped Learning model, briefly notes its historical foundations, and addresses common misconceptions. 

Noora Hamdan
Patrick McKnight, Ph.D.
Katherine McKnight, Ph.D.
Kari M. Arfstrom, Ph.D.
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
George Mason University
Pearson’s Center for Educator Effectiveness
Flipped Learning Network
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

This resource provides the historical background, origin, and research and instructional foundations of flipped learning, and frames flipped learning as a key driver in shifting from teacher-driven instruction to student-centered learning. The resource defines four pillars of flipped learning:

  1. Flipped learning requires flexible environments. 
  2. Flipped learning requires a shift in learning culture. 
  3. Flipped learning requires intentional content. 
  4. Flipped learning requires professional educators. 

The resource then provides three short case studies describing how flipped learning was implemented in high school classrooms. The resource then explores the use of flipped learning in higher education. Lastly, the report concludes with a discussion of perceptions of flipped learning from three key stakeholders: teachers, administrators, and parents. 

What the experts say

This is a good overview of the research supporting the key elements of flipped learning. The section describing the key elements of flipped learning (and the related research) could be considered the most interesting part of this resource. Adult educators could easily make the connections between these elements and best practices in adult education.

This resource would be good supplemental material for a online course or study circle or other type of professional development aimed at teaching educators about flipped learning.  It provides only a very brief overview of the process of flipped learning (which is why it may be only good as a supplemental piece), but it does provide a overview of the key elements of flipped learning and the research that supports them.

This resource can be used to start discussions about Flipped Learning in adult education. (The examples in the text are centered on high school classrooms, and the bibliography cites descriptive research of the use of Flipped Learning in the traditional college/university classrooms.) Student-centered active learning already exists in many adult education classes. Flipped Learning proposes a different structure or model to support this active learning. The authors of the resource discuss barriers to implementation of the structure in some instances. It would be worthwhile to consider this topic as a part of professional development, and this resource would be a good starting point for such a discussion.

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