How Can I Successfully
Flip the Classroom?

1. Use short professional video clips

Students prefer watching several short videos than one long video.

  • Assign several 5-10 minute videos instead of one full-length (e.g., 1-2 hour) lecture on video.

  • Ensure high audio quality so that students can easily hear the speaker.

  • Ensure high visual quality so that students can see the speaker’s facial expressions and clearly observe demonstrations up close.

Use the ICE Video Library to add short professional video clips to your online presentation or learning assignment. The majority of ICE videos are under ten minutes and can be easily accessed online. See ICE Lesson Plans for concrete examples of how to flip the classroom with ICE videos.

2. Use meaningful and interesting content

Whether live or recorded, all lectures should contain content that motivates and inspires student learning.

  • Use videos of real patients and therapists to capture students’ attention.

  • Use videos of real treatment sessions to help students apply lecture content to real life.

The ICE Video Library has over 150 videos of real patients and real therapists in settings that include outpatient clinics, acute rehabilitation, intensive care units, and home environments. Diagnoses include musculoskeletal injuries, neurological diseases, pediatric anomalies, respiratory complications, and more. ICE videos can be used in a variety of courses, including introductory theory, professional issues, psychosocial. See Tools for Integrating Video Across the Curriculum for more ideas.

3. Hold students accountable for preparation

Increase student responsibility by holding them accountable for learning material prior to attending class.

  • Assign a quiz or assignment to be completed before arrival to the classroom. Ask students to print out their assignment or quiz score as their “ticket” to enter the classroom and enforce “no entry without a ticket.”

  • Assign a quiz or assignment to be completed during class time. This can be as simple as 3-5 questions at the start of class or as involved as a large project that takes up the majority of class time.

  • Give clear expectations for what students need to know prior to class.

  • Spend classroom time applying new knowledge rather than lecturing on material that students were responsible for learning outside of the classroom (students learn quickly that they don’t need to do the work if you are going to do it for them in class!).

When using ICE videos prior to classroom time, ask students to answer discussion questions or write a SOAP note to bring to class. See the ICE Lesson Plans for sample discussion questions and learning activities.

4. Engage students in real-time activity with peers

Students need to manipulate material from the videos in a challenging way in the classroom.

  • Provide thoughtful hands-on activities or group discussion questions to encourage productive student interaction.

  • Arrange the classroom to accommodate small group work.

  • Give clear instructions and a rubric when applicable.

Use videos of patient encounters found in the ICE Video Library as a catalyst for a class activity. Students could discuss questions about the patient encounter, role play the patient encounter, and/or write a treatment plan based on the patient encounter. See the ICE Lesson Plans for sample discussion questions and learning activities.

5. Supervise and interact with student groups in class.

Students want to know that they are receiving excellent training from an experienced clinician and/or faculty member.

  • While students work in groups, check in with students frequently to answer questions and help steer the discussion in the right direction.

  • Ask students to write down their questions so that they don’t forget when you walk by their group.

  • Allow adequate class time for feedback and faculty-led discussion.

The ICE Video Library is so much more valuable when paired with feedback and guidance from a faculty clinician. Students often overlook safety issues, cognitive challenges, environmental conditions, etc, and need a faculty member to help them see a bigger picture. Be sure to follow up and ensure a well-rounded learning experience!


Amanda K. Giles, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor
Division of Occupational Therapy
College of Health Professions
Medical University of South Carolina