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The flipped classroom has recently become a popular method used in both higher education and K-12 classrooms, yet research has not consistently demonstrated clear benefits of flipping a classroom. Also, any benefits seen might not be from the flipped design itself, but instead from the individual aspects of a flipped classroom (e.g., more active learning in class, more feedback on homework). This suggests that research focused on how to develop the activities and components of the flipped classroom, instead of simply flipping the traditional in-class and out-of-class activities, is critical to flipped pedagogy. These activities (both in and out of the classroom) should be designed based on a theory of learning. We draw upon the Practicing-Connections (PC) hypothesis, supported by contemporary theories and research in the cognitive sciences, to design instructional activities to promote learning by having students practice making connections between concepts and situations. This paper examines the theory-driven-design approach, PC hypothesis, versus a basic flipped classroom. The results of this work offers suggestions as to what dimensions of flipping may be important and how to design and evaluate flipped classrooms based on theories of learning.
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