A flipped classroom pilot project is underway at Clark State Community College. Led by Bridget Ingram, an associate professor in early childhood education, 18 full-time faculty are participating in the year-long project that explores a flipped approach to instruction in the college classroom.
Different than most traditional higher education teaching models, the flipped classroom reverses the traditional lecture and homework activities. Traditional lecture material is presented at home and the higher-order thinking skills that require students to apply, evaluate and synthesize materials takes place in the classroom with the help of an instructor.
“The flipped approach is saying, we are going to allow you to take your lower-order skills, the things that need the least amount of assistance with, home, and when you come to class, the professors are going to help you achieve you higher-end thinking skills,” said Ingram.
The pilot project consists of two faculty groups led by Ingram and Pamela Ball, assistant professor of management, who will meet eight times this year as they learn to integrate this new teaching model into their classrooms. In this model, there are four parts of a flipped lesson plan: identifying a purpose, prior-to-class activities, in-class activities and a closing.
“It’s been exciting to watch the faculty become engaged with this concept. Some of our instructors have already been using these methods, but now we are developing a process that can be replicated across campus and disciplines and find what works best for our students,” adds Ingram. “The members of the pilot group will become mentors to other faculty who wish to participate in future semesters.”
Each participant will start with a self-evaluation to rank their current teaching styles and will have the chance to journal about their experiences. They will also have access to iPads and use various flipped-classroom applications to support new lesson plans. An app that allows instructors to create and post short video tutorials could save hours of lecture time.
Feedback will be gathered from students as well as faculty to rate the new model.
“Many of our students have multiple jobs and they have families and kids. We want to give them every opportunity to be successful at Clark State. With our focus on student achievement, we can better meet the needs of our diverse student population by offering an alternative approach to learning,” said Ingram.