Ready, set, go!

Video specialists Panopto offer insights into how to make sure your classroom flip is a success

You’ve decided that you’re going to flip your classroom and you’ve even convinced some of your fellow teachers to get involved. After taking inspiration from other educators who are already using an inverted classroom approach, you’re full of ideas on how you can improve the learning experience.

Now that you’ve prepared your flipped classroom, what are the practical steps you need to take to get started? And what are some of the common pitfalls to avoid? Here are our top tips from universities and colleges we work with who are already flipping the classroom.

Talk to your students – why the flipped classroom?

If your students haven’t had a flipped classroom experience before, it’s likely to be a culture shift for them. The expectation that they will watch recorded material in advance could provoke two less-than-positive reactions that you’d want to mitigate against:

✥ First, students might not immediately recognise how essential it is to do the pre-lesson work, and thus may come unprepared for the face-to-face session.

✥ Second, students could mistakenly view this approach as the teacher merely putting the onus on the student to teach themselves.

Both issues can be resolved by making it clear to your students how the flipped classroom will work in practice, how to get the most out of it, and what they stand to gain. Once students realise that in the face-to-face class they will only truly be able to participate if they’ve put the work in upfront, our users tell us that the majority will happily watch the recorded content.

As for the idea that flipping the classroom means less engaged teaching, as flipped educators know, the exact opposite is true! Students who take part in flipped classrooms quickly learn that it frees up a teacher’s time to cover content in greater depth or to foster discussion, collaboration and group work. Making students aware that this is the case beforehand will make them much more receptive to flipping from the outset.

Have a clear plan for face-to-face time

Having recorded your lectures or bite-sized learning chunks and distributed in advance for students to watch, it’s crucial that all the face-to-face time you now have is used to best effect.

Many first-time flippers are nervous that students might only watch the recordings and not come to the live sessions at all. But with a well-thought-out and enticing programme of activities for this contact time, some flipped educators have actually seen increased attendance compared to their lecture-based live sessions. 

So, how do you optimise in-class time?

✥ Have students come to class ready with questions they have from the pre-lesson viewings and hold an interactive discussion session.

✥ Run a quiz during class time, based on what students learned in your videos.

✥ Encourage students to prepare their own presentations so that they can share their particular spin on the video lectures with the rest of their peers.Include everyone

When you make classes more interactive, this can sometimes result in more confident students leading and quieter students taking a more passive role. It’s therefore particularly important in a flipped class setting to identify the students that might need more encouragement to voice their views and find ways to engage them.

Use robust technology

As well as pedagogical issues, there are also technical aspects to take into account. As you scale up your flipped classroom activities, it’s important to make sure you’re using a secure, flexible and robust video management platform to allow you to record what you want, when you want and also ensure content is accessible to the right students whatever device they’re using. Some key considerations for any budding flipped teachers include:

  • How am I going to record my flipped sessions wherever I am?
  • How will I share my videos quickly, consistently and securely?
  • How can I make sure my content is accessible to students whether they are watching on a mobile device/ laptop?

As the amount of video content you’re creating grows, it’s critical to ensure you have the right tools to hand.

We’ve produced a white paper that offers guidance on how educators can make their flip successful which is available for download on our website:

A version of this article originally appeared on the Panopto blog – you can sign up to receive future posts by email at