“The flipped classroom is about moving the hard parts of learning into the classroom”
— Derek Bruff


Class Time Reconsidered: Flipping the Literature Class — from Derek Bruff


Reading a text or commenting on a blog post are usually activities we ask students to do outside of class. But Helen and Humberto have flipped that idea by bringing those activities into the classroom, where they could be collaborative and communal. Why? Because close reading of a text and responding to another writer’s argument are both important skills in a literature course. Why not have students practice those skills during class, when they can receive feedback on that practice from both their instructor and their peers?

And that’s what the flipped classroom is actually all about. Never mind that bit about lecture videos and group work. The flipped classroom is about moving the hard parts of learning into the classroom, where they can benefit from what Helen Shin calls “shared temporal, spatial, and cognitive presence.” After all, most of us only have maybe 150 minutes a week with our students during class. Shouldn’t we spend that time engaging our students in the kind of practice and feedback that’s central to learning in our disciplines?


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Teaching has always been a learning experience for me. Likewise, theory and practice go hand in hand, each supplementing and enriching the other. What I learned by “flipping” the “flipped classroom” model with this particular experience, which I hope to carry over to more classes to follow, is that there is always more room for further conceptual, and perspectival flipping in the interactive and dynamic process of teaching and learning.