A teacher's introduction to the flipped classroom

Clintondale High School, which is just outside of Detroit, became one of the first schools to completely “flip” their classrooms back in 2010. Greg Green, the principal of Clintondale, was one of the early pioneers of flipping the classroom in the US, and the results he achieved have led schools across the country to adopt the same education strategy.

Before flipping every classroom, Green told the New York Times, “On average we approximated a 30 percent failure rate. With flipping, it dropped to under 10 percent.” Graduation rates spiked as well, which are now over 90 percent. Even more impressively, college attendance rose from 63 percent to 80 percent in two years.

What Exactly Is A Flipped Classroom?

So what exactly does a teacher do to flip the classroom and how does it work?

In a flipped classroom, teachers assign video lectures and reading material as homework. In the classroom, teachers are then able to work with students directly on problems, projects and labs. So instead of students getting lost at home on math problems or science projects, they are doing it in the classroom in collaboration with their classmates and teachers.

Salman Khan popularized the flipped classroom with his 2011 TED talk about using video to transform education. In the years since his education startup Khan Academy has taught hundreds of thousands of students with video lectures with the support of philanthropists like Bill Gates.

Khan and Gates argue that flipping the classroom frees up teachers to become even better instructors and work on projects they wouldn’t have been able to dedicate time to otherwise. 

“A lot of people think it just has to do with technology,” said Kim Spriggs, who teaches business and marketing at Clintondale. “It’s actually more time for kids to do higher-order thinking and hands-on projects. Instead of presenting the information in class and having students work on projects at home, where they don’t necessarily have support, here in class, one-on-one or in small groups, I can help them immediately.”

Flipping The Lab?

At Labster, we are working with university professors and high school teachers to flip the idea of STEM labs on their head. All across the world administrators and teachers alike are facing cuts to lab time because of costs, especially in large introductory courses.

In our experience students often consider their lab work the best part of their education experience, because they are able to put their knowledge to the test with real-world experiments. 

5 trends in Ed tech for teachers in the know
250 students at Aarhus University in Denmark, using Labster’s CSI lab training before entering the wet lab.

So how do we give students more lab experience without incurring the costs associated with lab time? When you flip the lab, you are able to prepare students before they even reach the lab. By introducing concepts like experimental design, critical thinking, and data analysis beforehand you’re able to make lab time more meaningful once it begins.

In turn, we are researching with our partners to discover ways to reduce the learning curve of laboratory work so students can get the most out of it rather than wasting precious lab time with introductory lessons.

By reducing the wet-lab learning curve students will have a head start for more discovery-based and research-oriented undergraduate labs. What’s more, we are able to offer faculty data on the their students’ performance in virtual labs so that they are better able to tailor their lessons to their students.

Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest in science teaching and learning.

We Can Make Virtual Labs Work for You

“The virtual labs have proven to stimulate students' natural curiosity, knowledge retention and outcomes.”
Dr. Brian Harfe
University of Florida

Take a 15 Minute “Lab Break” with a Virtual Lab Expert

Talk to one of our Virtual Lab Experts about how Labster can engage your students with our virtual labs for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses.

Lab break coffee with us

Please fill out the form below to talk with one of our Lab Experts. 

You must opt in to receive emails from Labster. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for your submission!

Sales Demo: Discover how Labster
improves student grades and learning outcomes!

Limited to 100 people

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

Press the + button next to the simulations that you want to add to your list, or add all the simulations of this package by pressing “add all simulations”.


Related Simulations

No simulations added yet.
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container


    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully

    IMPORTANT: Check the original email with instructions from your instructor to verify how you should gain access.

    Link Access

    Did you receive a link/URL to access Labster from your teacher? This is for either “Labster Direct” or “Quick Access”, and no login is required. See info below.

    School LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.
    IMPORTANT: Please check your original email to confirm the correct access option.

    Labster Direct / Quick Access

    Did you receive a link/URL to access simulations through the Labster Direct or Quick Access pages? If so, no login is required. See info below.

    Your LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

    Faculty Resources

    To access the Faculty Resources page (instructors only) and review Labster simulations, please log in below.