Advantages and Challenges of Flipped Learning

On October 26 Margarita and I are scheduled to make a presentation on flipped learning for ELT at the 41st annual TESL Ontario conference in Toronto. Leading up to that day, I am planning to blog about my explorations of this topic.

Some initial thoughts about the advantages and disadvantages of flipped learning:


  • open access resources, if shared online, free
  • sustainable
      •  materials ready for multiuse by Ts and Ls
      • materials always available for new Ls (continuous intake)
  • differentiation – Ls can go through the lessons at their own pace, catch up, review, repeat
  • facilitation – flipping allows Ts to better support individual Ls in person in class, personalized learning, building better 1-on-1 rapport
  • learner-centred – Ls take actively participate in learning and take responsibility for it
  •  thinking and discovery before class; practice, review and consolidation (interactive activities) in class
  • engaging – it creates a collaborative learning environment in the classroom since time is spent engaging deeply with the concepts being learned, rather than sitting listening to the teacher (took a French class once and that’s all we ever did)
  • Ls get instant feedback on practice activities either from peers or from the T
  • while prepping for the class time, Ls can build a list of questions – active learning


  • technology dependent, hence not accessible for all, there may be learners who have no access to a computer/internet
      • Q: Is there a computer lab at school with open hours for independent study?
  • some Ls may not have extra time to stay at a computer lab
      • Q: Has a needs assessment been done? Could this be negotiated in any way?
  • lack of digital skills
      • Q: as before, needs assessment; simple activities incorporated into lessons to build up certain skills for future ‘flipped’ tasks and projects
  • Ls miss classes or don’t do the pre-class work
      • this one is tough because life happens…Plan B?
  • lack of L motivation, with adult learners this is rarely the case although some do not believe in independent work
      • could flipping be scaffolded to bring out the value of autonomous learning?
  • time-consuming for Ts – is flipping only about making videos? or is it a wider concept encompassing autonomous learning via one’s personal learning environment/network?  T => not a sage on stage but a guide on the side? What about existing OERs?

What are your thoughts, questions? Are you aware of any research papers on the concept of flipped learning?

3 thoughts on “Advantages and Challenges of Flipped Learning

    • IG07 says:

      Good pointer, Glen. My intuition tells me it’s more about motivation and personal predisposition towards independent learning. What do you think?

  1. Glenyan says:

    Yeah. I would guess so too…for many cultures. But, it would really have to depend on the distinct culture, and what kind of information that would give a teacher about those predispositions. At what point would stereotyping become a harmful practice, in flipped cross-cultural classrooms?

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