Planning a Flipped Lesson: A Step-by-Step Guide

A photo of a person’s feet standing on stone stairs leading into water.

In planning for a flipped classroom, you need to consider the pedagogy before planning how you will teach with technology. The flipped classroom is a different form of instruction that fosters new roles for teaching and learning. Instead of the “sage on the stage,” the instructor is now a “guide on the side” for learning (Miller, 2012). These differentiated roles for teaching and learning provide authentic opportunities for learners to engage and make meaning out of the course content. The flipped class model is often used for face-to-face learning; however, this approach can also be applied to online courses. 

The concepts of a single flipped classroom lesson can also be scalable in course redesign for the entire course. However, we recommend flipping a single class lesson or unit of a course before engaging in a complete redesign. Consider these five steps adapted from the University of Texas Austin Center for Teaching & Learning page “How to Flip a Class” before you flip your own class or course.

Step 1: Identify Where the Flipped Classroom Model Makes the Most Sense for Your Course

Consider the following questions when designing your flipped class around learning outcomes or specific course concepts:

  • Do you currently have a course with an in-class or online synchronous activity that you rarely have time to complete during the class?
  • Does this activity require students to apply their own knowledge and skills to the course material?
  • What topics would students benefit from applying within the classroom or synchronous online lesson where your expertise could guide their development?

Step 2: Spend Class Time Engaging Students in Application Activities with Feedback

Identify how you want to utilize the in-class or asynchronous online meetings. Ask yourself the following questions to prepare for the application of learning:

  • How can you repurpose the class time to provide experiences and activities to challenge your students?
  • How will you leverage your expertise as a coach or guide? What role will you play in this lesson?
  • What type of instructional strategies might you implement? Peer instruction, team-based learning, case-based learning, problem-based learning, or process-goal guided inquiry learning?
  • What type of assessment strategies might inform the understanding of your student learning? Feedback, real-time data, engagement, preparation, etc.?

Step 3: Clarify Connections Inside and Outside of the Classroom

The flipped learning model is designed to move the application-oriented “homework” into the classroom experience and the “lecture” before the class or asynchronous online meeting. To get you started, here are a few questions to consider for this planning process:

  • What do I want my students to know and do as result of completing this sequence of the course? How does it fit into the bigger picture of the unit and course?
  • What practice do students need during class time to prepare for the larger assignment that will be completed after we meet?
  • Will students make the connection between what is happening inside of class or synchronous meeting time and the assignment they will work on later?
  • What content do students need to know before class to successfully engage in the learning activity during class?
  • What type of instructional activities and/or reflective learning will you require of your students? What will this look like?

Step 4: Adapt Your Materials for Students to Acquire Course Content in Preparation for Class

Now that you have identified the course content and potential activities, consider how you will make your learning content more dynamic and how you will repurpose your content to deliver it in a new way before the next class meeting:

  • How will you have your students prepare before class? Reading materials, online video, audio content, podcasts, demonstrations, lectures, etc.? See the University of Texas’ webpage, “Flipping a Class,” for a framework for creating and curating materials for a flipped class.
  • What technology do you have to support the flipped classroom? What technology gaps exist that might hinder your development of the flipped learning material?
  • Do you and your students have the infrastructure to support this mode for learning? When and where will the learning occur? Is this applicable to the learning scenario?
  • Will you allow or rely on mobile learning for students to watch the video? What sort of access to technological resources will you provide for your learners?

Step 5: Extend Learning Beyond Class Through Individual and Collaborative Practice

Outline how content and skills learned peer-to-peer in-class best prepare students for learning outside the class or beyond the synchronous online meeting. What happens during the in-class or online meeting is crucial for students in gaining mastery and meeting the learning outcomes. Consider the following questions for your flipped learning lesson planning:

  • How will you encourage students to discuss ideas and elaborate on conversations in-class or during online meetings? Discussion boards, Twitter, other social media apps, etc.?
  • Where will you present additional problems for your students to gain further practice beyond the class experience and provide feedback? LMS, wiki, blogs, etc.?
  • What type of assignments will you create to encourage students to apply the skills and knowledge developed in class to a new situation or new way of understanding?
  • What additional readings will you provide to build on the concepts discussed in class?
  • How will you encourage students to create informal learning groups?


Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment and Redesign. (2016). Teaching Resources for Engaged Educators [online training modules]. Denton, TX: University of North Texas.

Miller, A. (2012, February 24). Five best practices for the flipped classroom. Edutopia. [Web blog]. Retrieved from

University of Texas – Austin Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). How to flip a class. Retrieved from