Too much, too soon? A critical investigation into factors that make Flipped Classrooms effective

Darren P.M. Comber*, Mirjam Brady-Van den Bos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The Flipped Classroom (FC) method is used widely in higher education, with studies claiming various benefits. However, to date, little work has focused on what makes FCs effective for student learning. This study presents data collected from interviews with 14 UK-based undergraduate students, investigating their perceptions of participating in a series of FC sessions. Findings indicate that the FC format discouraged a significant number of students from attending. However, students who did attend the flipped classes reported valuing the resultant learning opportunities and enjoying the experience. This study sheds light on the learning process within the FC. Challenges in implementing the FC were highlighted both by students who attended and by those who did not. We conclude that implementing the FC should not be undertaken lightly or be seen as a quick fix; at minimum, it requires staff willingness and opportunities for engagement and peer learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-697
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number4
Early online date2 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: We wish to thank the students undertaking PS2017 for taking part in this study. The support of the School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, is gratefully acknowledged. Finally, we would like to thank our anonymous reviewers for their insightful and encouraging comments on drafts of our manuscript.


  • Flipped Classroom
  • learning
  • learning gain
  • psychology


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