Using the flipped classroom across the Saïd Business School

  • Group size: Typically 40 
  • Teaching type: Flipped classroom/active learning  
  • Division: Social Sciences 
  • Subject: Saïd Business School – various programmes of study 
  • Tools: Canvas, Panopto, ORLO, Qualtrics (surveys), Zoom 


The Saïd Business School adopted a school-wide approach to remote learning in 2020-21. Course leaders and faculty members emphasised the development of materials which enabled students to prepare for synchronous video-conferencing sessions. Preparatory materials on Canvas replaced the traditional lecture format with short videos, articles to read, reflection questions and discussion boards. This allowed for the synchronous sessions to focus on discussion and activity, integrating and using concepts explored by students in advance of the sessions.  


The ‘flipped’ classroom model in which students prepare in advance on Canvas is now being embedded in future plans for SBS programmes, as it has enabled lively engagement in the classroom which has been rewarding for both students and faculty.  

The screenshots below show a range of ways in which Canvas was used to create this active learning environment in different programmes and courses.  

The team delivering the MSc in Major Programme Management summarised their learning design thinking as follows: 

image1 best practice

The same programme provided carefully structured reading excerpts, with reflection questions for students to answer in their personal journals. Thereafter, they were invited to contribute their thoughts to group discussions in Canvas: 

image2 group discussion

The MBA programme offered a carefully-planned schedule of workshop events, some with recommended pre-work, and with reflective questions for the students to consider after each session: 

image3 whatyouneed

The Mergers and Acquisitions course within the EMBA emphasised the importance of students staying current with debates and issues in the real world, by regularly reviewing the latest news articles: 

image4 ma

Key learning points 

  • Developing and creating the online materials was time consuming, but much of the material will be refreshed and reused in future, and has provided a sound basis for future development. 
  • Developing online materials across a programme requires coordination and students quickly develop expectations of what to expect on Canvas. It’s important to ensure that all courses have a similar look and feel. This may require an increase in cross-programme co-ordination.  
  • Faculty need to allow time to work together on their Canvas courses and to ensure that they are ready for release in plenty of time – this may mean that faculty need to plan their material much earlier than in a ‘traditional’ face-to-face model.  
  • Team taught courses can work especially well with this model as Canvas can operate as the place where the different academic and disciplinary perspectives are brought together. Faculty can also see each other’s material, making it easier to link the different parts of the course together.   


Contributed by: Dr Julia Horn, Head, Teaching and Learning Initiative, Saïd Business School  

Faculty who created the courses featured above:  

  • MSc Major Programme Management: Harvey Maylor, Janet Smart, Guy Ainsley, Jonathan Dawson, Susan Su 
  • EMBA S-20 Mergers and Acquisitions: Tim Galpin  
  • MBA: Tim Galpin and Liz Starbuck-Greer  
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