How do you manage time in a flipped class?


Peer Instruction Network member (PINm) Arthur, who teaches intro physics at UMass Lowell asks, “what percent of the class time should be used for Peer Instruction?” And network member Mary who teaches nursing at Cayuga Community College asks “is there a specific time frame you find best for question/answer discussions?”

How to manage time during what used to be lecture really depends on the complexity of the subject matter.

We flip our classrooms using a specific research-based method, although there are many other ways to flip a class.  First, we use Just-in-Time Teaching to motivate our students to engage with subject matter and with the instructor before coming to class and second, we use  Peer Instruction to go in-depth during the formal class meeting.

In Peer Instruction, class time is structured around ConcepTests (or clicker questions). These questions are designed specifically to elicit, confront, and resolve students’ misconceptions (McDermott, 1991).

We tend to pose from 3-6 ConcepTests each class and there is no prescription for exact timing. Generally, we try follow the choreography for each question outlined here, where collecting baseline and post-discussion data occurs through a student vote, using clickers, flashcards, or web-based response systems, like Learning Catalytics. 

ConcepTest Choreography

McDermott, L.C. (1991). Millikan Lecture 1990: What we teach and what is learned-Closing the gap. American Journal of Physics, 59, 301-315.


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