The Flipped Classroom

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There are many new strategies being implemented in colleges and universities to try to improve higher education. One of these ideas is called the Flipped Classroom.  In most traditional classrooms, the instructor spends the class time giving a lecture, then assigns work to be done by the students at home.  In a Flipped Classroom, students are assigned to watch video lectures before coming to class and then during the class time, students and instructors actively work together on projects and assignments.  The idea is for the students to do a relatively passive activity (listen to a lecture) on their own, and to utilize classroom time in a more interactive way.  The increased interaction with the instructor and other students is believed to enhance learning.  This is now possible because of technological innovations which make it easy and inexpensive to provide video lectures to students through online course management systems.

There is a new study just published online by the journal Academic Medicine which takes a close look at one attempt at the Flipped Classroom.  In this study from the University of North Carolina’s pharmacy program, the researchers found that although preparing for the flipped course for the very first semester was time-consuming, the positive outcomes were well worth the effort.  This article gives a very detailed look at the activities which were developed for the interactive part of the course.  These ideas could be adapted for other health science courses or used to spark ideas for other subjects.  Here is a link to the abstract of the article.  On the right side of the page see “article tools” where you can download a PDF of the entire article.  http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/publishahead/The_Flipped_Classroom___A_Course_Redesign_to.99241.aspx

For more information on the concept of the Flipped Classroom, Touro College Libraries offers several resources.  A book titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education reimagined by Salman Khan and an E-book titled Flip Your Classroom; Reach every student in every class every day by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are available to Touro library patrons.  Ask your librarian about these and other resources.

Touro College Libraries would love to start a dialog about this topic.  What are your thoughts about the flipped classroom?  As an instructor, have you tried this approach or are you considering it?  As a student, have you experienced a flipped course?  How can your library and your librarians help you in this and other innovative endeavors?

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