IT Teaching Resources

Millennial students and the flipped classroom

This paper examines the flipped-classroom approach to teaching accounting to millennial students

Article Research Promising practices

Title: Millennial Students and the Flipped Classroom
Author: Cynthia R. Phillips and Joseph R. Trainor

Key points

  • Since students perform the information-gathering aspects of the course outside of class, professors are able to use in-class time for more active learning techniques and application of knowledge
  • Students exhibit preference for learning by doing rather than learning by listening, which flipped classrooms support

Research suggests that millennial students have a preference for interactive and experiential learning experiences. An increasingly popular approach to meeting the learning needs of this generation of college students is referred to as “flipping the classroom.” The flipped classroom approach generally involves the preparation of short audio or video lectures, which students review before coming to class. Since students perform the information-gathering portion of learning outside the classroom, professors are able to devote class-time to the application of that knowledge using active learning techniques.

Figure 1 presents a visual of the flipped-classroom model. This pedagogical approach seems to align well with the learning preferences of millennial students.

What would this look like in a course?
  • When assigning readings, discussions might become more fruitful if they are accompanied by either prompts or discussion questions and what to look for, to direct students’ attention.
  • Split out-of-class content learning between readings and other forms of media, potentially a lecture video, but also video or podcast.
  • Consider offloading lecture content asynchronously and be strategic about what content you make asynchronous: i.e., procedures might be better learned asynchronously, whereas content that requires high levels of critical thinking might be best learned synchronously.

Phillips, C. R., & Trainor, J. E. (2014). Millennial students and the flipped classroom. Journal of Business and Educational Leadership5(1), 102-112.