Teaching Excellence at Yale
Partially ‘flipping’ a large lecture class enables faculty to restructure class time to make room for engagement.
Kyle Jensen (pictured below), Associate Dean and Shanna and Eric Bass ‘05 Director of Entrepreneurship & Senior Lecturer at the Yale School of Management, partially flips his classroom to maximize his teaching flexibility and his students’ engagement.
“My courses are not entirely flipped,” said Jensen, referring to a strategy where faculty digitally share lecture materials before class and use class time for active learning exercises. “Our time in class may be spent on activities or discussion, but it is not always so. Sometimes it is almost entirely lecture. I feel free to choose the distribution of these methods on a per-meeting basis and I find this freeing.”
By partially flipping his course, Jensen preserves the dynamic nature of his classroom without committing to the flipped format for the entire semester. He finds articles and videos made by others to substitute for self-made recordings. He also chooses his preparatory materials in ‘real time,’ not at the beginning of the semester.
“This allows me to respond dynamically to the class, to choose material that addresses points of confusion, current events, or something that came up in a prior week. It also makes my life easier because I can defer the cost, in time, of finding these materials.”
Jensen connects the pre-class work with quizzes at the beginning of each class. Doing so consistently offers students opportunities to recall the material, according to Jensen.
“Everybody reads or watches videos before class and then takes a short quiz online—I want to give a reward for coming to class prepared,” said Jensen, in an interview with the Yale Entrepreneurship Magazine. “We also want to know what is clear and what is not clear. We try to articulate quizzes that can be completed in a five-minute period and test whether you have an understanding of the salient points.”
The students’ preparation enables the class time to focus on multiple, interactive components, including discussions, debates, and other activities that help synthesize and develop new understandings of the material. Jensen’s partially flipped class makes room for engagement and allows each class to develop organically throughout the semester. (Photo Credit: Tony Rinaldo)
Research exploring the benefits of flipping lecture classes:
University of Minnesota Researchers Paul Baepler, J.D. Walker, and Michelle Driessen offer evidence that recording and posting lecture content for online viewing outside of class, in combination with using active learning strategies in class, can lead to good student learning outcomes, particularly when conducting class in active learning spaces. Read this article online via the Computers and Education journal.
Jamie L. Jensen and Tyler A. Kummer, researchers at Brigham Young University, and Patricia D. D. M. Godoy, a researcher at Universidade Potiguar, Lagoa Nova–Natal, offer evidence that learning gains in either traditional or flipped classrooms are “most likely a result of the active-learning style of instruction rather than the order in which the instructor participated in the learning process.” Read this article online via the CBE Life Sciences Education journal.
Resources at the Center for Teaching and Learning:
The CTL offers additional resources for content creation, as faculty can visit the CTL to self-record lecture materials in a small, sound proof studio and receive production assistance from CTL staff at no cost to them or their department. Request a consultation for flipping, or partially flipping, a course with a CTL staff member.
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