Monday, November 19th, 2012...6:23 pm

Flipped classrooms – are they working?

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Teachers, instructors, and professors are experimenting with flipped classrooms.  They seem to be working – at least according to this high school teacher’s story – her flipped classroom was very successful.   The reporter telling the teacher’s story emphasized that experimenting with advanced technologies was essential:

There is a need for educators of the next generation to recognize that the world that our youth currently live in is different from what it was just 10 years ago. According to Triadic Reciprocal Determinism, when an environment is changed, there is a cognitive change within the individual that follows, which in turn results in an ultimate change in an individual’s behavior. If we insist on continuing to educate the youth of today with what is often called the ‘traditional model’ of education, not only will we be unsuccessful as we implement an outdated model, we will doing a dis-service to these students due to our failure to prepare them for the future (and the present) by not providing them with experiences that utilize technology in a functional manner. The main reason that approaches like flipping classrooms are showing extreme improvements in attitudes, motivation, grades and retention, is because it is a way of teaching that is relatable, familiar and compatible to the 21st century child/teenager.


Experiences like this suggest that our future law students are likely to be very familiar with flipped classrooms – something to keep in mind as we develop new ways of teaching over the next few years. In fact, our students are likely to expect them.

But will flipped classrooms work equally well in law school? From anecdotal evidence I’ve heard so far, it seems that the answer is yes.  Have any of you had luck – or even major problems – with flipped classrooms?  And does anyone know what Triadic Reciprocal Determinism is?

1 Comment

  • We’re taking baby steps with flipping the classroom. We are almost done with a very, very modest implementation in Contracts (

    We’ve taken the restatements and created multimedia modules for the students to watch before they come to class. Reports are that the students are much better prepared to engage with the cases at a higher level, because they’ve had some familiarity with the rules and how the rules might be applied.

    Now, there is always two sides to this, right? Just because we have some things online, we need to be cognizant that this will change what we can do in the classroom. If we free up even 10 minutes by NOT talking about the restatements, what else can we do with that 10 minutes aggregated over a few class periods?

    Flipping isn’t easy and it’s certainly not as easy as throwing lectures online, but I like where we’re going with it!! 🙂

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