The 187 Global Elements of Effective Flipped Learning

Cover Story October / Special / October 17, 2018

-Errol St.Clair Smith-

Periodically we bump into an idea, invention, or innovation that enables us to be significantly more effective at what we do. The cell phone, the Internet, and Google are a few quick examples. What’s fascinating is for years (even decades), we may be thrilled with whatever tool, system, or resource we were using. Then we discover another way, and suddenly, we can’t imagine ever going back. In fact, it’s hard to believe that people ever left their homes without a phone in their pocket. Isn’t it? Some of us even remember when people were saying, “Who would be stupid enough to submit their credit card information online?” It seems that we often don’t see the possibilities of a new approach when we first encounter it. Then one day, BOOM! The light comes on.

One Hundred and Eighty-Seven

The year-long Flipped Learning Global Standards Project was certainly illuminating. The big eyeopener was the discovery that there are at least 187 global best practices of effective Flipped Learning. The international team of project co-chairs, Flipped Learning delegates and practitioners from over 49 countries sorted through thousands of submissions. Only the practices that received undisputed support from every single delegate made the list. After 12 months and multiple rounds of deliberations, the cohort arrived at a consensus – 187 is the magic number.

Now that the period of public commentary is complete, the verdict is in. The prevailing view is that these 187 best practices represent a detailed roadmap to successful Flipped Learning — anywhere in the world. Even a casual pass over these Global Standards sparks a desire to self-assess where you are relative to true north. The early reviews suggest that we now have a reliable tool to guide any educator, in any country, to greater success with Flipped Learning.

Now What?

It didn’t take long to realize that the art and science of Flipped Learning are deeper, broader, and more complex than many believed. Even those with over a decade of flipped experience admitted to being surprised by the scope of what they didn’t know. Then the pivotal question emerged:

“Now that we have these 187 best practices, what are we supposed to do with them?” 


How do we get our heads around all of this? How do we begin using these insights to be more effective teachers, professors, and trainers? This special issue of FLR Magazine is dedicated to answering these very questions.

For the month of October, each of the FLR senior editors was challenged to look at the Flipped Learning Global Standards through their unique lens. Dan Jones viewed the standards through a K12 prism. His piece titled “Does Your Flipped Classroom Have a Mirror? What Do You See?” envisions the standards as a way to see a reflection of your flipped practice. Dr. Thomas Mennella looked at the standards from a higher education perch and revealed that he was both validated and challenged by them. His article, “A Flipped Learning Growth Mindset Requires the “R” Word,” is a great read even for k12 teachers. Terra Graves chose to view the standards from the intersection of assessment and technology. Her column this month is titled “Viewing Assessment Through the Lens of Global Best Practices.” As always, Terra translates everything she tackles into very practical terms. Her column provides useable-in-the-classroom-tomorrow tips supported with lots of valuable links to additional resources. But asking, “Now what?” led to two other intriguing ideas.

The Global Elements of Effective Flipped Learning

The questions were simple. How do you make these 187 Flipped Learning best practices more accessible? Would it be useful to have a visual tool to present the core components of successful flipped instruction? What kind of a framework would help educators organize their thinking about these best practices? A bolt of inspiration led to the creation of the Global Elements of Effective Flipped Learning table. 

More than a static graphic, the GEEFL table is an interactive map that organizes the primary Flipped Learning elements into families. The table uses a color, letter, and number code that aligns with the Global Standards document. The GEEFL table is already being used in training scenarios, and the possibilities are exciting. Next month, the interactive table will be unveiled and demonstrated for the public at an international meeting of Flipped Learning thought leaders and practitioners. The demo will also showcase how the table is used to easily align training to the Global Standards. Read on to learn how you can see the tool in action.

The Summit

Flipped Learning practitioners on six continents are excited about the Flipped Learning Global Standards. But it’s time to spread the word. 

On November 13, 2018, the Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences, MEF University, and the Flipped Learning Global Initiative will host the Flipped Learning 3.0 Global Standards Summit. At the Summit, the first comprehensive map of effective Flipped Learning best practices will be presented to the education community. The international event will bring together the delegates from around the world who participated in curating the 187 global best practices, to discuss their implications for the future of Flipped Learning worldwide

The Summit will feature 10-minute briefings from the Global Standards project chairpersons including: 

  • Dr. Eric Mazur, the Balkanski Professor of Physics at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education
  • Dr. Caroline Fell Kurban, Director of MEF University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Turkey
  • Dr. Raul Santiago Campion, Professor of Didactics and Pedagogy at University of La Rioja, Spain
  • Dr. Gwo-Jen Hwang, Chair Professor, Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • Robyn Brinks Lockwood, an instructor at Stanford Language Center
  • Jon Bergmann, Chairman and Chief Academic Officer of the Flipped Learning Global Initiative.

The Summit will include a special briefing from Dr. Muhammed Sahin, Rector of MEF University, the first fully flipped university in the world.

Topics on the agenda include:

  • Introducing a Global Road Map to Greater Flipped Learning Effectiveness
  • Going Global or Falling Behind
  • A K-12 Take on the Global Standards
  • A Higher Education Take on the Global Standards
  • The Need for a New University Model
  • How MEF Created a New University Model
  • How Global Standards Enables International Collaboration
  • Looking Beyond What We Already Know About Flipped Learning
  • Localizing the Global Standards for specific countries and cultures
  • Recognition of Charter Adopters 
  • The International Flipped Learning Award Presentation
  • Press Conference

The Flipped Learning 3.0 Global Standards Summit will be held in Istanbul, Turkey at MEF University, and attendees will be able to tour the first fully flipped university in the world. Attendance is free, but seats are limited. Global Standards delegates and International Faculty will receive priority. Educators who cannot attend the Summit in person can access the live stream of the Summit in real time. To learn more about the Summit, go to

There are good reasons to surmise that these 187 best practices can drive a quantum leap forward in successful Flipped Learning. Ultimately, time will reveal the extent to which the Global Standards enable educators to more effectively reach every student. We look forward to covering the next chapter as this global project unfolds.

Do you have a thought you would like to share about the 187, the GEEFL or the Summit? If so, we would love to hear your take!

NOTE: This is our last issue for the year.  Look for FLR in January!





Errol St.Clair Smith
I am the Director of Global Development at the Flipped Learning Global Initiative. I joined the education community in 2005, working closely with national education organizations on community outreach and professional development. Over the last decade, I’ve led the development of community platforms for The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); the Association of Curriculum Developers (ASCD); the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Associations for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), and the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO). I'm honored to have received four Emmy nominations and an Emmy Award for public affairs programming. In 2017 I co-authored Flipped Learning 3.0 with Jon Bergmann. The book was updated based on the AALAS Global Elements of Effective Flipped Learning in 2019.

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