Flipped Learning Group

Introduction

This group began by reading several articles that defined Flipping and that suggested a variety of ways to begin. Then they engaged in a focused discussion of each of the courses they wished to target. They discussed what their learning goals were for their students in that course, and also the particular challenges that students encountered in these classes. They examined what materials students would have to study outside of class in order to be prepared for the in-class application activities that addressed those challenges.

Because group members were from such differing disciplines (Nursing, Dental Assistant Program, Science, and Music) the challenges, and thus the strategies for addressing those challenges were very diverse. 

The group met monthly throughout the year to discuss how things were going, and what their next steps would be. The value of these monthly meetings came from the free-flowing conversations its members had about the nature of teaching, new ways of engaging students, clearer learning goals for students, and changes in their own practice. Being able to share thoughts with colleagues from other disciplines taught us all much about our own practice, and gave us respect for the challenges the others have when teaching in their discipline.

Results of the Flipping Project 

In each case, the faculty involved were pleased to find that students performed better on course assignments and assessments as a result of their efforts to flip their classes. Faculty also found that they came away with a much better sense of what the students were actually learning, and where their struggles were. In each case, the Flipping Project enhanced the interactions between faculty and students, and increased student engagement with the material of the course. The group also agreed that the fellowship that resulted from sharing their innovations, and discussing them with other faculty, who were on the same journey but from different disciplines, was one of the highlights of the experience.

Piera Jung | Full Story

Excerpt From Story: Flipped learning offered students the opportunity to struggle through hard-to-understand concepts and provided space in the classroom for students to help each other to make sense of their learning.

Flipped learning made it OK for students to make mistakes and learn together by unpacking what was in their minds and then reconstructing with their peers.

Rita Alton | Full Story

Excerpt From Story: I felt that students were definitely more engaged than when completing a traditional lab

  • Several students asked to conduct additional experiments, and they ran them until the end of term – a definite first for a project expected to end after 2 weeks!
  • An unusually high number of students took pictures and videos – fun for me, fun for them
  • It seemed that they were more animated, and asking more questions - I was more animated, and asking them questions

Rosemary Holley | Full Story

Excerpt From Story: By flipping the class and having the students focus on the theoretical properties of materials or procedural aspects of records management outside of class, and having them work on exercises in class to process and apply the knowledge, they were able to incorporate what they had learned on their own into practice. They were also able to answer case-based stories on the exam, something that previous classes had difficulty doing. This was evidenced by comparing exam results from previous years before I flipped any classes: the results were higher for this year.

Sasha Koerbler | Full Story

Excerpt From Story: I am able to see and address exactly where students misunderstand. I now flip areas of difficulty earlier in semester and earlier in program. I have revamped test questions because I found that ‘old’ questions actually did not ask students to contextualize and prioritize information, although that had been the intention. 

Flipping a Class: What is it? What isn't it?

What is Flipping?

Students learn key concepts on their own—they read, view, and interact with materials online before class, and then apply their learning during class time, in increasingly challenging activities. This inverts the traditional ‘lecture transmission’ process, reserving in-class time for small-group work that engages students in problem solving and applying the knowledge they have acquired on their own. Many activities can be part of a flipped class: debates, clicker questions, demonstrations, simulations, peer feedback, and role playing. An instructor may choose to flip just a few classes a term, where the concepts lend themselves to active learning experiences, or to flip all the semester’s classes.

What is NOT Flipping?

A flipped classroom is not a collection of online videos of a class. It is not about replacing teachers with videos. It is not an online course. A flipped classroom is not about students working independently and spending the entire class on the computer. Flipped learning isn't about students doing all the reading for the course before-hand and then coming to class to hear it again in another format.

Why Flip a Class? Components and Benefits

  • Increase in interaction and personalized contact between students and teachers. Students are more engaged in learning.
  • Students can spend time processing materials outside of class -- not tied to the time frame of an in-class lecture. Students take more responsbility for their own learning.
  • Can improve learning: when done well, flipping increases students’ focus on the most important and most difficult concepts of the course.
  • Faculty are not the 'sage on the stage' but rather the 'guide on the side'.
  • Faculty can more easily see where students are struggling and adjust the course to attend to the difficulties students actually have.
  • Students who are absent due to illness or extra-curricular, don't get left out (content can be permanently archived for review or remediation)
  • Flipping offers more variety, more “hands-on” problem-solving than a traditional class.

Flipped Learning Resources

  • Principles and pillars of flipped learning F-L-I-P | PDF Handout
  • 7 Things You Should Know about Flipped Classrooms | PDF Handout: Educause
  • The Flipped Class:Shedding Light on the Confusion, Critique and Hype | Web Article
  • "Flipping" a Class | Video Explanation: University of Texas at Austin
  • Videos to Explain Flipped Learning | Webpage
  • About Flipped Classroom | Website: University of Queensland Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation

What are the Challenges of Flipping a Class?

  • Greater investment of instructor time upfront (materials and activity design)
  • Possible decrease of “coverage” of material
  • Potential initial student resistance
  • Fostering student accountability for preparing
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