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Educational Technology

Educational technology, sometimes referred to as EdTech, is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

What is a Flipped/Blended/Hybrid Course?

The idea behind "flipping the classroom" is to move the content delivery and information transfer online, allowing/requiring students to absorb them between classes, freeing up in-person class time for interactive problem-solving, groupwork, and in-depth analysis and synthesis. Where previously concepts were introduced during class and students were sent home with problems to solve, this pattern is reversed in the flipped classroom model.

It is also known as blended or hybrid for its use of online resources in addition to seated, class resources--it's not entirely online and it's not entirely in-person either.

A good explanation and refutation of 10 common misconceptions around the flipped classroom approach can be found at TeachThought.

Examples at OWU

The flipped classroom model is not new to Ohio Wesleyan...

  • Modern Foreign Languages has been using this approach for years out of necessity. Students learn vacabulary, grammar rules and phrases between classes, either from their textbooks or one or more online resources. Then they come to class ready to practice what they've learned in conversations with the teacher and their peers.
  • Prof. Michael Flamm, History, has recorded audio lectures into PowerPoint presentations and posted them online
  • Prof. Chris Wolverton, BOMI, has experimented with various elements of this approach, including online textbooks, web outliner tools, alternative Learning Management Systems, and more. He discusses his ongoing experiments on his blog: gravitropic.net
  • Prof. Sarah Bunnell, Psychology, uses online quizzes in Blackboard to assess her students' mastery of homework material before they come to class.

Really, any time you post material online or direct your students to a web resource and ask them to take it in before the next class, you are practicing the flipped classroom model. The more you do that and the more you engage in active learning practices during class time, the more you are a flipped classroom teacher.

Examples at other Liberal Arts colleges

Bryn Mawr College

   Janet Scannell shares, "One of our chemistry professors, Michelle Francl, has used this approach. In her P-Chem class she has students watch videos from a prior instance of the course and then come to class ready for conversation. I believe she also has a twitter feed searching relevant topics in the corner of the screen which she scans for content to share during the class." 

   Bryan Alexander, NITLE, explains that Bryn Mawr used a grant to integrate those CMU OLI materials (http://oli.cmu.edu/) into a flipped science class: http://newlearningresources.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/blended-learning-and-the-open-learning-initiative-in-a-liberal-arts-context-bryn-mawrs-next-generation-learning-challenge-grant/

 


Kenyon College

   Joseph Murphy shares, "We've got a Physics prof, Ben Schumacher, who is following the flipped method rather specifically. He delivers one lecture a week over YouTube, and devotes that class day to students doing problem solving (and explanation) in pairs during the class session. He's finding that students are more able to talk about physics, and significantly, can (with occasional prodding) apply these experiences on tests later in the semester. You can see one of the lectures at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMqQ9fSYoVo and notes from a session we did with 3 Kenyon faculty who have used some form of video lecture at https://cip.kenyon.edu/blog

   The notes from Scott Cummings in Chemistry, who's using voice-over-PowerPoint for refresher or remediation on basic chemistry concepts, are also interesting. He's primarily using the flipped method to make sure he doesn't lose the bottom quarter of the class, or have to teach so slowly that he loses the top quarter."

 


Macalester College

   Barron Koralesky shares, "Here is one example of how we have supported flipping the classroom: http://www.macalester.edu/news/2012/08/power-pedagogy

   We used pencasting to move the lectures out of class, then use the precious class time for highly interactive activities, group work, working problems, discussion, etc..."

 


 College of Wooster

   Jon Breitenbucher shares, "We have a history prof who adds YouTube videos and other resources to her online syllabus and expects that students engage with those materials prior to class. She and a number of other faculty also require students to blog and comment on each other's writing outside of class and other assignments/projects.

http://brazil.voices.wooster.edu/course-schedule/

http://eng120.voices.wooster.edu/

   I count both of these as hybrid since a large component of their work and synthesis happens outside of class through a technology mediated environment and I count the Brazil course as an example of a flipped course. These aren't extreme examples of either, but for first steps I think they are good examples."

 


Oberlin College

   Pete Naegele shares, "I have been teaching SPSS stats software in a blended/flipped lab environment for 2 years. It has been very effective in that the simple "point and click here" aspects are removed from the scheduled lab time allowing me to work directly with students on more difficult aspects of analysis and interpretation. [See syllabus.]

   Students can easily grasp those cookbook instructions on their own, however interpreting the results of their analysis is a more difficult process which sometimes requires more F2F interaction.

   The students definitely prefer this model, which is used in the upper level stats course, over the traditional model used in the intro course."

 


 Carleton College

   Paula Lackie shares, "I'm intrigued by the possibilities of the OLI free courses http://oli.cmu.edu/.  Last week I was at a small workshop of ACM colleges and learned of a psych prof (who spoke of others doing the same) who assigned the statistics & probability OLI course during the first 1/2 of the term. The rest of the term was devoted to applying the newly acquired statistical training to their own research projects. The research out of OLI is that their model (with immediate application) showed greater retention of the material."

 


 Stanford University School of Medicine

   Joe Benfield shares, "It's all medicine-focused, and concentrates mainly on video as the online component at this point, but we're gradually adding information about what we've been doing for online/hybrid learning on this site:

http://smili.stanford.edu/

   There are also a few recorded faculty forums discussing online/hybrid (including flipped) teaching experiences from Faculty around campus located here:

http://online.stanford.edu/resources"

 


Washington and Lee University

   Terry Metz shares, "It's all economic and business-focused, and concentrates mainly in statistics and data analytics. Two adventuresome faculty in our Williams (business) School have been experimenting with flipped courses for about 3 years. I believe a Philosophy professor has begun doing so for a logic course.

   I don’t have any particular URLs to share, unfortunately. We’re not that formal about this technique yet. Academic Computer here has offered several faculty workshops on the topic.

   One observation so far is that performance of students vary widely upon where the classroom portion of the flipped course actually meets during the day. (I guess this has always been true with many non-flipped courses as well?) Flipped courses with students convening in the classroom before noon perform markedly better than students who gather with the professor in class in the afternoon. Also, those students in the earlier meeting classes go through the self-paced out-of-class learning much more effectively than students in afternoon classes.

Robert Ballanger, the professor who teaches the flipped data analytics course is featured in this article: http://www.wlu.edu/x59055.xml"

 


Relevant session materials from NERCOMP 2013 Annual Conference

   Tim O’Neil, Brandeis University, shares: http://www.educause.edu/nercomp-annual-conference/2013/passive-active-turning-classroom-around