Faculty Resources

Flipping the Classroom

Flipping the classroom is the current trendy term for making sure that what happens in the classroom is not simply the faculty retelling, analyzing, summarizing what the reading for the day is about, but it is the meaningful use of learning outside the classroom in student activities in the classroom. It can also mean that the group work that is traditionally done outside the class is done in class, and the faculty-centered lecture happens online, outside of class. It can also mean that we take Bloom's Taxonomy and flip it on its head so that the basic skills and knowledge acquisition happens outside of class, and the higher level skills of content analysis or creation happen in the class, among and with peers.

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Active Learning in Class

Active Learning is of course redundant -- I am not sure that anyone can make the case for passive learning. However, many of us are struggling with effective and efficient methods to have our students be more engaged in class and with the material. Two keys for success are the clear connection between what students prepare for class and the learning activities in class and addressing student expectations about the class. If students do not see the connection between what they are reading, watching or preparing at home for class with what is happening in the classroom, they will not be interested in coming to class prepared, and the learning activities will not work. If, however, the connections are clear, either through quick pre assessments that ensure students it matters gradewise they come prepared to class or throught explicit connections between the preparation and the assigments, students will realize the importance of coming prepared. Likewise, if students expect a course to be taught in a lecture-based way, then these expectations are violated in an active learning classroom -- and students need to get reasons so that they understand the rationale. It is not enough to address these reasons at the beginning of the course -- remind students throughout the term and stay consistenly on task so that students do not manipuate you back into more comfortable ways of teaching and learning.  The Biggio Center developed an Active Learning Techniques handout that breaks down, from simple to complex, in terms of time investment, five concepts of Active Learning that can be incorporated into most courses.


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Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is often used synonymously with group work, cooperative learning, or team-based learning; however, there are differences between these terms. It may be best to see these terms on a sliding scale with group work usually used in an ad hoc way (I want to do groups today), cooperative learning used often to create group presentations (everyone in a group gets one task assigned, and then a series of mini presentations are tied together for one larger presentation), and collaborative learning and team-based learning variations on a tight structure that allows students to work towards the creation of knowledge in a group that does not divide up tasks but works together in a mutual communicative and collaborative towards a common goal.  Often, project-based learning is coupled with collaborative learning.

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Mobile Learning

Moble learning is becoming more and more important as students now have access to content practically anywhere where they can receive a wireless signal -- whether accessing their learning management system on their smartphone, reading their interactive textbook or course materials on a tablet, creating images and videos through their mobile devices and sharing them with their colleagues, or working on their assignments on their laptops.. Over 90% of Auburn University students have a smartphone, and the number of laptops is almost as high -- tablets are still trailing, but we can see an increase in their number over the next few years when more and more students come out of K-12 systems where tablets have become more integrated into the classroom. This shift in access to course materials and background knowledge can lead to a dramatic way of changing the way students learn and faculty can teach -- imagine not only a student who will always have her course materials with her but is willing to access them at various points during the day. Imagine a student who can share materials with others, have synchronous discussions over such applications as Skype or Facetime, take notes that integrate with other course materials -- the possibilities to come up with new assignments are staggering.

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Last Updated: April 14, 2016