The flipped classroom: supporting a diverse group of students in their learning

N. S. Goedhart*, N. Blignaut-van Westrhenen, C. Moser, M. B.M. Zweekhorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Higher education faces several challenges including both increased student diversity and the use of technologies. The flipped classroom approach has been proposed as a way to address some of these challenges. This study examined the effects of a flipped classroom trial conducted during a Master’s course at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Half of the course was taught in a traditional lecture style while the remaining half was replaced by flipped classrooms. Interviews and focus-group discussions were conducted with the students to gather information about their experiences of the flipped classroom. Questionnaires completed by the students, as well as an interview with the tutor, were used to gain further insights into the effects of the flipped classroom on learning processes, such as pre-class preparation and in-class activities. Findings highlight the success of this trial based on the positive feedback from both students and the tutor. In particular, the combination of personalised pre-class learning and peer-learning classroom activities facilitated deeper learning. Surprisingly, even though the overall experience was good, not all students agreed that the flipped classroom contributed to positive learning outcomes, which should be investigated further because such outcomes could differ depending on students’ general learning styles and preferences. Moreover, in order to facilitate flipped classrooms on a larger scale, considerable institutional support is required to enable their practical implementation and to provide flexible assessments. Our study thus sheds light on the feasibility of implementing flipped classroom teaching in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalLearning Environments Research
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • Blended learning
  • Cognitive load
  • Diversity
  • Flipped classroom
  • Higher education
  • Peer-learning


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