Research About Flipping the Classroom

A flipped lecture shown on Edpuzzle.

I recently led a couple of workshops about Flipped Classrooms for a technology institute. (Discalimer: I’ve only fully flipped for about a year. I’ve done a partial flip for several years. So….not the expert, BUT, I spent hours finding research, studies, and helpful videos from the experts.) If you are interested in my experience and how I did it, go to my blog: Why and How I flipped this year.

Below is a nice PBS Newshour article explaining what a Flipped Classroom is like:

In  my research, I came across data that showed teachers were happier overall.  I can tell you that this is the first year in a long time that I’ve not felt completely burned out by the end of the year.  Here’s some other benefits from an articled called “Flipping the Classroom 2.0” from NSTA’s “The Science Teacher Magazine”:

  • “It is efficient. Lecture content can often be transmitted more effectively in a video than in a live lecture. McCammon consistently finds that a 60 minute in-class lecture can be effectively delivered in as little as 10 minutes via video.
  •  It improves the life of each teacher. Flipping allows the teacher to cover the material once on video instead of repeating content class after class, day after day, and year after year. u It strengthens relationships. First, students are able to “take their teacher home” as they watch videos. Second, more class time is freed up to increase teacher student interactions.
  • Third, when students watch videos at home, parents often get a peek into what is happening in the class.


  • Fourth, administrators can watch the videos, establishing trust and accountability. It improves the quality of teaching. By recording content and reflecting on the video, each teacher becomes better at communicating content to students.  
  • Flipping the classroom opens up more class time for student collaboration.
  • Flipping the classroom provides the time and structure needed to differentiate instruction.
  • It allows a blended (online and face-to-face) and selfpaced instruction more aligned to how this generation of students learns.”Brunsell, Eric, and Martin Horejsi. “Flipping the Classroom 2.0.” The Science Teacher (2013): 8. Flipping Your Classroom in One Take. National Science Teacher’s Association, Mar. 2013. Web. June 2017.

One of the biggest things to understand is that a flipped classroom is not really about videos. Its a whole new pedagogical approach to teaching.  Videos at home enable higher level activities in class–the stuff that’s harder for students and need more help from the teacher.

A controlled study in a college level Biology course can be found here.

This article, What You Should Know Before Flipping For Flipped Learning, discusses this as well.

And this one:  Why Good Teachers — Not Good Videos — Are Key To The ‘Flipped’ Classroom

Jon Bergman, the guru of flipped classrooms, discusses what a classroom should look like in this video:

How do I make videos?  Don’t be nervous.  Most of my videos are honestly just pointing my iPad at my textbook and recording.  The kids don’t care about quality–seriously.  They think its hilarious when I drop something or my kid is practicing trombone in the background.

Here’s a research article about best practices.

You need to make your own videos, however, not just use Bozeman or others that are pre-made. That’s what the research says for the best student learning. Bozeman videos are awesome and my students are required to watch as review, but the initial learning needs to be slower and come from you.  You can also work in personal examples from your area that a pre-made video will not have.  Work with another teacher who uses your book–each record half of the video.  Don’t worry about editing.

Make them short.  Research shows that 10-15 minutes are best.  This is because when one video ends and another begins, the students’ brain resets and they can focus better.  I will often assign two or three 15 minute videos for notes in one night at the AP® level.

Here are the different tools for recording:

Here’s Paul Anderson’s method of making videos:

One of my new favorite ways to make videos is on the Explain Everything app on my iPad.  You can load on documents, powerpoints, videos etc. and write all over them while you’re speaking.  Here’s a video I made using this app:

What about kids who don’t have access to the internet at home?  Since I don’t have very many with this problem-usually only 1-2 kids, I work with them on an individual basis to find a personal solution.  I usually ask about their access in a “getting to know you survey”.  Also, I make everything I send home mobile friendly as many kids have smart phone if they don’t have a regular computer.  Here are some other ideas:

1. If making videos using existing powerpoints, perhaps print out a copy for the kids who don’t have computer/Wifi access at home and have them do Cornell notes or some other type of extended note-taking. That way they’re interacting with the notes for deeper learning even if they’re not hearing you talk on a video.
2. If a kid has an ipod for listening to music, perhaps save the audio of the notes for the kid along with a print out of the notes.
3. For math videos, you can screenshot the video several times for a printout of the notes. Or, allow only the kids without internet access to watch the video in class with problems at home–the traditional way. Here are some videos with more ideas

What if kids don’t watch the video? 

In an AP® Class, kids who don’t watch the video will just get behind and have to catch up before the exam. Since my videos are on Edpuzzle, its part of their grade also.  Here are some other ideas: