Flipped classrooms: Best practices and pitfalls to avoid

Date Released: 25 June 2015

The hot new innovation in college-level teaching is the so-called flipped classroom. This can be loosely defined as taking what was commonly done in the classroom (listening to a lecture) and requiring students to do that outside of class (using pre-recorded lectures or similar resources), and taking what was usually done outside (working on homework, discussing course material with other students, having discussions with the professor) and doing these in class.
Logically, this makes a lot of sense. Why bother to get a lot of students and a professor together in one place at one time if they are not going to actively engage with each other? Why spend valuable class time doing things that can be done alone?
But logical sense alone does not automatically translate into good learning experiences. Any time that one teaches in a manner that is unfamiliar to students, not to mention the faculty, there will likely be challenges that need to be overcome. Flipping the classroom is no exception and requires considerable planning and forethought to implement successfully.
Luckily for CWRU, we now have a cadre of faculty who have been teaching in this mode for several iterations of their courses, thanks in part to their participation in the Active Learning Fellowships. (You can read about that program and apply for it through the Active Learning Fellowship) Some of them also used the Active Learning Classrooms. Four of them are Rebecca Benard (Biology), Megan Holmes (MSASS), Kurt Rhoads (Civil Engineering), and Genevieve Sauve (Chemistry). They have developed considerable expertise on what works and what doesn't and at the next UCITE session they will share their experiences and knowledge and answer questions.
Join us for that session on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 12:00-1:00 pm in the Herrick Room, which is on the ground floor of the Allen Building (at the corner of Euclid and Adelbert). Please use the Adelbert Road doors.
Pizza lunch, sodas, and water will be provided at this session. To help us estimate the amount to order, please let us know if you plan to attend each session by replying to this email to ucite@case.edu.