Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A Rm 148

Start Date

9-7-2015 12:00 AM

Keywords

flipped course, laboratory, case study, team-work, active learning, collaboration

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Many of us have heard about the “flipped” classroom, where students first learn about a subject outside of the classroom, and class time is used for application/group work. And we’ve probably all heard of the power of active learning. But logistics, resource limitations and student attitudes can often appear insurmountable obstacles to adopting such strategies. After participants brainstorm the diverse challenges to flipping a course, I’ll describe my 4-year “adventure” in flipping an introductory microbiology course. Created as part of a curriculum restructuring, this new course was designed to have students “learn by doing”. However beyond the laboratory exercises, the reality of limited resources, support, time and much higher enrolment than forecast, all became perceived obstacles to accomplishing these goals. I will describe how, through an iterative process, and relying on diverse collaborations beyond the bounds of the department and university, we arrived at a scalable course design that requires little to no additional resources, is designed to promote student success and engagement, and can be undertaken by even the most skeptical future instructor. The course begins gently, with a few weeks of traditional lecture combined with non-graded active learning group work in the classroom, and traditional laboratory exercises. The students then transition to a fully flipped experience, with class/laboratory sessions used for group work/peer instruction, and a case study that includes laboratory investigations. Following presentation of this case study, participants will reflect on, and share, possible strategies to resolve at least some of the challenges with their own courses.

Elements of Engagement

  1. Group discussion at the beginning of the talk on problems people have experienced in thinking about, or trying to flip a course, or to embed a strong active learning component in a course
  2. Reflection on what aspect of the case study I describe resonated with individuals; think-pair-share
  3. Group discussion on potential strategies others may try, additional strategies for dealing with problems identified at the beginning (#1)


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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Adventures in flipping a course: how fiscal constraints, student complaints and colleague skepticism helped me achieve my goal

P&A Rm 148

Many of us have heard about the “flipped” classroom, where students first learn about a subject outside of the classroom, and class time is used for application/group work. And we’ve probably all heard of the power of active learning. But logistics, resource limitations and student attitudes can often appear insurmountable obstacles to adopting such strategies. After participants brainstorm the diverse challenges to flipping a course, I’ll describe my 4-year “adventure” in flipping an introductory microbiology course. Created as part of a curriculum restructuring, this new course was designed to have students “learn by doing”. However beyond the laboratory exercises, the reality of limited resources, support, time and much higher enrolment than forecast, all became perceived obstacles to accomplishing these goals. I will describe how, through an iterative process, and relying on diverse collaborations beyond the bounds of the department and university, we arrived at a scalable course design that requires little to no additional resources, is designed to promote student success and engagement, and can be undertaken by even the most skeptical future instructor. The course begins gently, with a few weeks of traditional lecture combined with non-graded active learning group work in the classroom, and traditional laboratory exercises. The students then transition to a fully flipped experience, with class/laboratory sessions used for group work/peer instruction, and a case study that includes laboratory investigations. Following presentation of this case study, participants will reflect on, and share, possible strategies to resolve at least some of the challenges with their own courses.