FlipIt Physics

Note: FlipIt is moving to the Macmillan Achieve platform in Fall 2023 for most courses. A limited number of courses will continue to have FlipIt access in FA2023.


Certain courses are participating in the Course Materials Initiative, which provides access to FlipIt (formerly known as SmartPhysics) without students having to purchase a separate license. 


You will need a Blackboard username, the Course Access Key from your instructor, and a FlipIt account. 

  1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.

  2. Click on the FlipIt link your Blackboard course.

  3. FlipIt should open in a new window.

  4. Locate “Get access to FlipIt” and click “Student.”


  5. Complete the Account Creation Page and click Register

  6. You’ll receive an email with a link to continue your registration and create a password. 

Be patient. Sometimes the email can take up to 30 minutes to send through UMBC email.

  1. After you create your FlipIt account and log in, set up your profile and then choose the “Enrollments” tab.


  2. Click on the Join Course link.


  3. Agree to the next two pop-up screens for the FlipIt Physics Terms of Service and Privacy Policies.

  4. Enroll in this course by entering in the Course Access Key provided by your instructor.

  5. If you are prompted to enter a Unique Course Identifier, you may choose whatever you would like to appear on the screen (see the image in Step 7 under Unique ID). The Unique Course Identifier You can enter is unique to the individual user (e.g., the student) so you can identify this specific course from a list of courses you might have in your account. For example, you might enter "PHYS 121 FA2016" or "Professor Snape" or something else. In the example below, Harry used "PHYS 121 - Snape" – it's entirely up to you!

  6. After Registering for your FlipIt course using the Course Access Key, please go to your Accounts Page.

  7. Select Redeem.


  8. Click Book Code. If you are opting out of the Course Materials Initiative, you should select Credit Card.


  9. Use the redemption code provided by your instructor as the Book Code.

  10. You should receive a confirmation on screen after the code is applied.

If you have any technical issues with registering for FlipIt, please use the RT ticketing system.


You will need a Blackboard username and course (instructor) and a FlipIt account. If you do not have a FlipIt account, you will need to contact the Macmillan sales rep.

  1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.

  2. Go to a content area where the FlipIt link will reside (e.g., Syllabus, Course Documents).

  3. Click on Build Content

  4. Select Web Link.

  5. Enter a name for the web link (e.g., FlipIt Physics).

  6. The URL to FlipIt Physics is http://flipitphysics.com

  7. Set the link to Open in New Window.

  8. Use the Description field to establish context. For example, you can provide the Course Access Key and other important information.

  9. Click Submit to save.

The Course Access Key is required for students to enroll in your FlipIt course. You must provide this unique Course Access Key per FlipIt course. If you teach two FlipIt courses, you will have two separate FlipIt codes.

  1. After you create your own FlipIt account and content, click on the Instructor Links menu.

  2. Select Global Course Settings.

  3. The Course Access Key is randomized by default. Click EDIT to modify the Course Access Key for your section. For example, you might use your last name and term (e.g., SnapeFA2016).

Providing the Payment Key

The FlipIt payment key is unique each semester. Students who are participating in the Course Materials initiative must obtain the payment key from the instructor. Waitlisted students may sign up for FlipIt using the 21-day trial option.