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Flipped Learning Academy

The Flipped Learning Academy (FLA) is an I@UNC project

Post Doc Research - Dr. Nissa Yestness

The Flipped Learning Academy project will create a community of professionals that will propel UNC to national prominence through effective on-campus implementation and assessment of flipped-learning strategies, and dissemination through a national conference highlighting UNC educators.

The objectives of the project are to provide UNC faculty with opportunities to create robust and effective flipped learning environments. We will provide professional development and resources to participating faculty through workshops and one-on-one mentoring of best practices. The goal is for each participant to create and assess the effectiveness of one or more flipped classes during their first semester of participation and implement this flipped classroom the next time they teach the course. This will include lecture videos, active and dynamic in-class activities, and assessment instruments to gauge effectiveness. The outcome will be a fully flipped learning environment that creates a more engaged, energetic and effective learning experience for UNC students.

Evaluation will be measured concept inventories, student comments and evaluations and indicators of student and faculty satisfaction. Student achievement data will be compared with traditional classes as a measure of effectiveness. Faculty and researchers will present findings at a UNC hosted, national Higher Education Flipped Learning Conference.

What is Flipped Learning?

This method of learning is the brainchild of Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams who are pioneers in the field of using screencasting in education. The official site is now at the Flipped Learning Network (FLN). See this homepage for more about the definition of flipped learning and four pillars of F-L-I-P from the FLN.

“Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space in transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.”

The flipped classroom model encompasses any use of using Internet technology to leverage the learning in your classroom, so you can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing. This is most commonly being done using teacher created videos (aka vodcasting) that students view outside of class time.

It was originally called the flipped class because the whole classroom/homework paradigm is "flipped". What used to be classwork (the "lecture") is done at home via teacher-created videos and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is now done in class.


Providing select UNC faculty with one course reassignment, allowing them to allocate approximately 8 hours per week towards planning a flipped classroom.

Providing participating faculty with professional development and one-on-one mentoring provided by Jerry Overmyer and Nissa Yestness of the MAST Institute. Faculty will develop both the instructional videos and the important in-class exercises, activities, and materials, including

  • Changing the physical lay-out of the classroom.
  • How to handle a noisy, active classroom when you’re used to a quiet lecture.
  • Strategies for shifting from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side”.
  • Techniques for creating differentiated instruction to help more students succeed.
  • Immersive instruction in use of the screencasting studio.
  • Best practices for creating and curating instructional videos.
  • Active learning strategies such as peer instruction, collaborative learning, problem-based learning and mastery learning.
  • Researching assessment methods and instruments that work best for each faculty.
  • Creating a state-of-the-art screencasting studio.
  • Providing tools and software to allow participation faculty to create screencasts with the technology they are most comfortable. Allowing participating faculty to teach their chosen course using active and dynamic inquiry-based learning with their professionally created screencasts.
  • Allowing faculty to assess the effectiveness of their courses through instruments including attitude surveys, concept inventories, or other appropriate approaches.
  • Enabling faculty to serve as experts in their areas of study that other UNC faculty may turn to as a resource if they want to learn more about this pedagogical approach.

Allowing faculty to present their findings at a national conference on flipped learning hosted by UNC. This conference will allow higher education flipped classroom practitioners to exchange information, highlight UNC faculty engaged in assessment of flipped classrooms, and propel UNC to national prominence by showcasing our faculty and flipped learning facilities, support and research.

We also believe that the assessment conducted by the graduate students, and by the participating faculty, will serve as a foundation for seeking external funds for research.


Spring 2015

  • Cohort 1 of Faculty preparing their flipped class and participating in Professional Development

Fall 2015

  • Cohort 1 teaching their flipped class and participating in research
  • Cohort 2 of Faculty preparing their flipped class and participating in Professional Development

Spring 2016

  • Cohort 1 mentoring Cohorts 2 & 3
  • Cohort 2 teaching their flipped class and participating in research
  • Cohort 3 of Faculty preparing their flipped class and participating in Professional Development
  • All participants preparing for summer conference
Summer 2016
  • Higher Education Flipped Learning Conference

Fall 2016

  • Cohort 2 mentoring Cohort 3
  • Cohort 3 teaching their flipped class and participating in research
  • The MAST Institute hosts the Flipped Leaning Networks Professional Learning Community with over 25,000 flipping educators.