6 Tips for a Better Flipped Classroom

More and more teachers are embracing the flipped classroom as an efficient way to deliver content and personalize the learning experience for students. The two most common mistakes teachers make when starting to flip their classrooms are:

  1. finding existing videos online that very nearly (but don’t quite) match the content they are trying to teach or worse
  2. making bad videos themselves that students can’t bear to watch.

It’s easy to make your own videos for your flipped classroom if you follow these six tips for SIMPLE flipped classroom videos:

  • S – Short 2-3 videos are better than one long one. If the video is too long your students will loose focus. Also your students can ask more directed questions if they don’t understand something as in, “I understood video one, but video two was confusing.” Ten minutes should be the absolute outer limit for a single video. Bonus: connect each video to a specific section of your textbook so students can keep track of where they are in a unit.
  • I – Interesting Use colors, images, and questions to retain student focus. Speak like you are really in class to keep them engaged.
  • M – Meaningful Lessons need to have value for students. Your lesson should answer, “why is this concept being learned?” That’s a fair question!
  • P – Planned If you’re well organized and to the point, the lesson comes across better and is more effective. Remember you don’t have to pause for the student to reflect and understand, they can watch the video again if they need to. Bonus: solve sample problems, or cover main ideas from the text book, that way students can easily see the connection between the lesson and other material in the class.
  • L – Learning Identify the 2-3 points you want the student to retain from the lesson. Revisit them with a short assessment at the end. Bonus: have the students take an actual assessment you make using Google Forms, that way you know if the student completed the video and how much they learned.
  • E – Exciting Include outside resources like video and web links. Change it up, students will be excited by something new, variation is key. Bonus: students like to connect globally, offer bonus links that extend across the world —  think big!

The tools you choose to record your videos are fun to explore but the real value of flip teaching is what happens in the classroom. Many teachers report more time for 1:1 instruction, enhanced test performance, and higher homework completion rates as a result of flipping their classrooms.


Want more best practices for flip teaching? Much of this post came from a WhippleHill webinar I did with Steve Fay and Brian Sullivan (and when I say I did it with them, what I mean is they did it and I cheered from the back of my office). What about you, are you flipping your classroom? What tricks and tips have you learned that have made your lessons more effective? Let us know in the comments!


Image Credit: ‘Learning to Fly‘ by Adam Piggott CC BY NC

Hans Mundahl

Director of Technology Integration at New Hampton School

I've been an educator since 1995 when I first stepped into the classroom as a Fulbright exchange teacher in the former East Germany. Since then I've been an Outward Bound instructor, a teacher, tutor, admission officer, house head, evening administrator on duty and I ran the experiential learning program at New Hampton School for almost ten years. Today I focus on technology integration centered on values-driven technology integration and 1:1 iPad initiatives. Recently I had the chance to help New Hampton School become an Apple Distinguished School and I co-authored the iBook Teaching with the iPad (available on the iBookstore). Now I'm the founder of a scrappy little company (one employee!) called Hans Mundahl and Associates, inc a digital strategy consultancy for schools and non-profits. My free time is usually spent with my family but I'm also passionate about the outdoors and protecting the environment. I'm on the Board of Trustees at the Newfound Lake Region Association and when I have the chance I'm an active hiker, climber, and paddler. My writing appears on EdSocialMedia.com and I speak frequently at technology and education conferences.