The Flipped Classroom Approach to Learning Programming

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The Flipped Classroom approach is widely adopted by famed universities like Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and has been particularly successful, especially in programming courses.

Flipped classroom methodology diagram

Credits: Carnegie Mellon University

From the image above, it is obvious that the flipped classroom approach is broken down into three different phases.

  1. First Exposure through readings etc
  2. In-Class practice & exercises
  3. Additional practices at home

These 3 phases are employed for each and every programming lesson that is being conducted, and will allow students to learn in a more effective manner. “First exposure” shifts learning to go beyond the classroom, and frees up time for students to practice more via “In-Class practices”. Eventually, students will be able to conduct “additional practices” at home. Being able to make mistakes while having a mentor to correct mistakes are critical to learning, and can accelerate the process of learning to a higher degree. This ability to learn faster, and to learn even more, is what we advocate at Early Coders Academy as well.


Traditional methods of teaching undergo a simple 2 phase process:

  • Conducting of theoretical lessons
  • Additional practice in the form of homework

In this simple 2 phase process, the problems are immediately evident! Firstly, the conduct of theoretical lessons takes away time during lessons for students to seek feedback on the mistakes they make. Secondly, the additional practice greatly diminishes the quality of the feedback loop since teachers have less time during lessons to go through the mistakes made in the additional practice. Traditional methods take away the precious time shared between both students and teachers, and as such, causes an environment unconducive for learning.

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