Collaborative learning is an essential feature of the flipped classroom. Students who work together, teach each other, and think creatively together acquire essential life skills. If students are working in groups they have the time and the ability think carefully through a problem. Teaching is the best way of learning and those students who teach others in the group will solidify their own learning while helping others. The educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom reported in a classic study that the average student tutored one-to-one using mastery learning techniques performed better than students who learned the conventional way. Students being tutored by their fellow students and by their teacher should benefit substantially according to this study.
I am continually amazed when I watch my students assisting each other on challenging problems. They are more engrossed in the subject matter than in a traditional lecture. The other day a fellow teacher who is also flipping her class told me that the second she stopped talking to the class as a whole and had them work together in groups, the entire classroom atmosphere changed and became more attentive.
If one of the qualities of a quality classroom is to create an atmosphere that is focused and supportive then the collaborative classroom atmosphere that can be found in many flipped classrooms is the way to go.