Reframing the Flipped Learning Discussion

Too often flipped learning is defined as video at home and homework at school. Though there is some truth in this, it is an incomplete picture. In March of 2014, the Flipped Learning Network™ – a non-profit organization I co-founded – released a definition of flipped learning. It is as follows:

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.

In this post I want to discuss the notion of moving the group space to the individual space. Group space is defined as when students are face to face with their instructor. Individual space is defined as when students are working independently, typically at home. Note that individual space can also happen in the confines of the school and even in the confines of the class, especially in a flipped model.

Traditional Class
Group Space Individual Space
Teacher Presentation = Direct Instruction Students typically at home working without supervision.
All students learn the same thing at the same time. Students often struggle with content because they have incomplete understanding of it.


Flipped Class
Individual Space Group Space
Short flipped video introducing concept. Active classroom where students interact and apply what was introduced in flipped video.
When done well, interactivity is built into the flipped video. Student viewing is tracked, and formative questions are asked and recorded Class time is repurposed for higher order cognitive tasks, practice, and small group work.


I encourage you to watch this five minute video about the Group Space vs the Individual Space in a flipped classroom. In this video I diagram group vs individual space and connect flipped learning to Bloom’s Taxonomy.  

What feedback do you have? What do you see as the benefits of flipped learning and what do you see as the key challenges to overcome?