“Flipping” the learning environment is about having students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, via readings or video lectures, and then spending class time on problem-solving, discussion, or another means of exploring and developing the new concepts. Flipping a class involves incorporating active learning strategies that have been shown to improve student learning in a number of research studies across a variety of disciplines and all levels of schooling. Despite the apparent value of this approach, faculty often face challenges in flipping an existing course. There are many decisions to make, from the type of material to assign outside of class to what to do during class, not to mention whether and how to make use of new tools and technologies designed to support the process.
This FLC, which met during AY 2018-19, helped faculty to prepare to flip a class. First, they read about and discussed the theoretical and research basis for the method. Then they reviewed and considered options and best practices for flipping, including: 1) deciding what to have students do outside of class to gain first exposure to new concepts and how to hold them accountable for it; 2) exploring options for in-class activities that develop students’ nascent understanding and have them apply what they’re learning; and 3) developing means of assessing students’ learning and progress. Through their discussions, they used their collective knowledge to act as supportive “sounding boards” as they devised plans and tried out new approaches. In addition to a deeper understanding of the method, participants developed a plan for incrementally flipping an existing class, or designed a new flipped class, and tested one or more best practices for flipping in a class that was in progress at the time.
Suzanne Braunschweig, Facilitator (Geography & Environmental Systems)
Matthias Gobbert (Mathematics & Statistics)
Loren Henderson (Sociology, Anthropology, & Health Administration & Policy)
Maria Manni, Facilitator (Modern Languages, Linguistics, & Intercultural Communication)
Suzann Medicus (Information Systems & Economics)
Mina Seat (Modern Languages, Linguistics, & Intercultural Communication)
Susanne Sutton (Modern Languages, Linguistics, & Intercultural Communication)