Designing the Flipped Classroom: Part 3 – In class activities


Learning is viewed here as developing a way of thinking and acting that is characteristic of an expert community. Such a way of thinking consists of two important elements:

  1. the knowledge that represents phenomena in the subject domain
  2. the thinking activities that construe, modify and use this knowledge to interpret situations in that domain and to act in them.
Billet, 1996
Situated learning: bridging sociocultural and cognitive theorizing
Learning and Instruction, 6

Long Term MemoryIn Part 2, we looked at outside the classroom activities; in this article we will look at using the classroom to move information forward into long term memory.

Let’s start with the process outlined in the image to the right.

Input Interrogation

Input interrogation is a term originating in the electrical sciences which is used in education to mean using higher order questions to transform information into patterns. When groups of people do this interrogation together through discussion, cases and problem solving, the resulting patterns are better developed. Classrooms are an ideal location for input interrogation unlike memorization which is best done alone. Learning takes place when you have a teaching plan that includes both.


Patterns are the schema retained in long term memory that makes understanding and retrieval of knowledge easier. Experts have millions of patterns that make diagnostic reasoning and management planning easier.

Information Retrieval

We know that “practice makes perfect” in terms of skill development but it also improves development of patterns. The more time students spend checking  that what they believe to be true is true, the better their patterns therefore the better their retention will be.

Use these design elements to plan in class activity

  1. Look at your objectives again, verbs such as analyze, compare, manage, evaluate lend themselves to this design approach.
  2. Look at any questions you asked as part of the outside class activity, what is the best way to get answers for these questions (quiz/discussion)? This becomes your lead off activity. (Retrieval/Input Interrogation)
  3. Pick an activity that furthers your objective (Input Interrogation) (Pattern Making)
  4. Ask students to identify gaps in their knowledge and discuss how those gaps will be met in future classes or through self-directed learning. (Pattern Making)

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