I feel much more relaxed in class compared to traditional lectures. I have no problem filling the time, as I had feared, but I don’t feel as rushed. The real-time feedback is one major benefit from my perspective. I have the opportunity to guide students and correct them before they complete the activity. Having a small class helps in this, allowing me to spend more time with each group. But even in a large class where I don’t have time to visit each group, I can at least see who is struggling and offer focused feedback
Since this replaces work that would normally be done outside class, this is a huge difference compared to post-assessment. Students that might be discouraged in getting the wrong answer are instead guided and hopefully encouraged by success. As an instructor, I get to know students better, building rapport and getting an idea of their thought process. Listening to each other also does a much better job of building a learning community than listening to one person lecture.
I have also observed that many more students are asking questions, taking notes during videos (note taking itself being an important skill) and enjoying class.
As for grades, the class average has increased slightly over what I have seen in the past, though I have a small sample of only three classes to compare. What is most obvious is that significantly fewer students are failing exams (<50% constitutes a fail in the course).
I initially viewed the flipped classroom with some skepticism, but decided it was worth trying. I expected it would be a longer path with smaller gains than what I have encountered. Recording lectures and planning classes was a substantial initial time investment, but I am already reaping the rewards.