Collaborative Research: Training Teachers for the "Flipped" Hybrid Classroom
In this collaborative project involving the University of Utah (NSF Award No. 1245904) and Salt Lake Community College (NSF Award No. 1245726), the investigators are promoting the wide implementation of the inverted, or "flipped," classroom model and are conducting research on the effects of the new approach on faculty and students.
The investigators are developing a faculty training program for one of the most promising and transformative trends in STEM education -- the "flipped" classroom -- in which the traditional positioning of lectures and homework is reversed. Instead of lectures in class and homework out of class, students watch video lectures prior to class. The face-to-face time in class is then used for active and engaged problem solving, usually working with peers, guided by the instructor. The vast majority of students thrive in this learning-centered environment.
Prior to this project, "early adopter" faculty have created a number of hybrid courses in Utah, nationally, and globally. This project targets the next generation of flipped-classroom faculty (focusing on STEM faculty) to help them transform their courses and their students' education. The project is meant to help faculty help their students learn better -- learn more, learn more easily, and enjoy learning.
The principal objective of this project is a faculty training program that meets the special needs of the flipped-classroom instructor. The investigators are using the flipped-classroom structure for the training program itself. Faculty members enroll in the training program in the same semester they are teaching their course, learning "just in time" to experiment with the relevant concepts in their classroom. Weekly modules over the 15-week semester cover active learning, creating and using video materials, and other effective practices, and culminate with the faculty member teaching two weeks of class fully in the flipped format. The entire program is available asynchronously online to meet the challenging schedules of faculty.
Although the training program is designed for the flipped classroom, much of the material is relevant to a NSF WIDER variety of hybrid and online courses. The project is leveraging major investments by the State of Utah, Salt Lake Community College, and the University of Utah in multimedia and video training materials for hybrid and flipped courses. The investigators intend for the training program to impact faculty beyond the state of Utah. All materials will be made available free online, with a Creative Commons license for reuse and adaptation.