Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Week 2: The Flipped Classroom Approach

The Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is an innovative technology intensive teaching method which is currently being explored at UC Davis through the iAMSTEM HUB organization. The basis of the flipped classroom is to reorganize the order in which the professor interacts with the students. Typically, the professor will present a topic during lecture. The students will then complete homework or be tested on this topic. The process of knowledge acquisition can be simplified through the five Es.
1. Engage: Interest the students in the topic
2. Explore: Provide a broad picture understanding of the topic
3. Explain: Provide a detailed picture understanding of the topic
4. Elaborate: Present the students with higher order thinking questions
5. Evaluate: Test the students on their understanding

In a typical setting Es 1-3, or the content attainment phase, occur in the classroom and Es 4-5, or the content application phase, occur at home. Within the flipped classroom model, these two phases are switched and require the professor to present the content attainment phase via technology. Both models are represented in the image below created by Jensen et al. This switching process significantly aids in the application of active learning, which has been proven to “increase exam scores by 6% and decrease fail rates by more than 50%” (Jensen et al.).

The paper by Jensen et al. attempts to delineate the effectualness of the flipped classroom model within an active learning style background. Based on normalized data collected by two non-major introductory biology courses, one flipped and one not, during the same semester, taught by the same professor in an active learning style; Jensen et al. saw that there was not a drastic difference in learning outcomes, whether through exam scores, or student opinions.

Reflections by the GTC, however, do not believe this article provided enough information to refute the efficaciousness of the flipped classroom model absolutely and believe that
 • The flipped classroom model may enhance self sufficient thinking that may be carried onto subsequent courses
 • The flipped classroom model is an exceptional vehicle to introduce active learning, a proven beneficial teaching technique
 • Flipped classrooms may enhance emotional connections to the topic and increase long term retainment of the subject matter

How about you?
Would you be interested in implementing a flipped classroom?



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If you’re interested in flipping a classroom, here is an article that can get you headed in the right direction.

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