Why would I want to flip my classes? What are the benefits of the flipped classroom?

These are two questions that I get asked quite a lot and to be honest, I understand why. Most people who aren’t familiar with the flipped classroom or haven’t had the most exposure may just see a tremendous amount of work ahead of them. In reality, flipped learning only has a small amount to do with the videos. The magic is in the time you get back in the classroom. I love how much time I have in the classroom now. That time leads to something that I hadn’t even realised was missing from my classroom until it returned. Creativity. Unhurried creativity.

And not just for me – although I don’t see how in our overcrowded curriculum we could have gotten to the Gamified/Mastery model that has been so great for us this year. Our students have the time to create in a way that isn’t rushed and they’re prepared to take risks. Previously in a “creative” make-a-poster-to-explain-a-concept type lesson (actually an important skill for budding research scientists) I ended up with essentially a class set of identical posters with different colour schemes.

Modelling the modular nature of polymerization

Now, our students are taking the time to be creative. It isn’t that these kids are more creative than any other group of students I’ve taught before, it’s that they have the time. That is time to be creative thanks to not spending class time on direct instruction.


Less time in the group space for understanding/knowledge allows us to get into the Synthesis/Analysis side of things.


Time to focus on those higher order active tasks. Time to fail and time to pick themselves back up again.

There’s time for a craft break in the Flipped Classroom

If you’re flipping your classroom is this something that you’ve found in your class?

Pete Whiting