Lessons Learned from the Flipped Classroom Concept

Part I


Students know how to learn

  • Activity for students in CSOS 2018 (from [SEI14])
    1. Think of something you are really good at
    2. Briefly describe how you got to be good at that thing
    3. Submit how you got to be good


General Questions

  • If learning requires practice …
    • … should students learn in class?
      • (What are the goals of class meetings?)
    • … how can teaching support learning?




Learning” by lastspark under CC BY 3.0 US; cropped from the Noun Project

Brain ≈ Muscle

  • Learning involves brain’s long term memory

    Teacher explains brain

    Image” under CC0 1.0; converted from Pixabay

  • Long term memory needs repeated retrieval and practice
    • Spaced out over time
    • Effect: Changes in brain’s proteins
  • (Learning does not happen [solely] in lectures)

Deliberate Practice

  • Characteristics of Deliberate Practice to acquire expert skills ([Eri08], also [EKT93],[SEI14])


    training” by Nithinan Tatah under CC BY 3.0 US; cropped from the Noun Project

    1. Task with well-defined goal
    2. Individual motivated to improve
    3. Feedback on current performance
    4. Ample opportunities for repetition and gradual refinements

(Traditional lecturing is “teaching by telling”, does not share any characteristic of Deliberate Practice)

Active Learning

Active Learning is an evidence-based umbrella term

  • Active Learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics ([FEM+14])

    Brain training

    Brain training” by Shocho under CC BY 3.0 US; cropped from the Noun Project

    • Group problem-solving
    • Worksheets or tutorials completed during class
    • Use of personal response systems with or without peer instruction
    • Studio or workshop course designs
    • Flipped classroom, Just-in-Time Teaching
    • Research-based learning and teaching (strategic goal of WWU)
  • Notice: Above interventions share at least 3 of the 4 characteristics of Deliberate Practice

Flipped/Inverted Classroom

  • In-class and at-home events flipped [LPT00],[BV13]
    • Individual computer-based instruction paired with in-class group activities
      • Individual learning shaped by individual background and preferences
      • Lectures to discuss questions and work on exercises
  • Variant: Just-In-Time Teaching [NPG+99],[jittweb]
    • Teaching and learning strategy based on web-based study assignments (self-learning) and active learner classroom
      • [MSN16] demonstrates impact for statistics courses
    • Instructor designs class meeting just-in-time based on students’ submissions
  • Benefits
    • Better preparation of in-class meetings
    • Valuable shared time is used more effectively for student-instructor interactions

Feedback Cycles with JiTT

Feedback cycles with JiTT

Feedback cycles with JiTT” by Jens Lechtenbörger under CC BY-SA 4.0; from GitLab. Includes icons by The Noun Project under CC BY 3.0 US: Meeting by Ainsley Wagoner; knowledge sharing, professor, student, audio lesson, online task, online communication by ProSymbols.

Two Literature Pointers

  • [SL17]: Critical view on digital transformation (in German)

Lessons Learned

Motivation and Improvement

  • 2016: Classroom response system revealed lack of student understanding in CSOS
    • Yet, no in-class discussions, leaving me frustrated
    • (Students saw no issue: Average grade in end-of-term evaluation was 1.8)
    • Waste of our time
  • After introduction of JiTT: Situation improved

Improved Java MX understanding

Students’ Perception

Improved understanding compared with traditional lecturing

Sample Feedback

  • Misunderstandings
    • “JiTT destroys our freedom!”
    • “JiTT tasks are too difficult/open!”
  • Encouragement
    • “JiTT is/was a very good idea and was very helpful to understand the course’s content”
    • “The JiTT-Assignment in combination with the lecture helped to understand the topics a lot!”
    • “Please continue with this type of lecuture!”

Benefits and Challenges

  • Benefits
    • Much more fun in meetings with prepared students
      • Sometimes unbelievably good solutions
    • JiTT tasks helped tremendously to identify misunderstandings and improve self-study material
      • From wording to new larger units
  • Challenges
    • Regarding students
      • Participation in class and in JiTT assignments
      • Workload expectations
    • Regarding myself
      • Increased awareness of hurdles for students


Logo of University of Muenster, Germany (WWU Münster)Logo of European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS)

Dr. Jens Lechtenbörger


Leonardo-Campus 3
48149 Münster


License Information

Except where otherwise noted, this work, “Lessons Learned from the Flipped Classroom Concept”, is © 2017-2019 by Jens Lechtenbörger, published under the Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0.

No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use.

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