Answer to "What is the role of the teacher during the flipped classroom teaching method?"


To make a flipped classroom successful, it takes time and efforts for the teacher to learn “a set of requisite technical skills, conceptual knowledge, and pedagogical experience” (Shimamoto, 2012). As in the case of leading a curricular change, faculty development is crucial to foster teacher “readiness”. It is no exception in the flipped classroom. Below are the teacher roles identified in the literature (King, 1993; Harden and Crosby, 2000; Steinert et al., 2006; Shimamoto, 2012; Simpson and Richards, 2015; Gillispie, 2016):

  • During the development of a flipped classroom the teacher takes on multiple roles of the information gatherer, curriculum planner and information provider;

    • Information gatherer: Before anything happens, the teacher has to think critically about whether the flipped classroom teaching strategy is the appropriate educational method for the learning at hand: questions such as ‘does it actually work better to address the needs of learners?’ and ‘will it achieve the aim and objectives of the course more effectively than any other method?’ need to be researched and evaluated;

    • Curriculum planner: As we saw in the previous section, the flipped classroom requires a lot more planning. The role of the teacher here is plan the process, ensuring alignment between each element of the classroom is considered, including that class time is effectively used to facilitate higher levels of cognitive work in the learners;

    • Information provider: in addition to the other roles, the teacher has to decide on appropriate the materials, either tutorials or videos, for pre-class preparation. The pre-class preparation and endeavors collectively set the stage for teachers to engage learners in the classroom activities, problem solving, discussions or debates.

  • As the flipped classroom teaching strategy is a student-centered approach, during the face-to-face activities, the role of the teacher is more a facilitator or guide than that of an information provider (moving from “Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side”: (King, 1993)).

    • Facilitator: the facilitation skills of the teacher plays a crucial role in implementing a successful flipped classroom, enabling complex problem solving, peer interaction and a deep understanding of the concepts so that learners can engage in critical thinking and create meaning;

    • Detective: the teacher has to actively identify learners’ individual needs through their interactions and performances during face-to-face sessions;

    • Director/choreographer:  teachers need to scaffold students’ learning progressively through moment-by-moment teaching interactions (akin to a play or a dance).

  • In the end, to achieve constructive alignment of a curriculum redesign, the role of the teacher is to understand the most appropriate assessment for the context and be able to implement this effectively.


Gillispie, V. (2016) ‘Using the Flipped Classroom to Bridge the Gap to Generation Y’, Ochsner Journal, 16(1), pp. 32–36.

Harden, R.M. and Crosby, J. (2000) ‘AMEE Guide No 20: The good teacher is more than a lecturer - the twelve roles of the teacher’, Medical Teacher, 22(4), pp. 334–347.

King, A. (1993) ‘From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side’, College Teaching, 41(1), pp. 30–35.

Shimamoto, D. (2012) ‘Implementing a Flipped Classroom: An Instructional Module’, in. Technology, Colleges, and Community Worldwide Online Conference. Available at: (Accessed: 7 March 2019).

Simpson, V. and Richards, E. (2015) ‘Flipping the classroom to teach population health: Increasing the relevance’, Nurse Education in Practice, 15(3), pp. 162–167.

Steinert, Y., Mann, K., Centeno, A., Dolmans, D., et al. (2006) ‘A systematic review of faculty development initiatives designed to improve teaching effectiveness in medical education: BEME Guide No. 8’, Medical teacher, 28(6), pp. 497–526.

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