Blended and Flipped Activties

Creating Blended and Flipped Activities

Dr. Joe Provenzano
Director Faculty Development, Teaching, and Instructional Design
Center for Teaching and Learning

Blended and Flipped

What are the Differences/Similarities

Blended: involves using online activities, resources that supplement face-to-face instruction.  Online learning activities may replace face-to-face activities but blend with those delivered in the class to create a cohesive experience.

Flipped: Elements of a class are presented online for students to complete prior to coming to class, where the knowledge is further developed.

When do I Flip or Blend?

When to Flip (or Blend). (Shaken, not stirred.)

Honeycutt (2016) gives this advice as to what to look for when identifying a “flippable moment”:

  • Confusion
  • Lack of Fundamentals
  • Boredom


  • What is the most challenging part of this lesson? (Where have the problems been in this lesson?)
  • What basic information do the students need before coming to class?
  • Are my students bored?


  1. The most important advice about planning a flipped activity:  Actually plan the activity!!

Lack of planning is the primary reason that flipped or blended activities fail.

  1. Start off with a single activity or lesson.

Consider one that has been challenging to your students but that is self-contained and finite. Thoughts?

  1. Plan with the end result in mind.  (Backwards Design)

The following planning steps will help guide you in developing your own approach.

4 Steps in the Planning Process (Honeycutt, 2016)

1) Articulate the purpose of your activity/lesson

2) Identify what aspects of that activity can be delivered/completed outside of class

3) Determine how the out of class work will inform the subsequent in-class work

4) Debrief – Debrief – Debrief

Benefits of a Flipped Lesson

  • Provides a mechanism for incorporating a wide variety of media resources into a lesson.
  • Allows faculty the flexibility of bringing in different learning strategies such as collaborative work, games, and simulations.
  • Encourages deeper engagement and more robust communication.
  • Aids in organizing ideas and content. (Has a beginning and an end; helps to frame a lesson or unit etc.)
  • Adds a valuable level of assessment (formative)

Considerations for Assessing Flipped Activities

Communicate Clear Objectives.

Design frequent assessments

Use flipped activities as a formative exercise

Design subsequent instruction around what you learn from these assessments

Involve students in the process of developing the assessments

This begins with including them in the process of designing the assignments

Develop grading scales and Rubrics with the students

Include a reflection element (journal or other)


This is mainly a question of communication, accountability and motivation.

Give students responsibilities and hold them accountable.

  • The objectives, responsibilities, and products of the flipped activity have to be clearly communicated and understood. Why are we doing this assignment? What is the flow of information–what happens where?
  • Entry/Exit Tickets. This is one approach for accountability
  • Structuring in-class work so that it reinforces the importance of having completed the flipped work that was assigned.  (This does not mean shaming the students!)
  • Group assignments that include an element of peer review can contribute another layer of incentive to complete the work as assigned.
  • Grading. How much the assignments are worth toward the final grade.
  • Use a Routine, Strategy or Protocol that engages students in the flipped space and then back in the classroom space. (Thinking routines are good models.) Collaborative documents and other web-based tools can be used to create a artifacts that are used in the classroom after the activity.

Here are some sample routines that could be adapted to the flipped classroom:


Related Articles on Motivation/Accountability:


Let’s look at some examples from your courses and then let’s try to flip an assignment right now.


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