Flipping the Classroom

University faculty to change the way students lean within the classroom

By Scott Roberts | 10/25/13 | Updated 10/25/13 | Posted in News, Campus News, Local News

University of Hartford faculty will be taking part in a three-year project, as they experiment with a new concept of teaching, referred to as 'flipping the classroom.'

Funded by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation worth nearly $250,000, the University will begin a series of fall workshops, open to all faculty, where this concept will be introduced, with the ultimate goal of helping students perform better in the classroom.

Dr. Jim Shattuck, the associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, explained this concept, comparing it to the constant style across schools nationwide, where teachers lecture during their class and students complete their homework assignments outside of class.

"With the flipped model, we actually invert that, so that the students in class are actually going to be working on homework problems with the professor and out of class they're actually going to be watching video segments or doing some other work thats going to cover the content that will be covered that day," says Dean Shattuck.

According to Dr. Shattuck, this concept of classroom flipping is not a new one to the University, as the math department was originally first to integrate this inverted style to calculus courses.

Dr. Shattuck says that assessment of these classes has yielded a positive result from students, performing better in a flipped calculus class. "Some new data suggests that when they [students] move on to the second class, math 145, the second continuation of calculus, they're performing better than their peers who didn't have a flipped experience in the calc one."

The grant from the Davis Educational Foundation is set to last for the next three years, and over that span of time, the University plans to allow all those faculty who sign up to attend the workshops.

The hope is that once teachers are comfortable with this concept of flipping the classroom, they will spread the word through word of mouth and through example to their fellow colleagues in their respective departments.

Students can expect to see a gradual change in the atmosphere in some of their classes, including math, science and other courses across the different colleges, as the transition to classroom flipping takes place.

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