During the 2013-14 academic year, the CIT led the Flipping the Classroom Faculty Fellowship. Twelve faculty from a variety of disciplines shared experiences and learned about using active learning techniques in their classrooms.
In this last post in our series about the fellowship, faculty in the program describe different ways they redesigned their courses for active learning and what they gained from participating in the Fellowship.
Associate Professor of the Practice and
Director of Undergraduate Studies,
Sanford School of Public Policy
Flipping the classroom is really about expanding classroom engagement and interaction, followed by methods to assess whether the students are learning. While participating in this fellowship, I learned how to do this better. I learned the formal and informal methods through which I can both encourage students to internalize the material and then find out whether they have . . . or not. It is clear that there are many more aspects to flipping the classroom than anyone can implement all at once, but if I put it at the forefront of my mind when creating a syllabus and then be willing to adapt and adjust along the way, I believe that these methods improve my teaching greatly and improve the student experience.
Associate Professor of the Practice
Duke Global Health Institute
I joined the Flipped Fellowship working group to improve a graduate seminar course on research ethics that is required for all masters students in Global Health. The main challenge, as I saw it, was to transform a required, standardized course about global health research ethics into an experience that spoke directly to each of 34 individual student projects while simultaneously leveraging that amazing classroom diversity into the powerful lesson that standardized principles may guide our research but ultimately cannot tell us what is the right and moral course of action for our own fieldwork. Because I already applied some of the many tools available in the flipped classroom repertoire (in-class workshop atmosphere, group work, class discussion, application of assigned reading materials to in-class case study analysis, etc), my hope for the flipped fellowship was to confirm that I was already going in the right direction, to fine-tune my classroom exercises, and to benefit from the expertise and experience of a group of colleagues who genuinely cared about teaching. That last goal, to be part of a group that continually wants to improve their teaching, turned out to be the best part of the fellowship. I now feel part of a network of very diverse colleagues whom I deeply respect and know I can call on anytime when I have a teaching question in the future.