Is Flip Classroom a Flop?


Lenny Gonzalez

Two students watching a video for class.

Jackie Lewis, Editor

The traditional classroom consists of the teacher standing at the board, teaching the subject in a basic, lecture style.  However, schools feared that the lecture-style teaching wouldn’t work for everybody, so the idea of a new way for students to learn arose; Flip Classroom.

The main concept of a Flip Classroom is to upload videos of the instructors teaching the subject to platforms like Google Classroom, and then the students will watch the videos at home and complete any worksheets that come with it. When class rolls around, the students would ask any questions  and complete classwork on the lesson they learned at home.

It seemed like a grand idea; it gave students the opportunity to learn in a way that might be more beneficial for them, but many teachers used one or the other, and students who learned better lecture-style, were forced to learn with a Flip Classroom, and vice versa.

Students affected by this problem had to adapt to a teaching method they weren’t comfortable with, and could end with a lower performance rate or a lesser understanding of the material.

“It made it harder to understand the material when I was doing it on my own,” said senior Madison Muse. 

Muse explained that when using a Flip Classroom for her past Algebra Two Trig. class she struggled with the overload of homework and understanding the material. This lead to confusion in class, and depended on her asking questions. But Muse didn’t feel comfortable asking questions, so she had to rely on teaching herself.

This may not be the case for every student using Flip Classroom, but it does show that students can suffer from this technique.

This technique is not only harmful to students either; teachers can also be in danger. With all the materials available online, the classroom seems worthless.

Basically, there was no point in being in the classroom at all,” said senior Abdulah Khan. 

Khan believes that being in the classroom was a waste of time. Having done everything at home, Khan saw no reason for the class.

“It made him useless as a teacher,” explains Khan about the absence of a teaching role in the classroom. 

This of course doesn’t relate to every scenario, but like everything, it has its pros and cons.

I liked it for my geometry class because it allowed me to reread or re listen to most of the material, so I could take time and actually understand what it meant and stuff like that,” said senior Elise Woodfolk. 

Woodfolk is a great example of a pro of Flip Classroom. She enjoyed the ability to learn at her own pave, instead of the pace set by the teacher in the classroom. However, this method worked well for her because of a combination of lecture-style teaching and the Flip Classroom.

“When we went back to the classroom, instead of doing [a] random worksheet, she would go over the material again just to make sure we had it in our mind,” explained Woodfolk when speaking of the method her geometry teacher, Ms. Smith, used during her sophomore year. Woodfolk was ecstatic when Smith not only used the Flip Classroom, but also retaught the subject during class to really make sure the class understood. 

Overall, Flip Classroom is like any other teaching method; a 50-50 chance of being beneficial.

“I think it has merit, but I don’t think all teachers should stop. I think they should teach it, and they should also have the flip classroom videos as an option if the students aren’t just getting it in class,” said Woodfolk.