Last week I helped prepare a workshop for staff here at Regent’s on ‘Flipping the Classroom.The purpose of the workshop was to show academic staff how to run a Flipped Classroom and explore some of the practical issues of organising and delivering such a session.

12 academic member of staff signed up for the session which was to be for one hour. It was quite interesting to see that several senior members of staff including the PVC and the Head of Academic Practice were among them. The phrase ‘The Flipped Classroom’ really is flavour of the month at the moment!

Myself and James sat down to plan the session. First we wanted a video to send out to the participants so that they could watch it before the session. It had to be something that everyone would be interested in and would generate a lively discussion. So I chose a recent TED talk by Adair Richards called ‘Designing Universities That Work:

This is available on YouTube but we also uploaded it to our own media server (Helix)  at Regent’s and them embedded it into our VLE – Blackboard. The advantage of uploading it to our server is that we could check to see how many time the video had been watched before the session. We did think about creating our own bespoke video for this task but we had limited time to prepare the session – also we wanted to show how easy it was to share and embed an existing resource for this type of activity.

Next James send out an email from Blackboard inviting the participants to watch the video before the session:


We had a simple structure for the workshop (which is shown in the slides below) but basically it was to put them into groups – have the groups discuss the issues the film raised – feedback – demo how to upload the video into Blackboard and then wrap up. However, because the previous session over ran we had to drop the demo:

Perhaps the biggest amount of planning and preparation went into the actual classroom activity. I really wanted to address the issue of what happens when some or even the majority of the class did not watch the video before the lesson. We chose the questions for discussion very carefully:

1. What changes would you like to see to make teaching and learning more effective in universities?

2. What stops these changes from happening?

3. To what extent do you agree with the concept of the “Human Centered University”?

Questions one and two were very general and it meant that even if they hadn’t watch the video beforehand they could probably contribute to the discussion. Question three was more specifically related to the Adair Richard talk. As predicted this is what happened. We could tell from the media server that only about half of the class watched the video! However this didn’t stop everyone contributing to the discussion in the classroom. In fact the discussion and feedback led to a really lively and interesting discussion about the type of university we wanted. To such an extent that I think many of those in the class forgot they were in a session about the ‘flipped classroom’.

Eventually I think we will get some written feedback on the session (from HR) but I genuinely thought the session went really well as a practical demonstration of the flipped classroom. If we were to rerun the session i would make a couple of changes. Even though our time was cut short I think we need to have an activity reflecting on the experience of being ‘flipped classroom participants’. We didn’t actually discuss what we had actually done and how lecturers could use the flipped classroom in their own subjects. I think this would make a nice addition to this session – so that the lecturers are asked to plan out their own flipped classroom. What type of video would they use? What questions/activities would they set? They could have had some time to do this and then share their ideas.

We ended the session with some useful resources on the flipped classroom:

Here is a link to a 3 page ‘Teaching Insight’ on Flipped Classes, written by academics at the University of Sydney. It contains links to other references and resources.


See also:

The Biggest Problems with Flipped Learning (And How to Fix Them):


You might be interested in our recent article which explores strategies for effective change management in adopting the disruptive pedagogies and enabling technologies associated with ‘flipping the classroom’:

Hutchings M and Quinney A “The Flipped Classroom, Disruptive Pedagogies, Enabling Technologies and Wicked Problems: Responding to ‘the Bomb in the Basement’” The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 13 Issue 2 2015, (pp105-118) available online at www.ejel.org Best wishes Maggie

This is also good:

Missildine, K., Fountain, R., Summers, L., & Gosselin, K. (2013). Flipping the classroom to improve student performance and satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(10), 597-599.

After the session James scanned the notes from the classroom discussion and uploaded them to Blackboard – he also emailed the participants informing them they had access to the workshops resources. Overall it was a really positive experience and with a few minor changes I think we’ll definitely do it again:)