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Flipped Learning Network Unveils Formal Definition of Flipped Learning

Posted Mar 13, 2014
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To counter common misconceptions and bring clarity to discussions about “Flipped Learning,” the governing board and key leaders of the Flipped Learning Network (FLN) have announced a formal definition of the term. FLN also has announced the Four Pillars of F-L-I-P and a checklist of 11 supporting indicators that educators must incorporate into their practice. The definition draws a distinction between Flipped Learning and a Flipped Classroom.

FLN Definition of Flipped Learning: Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.

The terms “Flipped Classroom” and “Flipped Learning” are not interchangeable, according to FLN. Flipping a class can, but does not necessarily, lead to Flipped Learning. Many teachers may already flip their classes by having students read text outside of class, watch supplemental videos or solve additional problems. But to engage in Flipped Learning, teachers must incorporate these Four Pillars into their practice:

Flexible Environment
Educators can create flexible spaces in which students choose when and where they learn. Furthermore, educators who flip their classes are flexible in their expectations of student timelines for learning and in their assessments of student learning.

Learning Culture
The Flipped Learning model deliberately shifts instruction to a learner-centered approach where class time is dedicated to exploring topics in greater depth and creating rich learning opportunities. Students are actively involved in knowledge construction as they participate in and evaluate their learning in a manner that is personally meaningful.

Intentional Content
Educators continually think about how they can use the Flipped Learning model to help students develop conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Educators use Intentional Content to maximize class time in order to adopt methods of student-centered, active learning strategies.

Professional Educator
Professional Educators continually observe their students, providing them with feedback relevant in the moment and assessing their work. Professional Educators are reflective in their practice, connect with each other to improve their instruction, accept constructive criticism and tolerate controlled chaos in their classrooms.

For complete details about the Four Pillars of F-L-I-P and a checklist of the 11 supporting indicators, visit FLN’s Flipped Learning definition page.

The Flipped Learning definition, the four Pillars of F-L-I-P and 11 supporting indicators were written by FLN board members Aaron Sams, Jon Bergmann, Kristin Daniels, Brian Bennett, Helaine W. Marshall, Ph.D., and executive director Kari M. Arfstrom, Ph.D., with additional support from experienced Flipped Educators.

Source: Flipped Learning Network,

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