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Flipped Learning in the Science Classroom

Posted by James Simms on October 16, 2019


What is flipped learning?

Flipped learning is the use of technology to provide access to teaching and resources outside of traditional classroom times. Historically, the teacher was only available in the classroom, so teaching had to be done at the allocated time. Practice, worksheets, projects and the like are done at home, handed to the teacher and then marked. Of course, there are numerous exceptions, and the majority of the time the student is doing 'productive' work in the classroom too, but the underlying structure still exists; the teacher is only present in the classroom.

With the ever-expanding array of technology which is available to schools, it is more and more possible to have teaching available on demand. This presents wonderful opportunities to break down the barrier between home-time and class-time and flip the current model on its head.

So in a nutshell, flipped learning is where traditionally classroom-based activities are done at home, and activities traditionally reserved for homework are completed in class-time, where there is a knowledgable teacher on hand to provide support when student's get stuck.

Introducing new concepts

Flipped learning is a great way to introduce new concepts before you teach them in the classroom. Setting students homework to watch a great explainer video before you begin a new topic is a great way to get them excited and curious. It also builds a solid foundation upon which your first lesson can build.

For example, students could watch this video about reversible reactions and dynamic equilibrium in preparation for the next lesson. As soon as students arrive at the lesson, they are given a pop quiz as a starter and then you get straight into the main activity. No time is spent teaching the concept to the group because students have had the opportunity to watch (and rewatch) the lesson already. Students are immediately productive and you, the teacher, have time to interact with individual students. If you use a platform such as TheEverLearner you'll also be able to track exactly how much of each tutorial they have watched which is a big help! And you can also test their knowledge using the quiz features, and set them assignments but that's enough about us...

Preparation for a practical

Finding time to run practicals is an enormous challenge. Getting students to study the practical before the lesson is a great way to get students organised, encourage good planning and, crucially, give enough time it to be completed before the bell goes for lunch!

Take the rates of reaction practical. It's two different practicals which need to be crammed into a short space of time. Anything which reduces the introduction time and maximises the time that students can spend actually doing the practical is going to be a massive help.

A video like this could be a great introduction before students come to the class and actually do the experiment.

Increase class time for one-to-ones

One of the major advantages of flipped learning is its ability to 'free the teacher' from the front of the room. If students have already taken teaching episodes online prior to the lesson, the teacher's job of presenting the content to the group is not necessary. This allows students to be more productive and allows the teacher more time to circulate the room, provide feedback, meet students one-to-one and carry out reviews during class time.

The EverLearner provides complete courses, specific to the exam board so that students have access to great teaching on-demand as well as multiple quizzing modes, assignments and much more.

Stretch and support

It is often the case that when students have access to a great exam-board aligned tool they take control of their learning. Those students who didn't understand something have the opportunity to re-learn and practice in their own time. Those that understood it well could be set work to study something in more depth.


Flipped learning has another benefit which is often overlooked. Some students, especially those with ASD, find it difficult not knowing what is coming up in the next lesson. Although not strictly 'flipping' the lesson, the resources which you might use for flipped learning could be provided to these students in order for them to prepare and be comfortable coming to the next lesson knowing what is coming up.