Yes, it’s ok to use Flipped Classrooms!

Flipped ClassroomBefore i start, let me just explain what a “Flipped Classroom” is (you may skip this paragraph if you already know the concept). Flipped Classroom is a teaching method where lecture and homework are “flipped”: First, students read part of a text book at home; then they solve some simple online questions about the topic; finally, in the lecture, they work with the teacher to clarify open questions, discuss the topic and solve exercises. For more details, see e.g.

I have been using “Flipped Classrooms” for a while in my lectures, and feedback of my students on this teaching method was always very positive. They pro-actively participated in discussions, presented their solutions, over 90% prepared their homework, and they scored well in exams.   However, i was never sure if the method really “works”, if it is – at the end – any better than classical teaching methods.

For this reason, i initiated a research study on the effects of Flipped Classrooms. The study was conducted in 2014 by Geri Thomann and Andrea Keck Frei from Zurich University of Teacher Education, on behalf of School of Engineering of ZHAW [1]. In the study, three classes of computer science students were compared, one of which was taught with Flipped Classroom, the other two with classical lectures.

Although the sample of the study was rather small, the results are very encuraging. Here are the main results:

  1. Students in the Flipped Classroom need more time for preparing the lectures.
  2. Both groups of students perform equally well in the exams, with Flipped Classroom students slightly better.
  3. Students with Flipped Classroom improved their non-technical competences (communication, organization, etc.) much more that the comparison group.

Overall, the study concludes with “a positive conclusion for Flipped Classroom” ([1], translated). If you are interested in more details, I have prepared a concise summary of the study in [2]. 



[1] Andrea Keck Frei und Geri Thomann: “Begleitstudie Flipped Classroom ZHAW Informatik (Ergebnisbericht)”, Zurich University of Teacher Education, October 2014.

[2] Mark Cieliebak: Auswirkungen von Flipped Classroom auf Fachwissen und Kompetenzen von Studierenden, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, December 2014.