Becoming a Better Teacher: The Flipped Classroom

Dr Nigel Francis from the Medical School delivered an inspirational session at SALT. Taking us through his journey with a step-by-step account, he shared the challenges, successes and benefits of adopting a flipped approach to learning.


Most of the content goes out to Nigel’s students via video with a view to them engaging with the instructional material and undertaking a task before lectures. Time ‘in class’ is then used for assimilating knowledge by talking through the homework, attempting new questions and gaining 1-to-1 advice from Nigel. This time is also an invaluable opportunity for him to gauge the level of understanding and modify sessions to address any gaps in knowledge. Students also benefit from paired and group work by means of problem-based learning and task-based activities. What I particularly enjoyed hearing about was Nigel’s drive to give students real life contexts with authentic assessment points, enabling them to investigate, explore and try things out with peers.

Want to have a go yourself? Here are Nigel’s top tips:
  1. Consider the specific benefits for your students in your particular module
  2. Don’t lecture twice! Students initially view targeted, instructional material at home, undertake a task and then talk through the process in class. You don’t repeat what’s happened at home
  3. Be prepared to support and challenge students in class as they engage with high level thinking

Don’t be too ambitious
Don’t try and flip everything
Creating materials takes time
Start with ‘ready made’ materials
Home-to-class link is crucial
Set high expectations

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