Case Study: Flipping the Classroom

We realise that there are other colleagues here at the University adopting similar innovative approaches. If you have a story to share, please feel free to tell us about your own flipped classroom story.

What is a 'flipped classroom’?

The flipped classroom moves away from the traditional chalk-and-talk style lecture to a model which encourages students to carry out activity on a topic before the classroom-based contact time. For example, the students would be asked to prepare by carrying out some research, reading an article/chapter, watching a video/PowerPoint presentation or listening to a podcast; this allows the tutor to facilitate further exploration and discussion in the class, which makes for a more productive and interesting learning (and teaching) experience.

The examples we share here are based on an evolving approach to teaching that uses technology and activity-based design to encourage students’ lifelong learning skills.

The USW case study

This case study is presented through a series of nine videos (below) which you can watch in less than 15 minutes. It shows how senior lecturer Trevor Price evolves and enhances his teaching practice over the period 2008 to 2012 to encourage students’ lifelong learning skills. You can also watch/download an 'omnibus’ video including all nine part from our Good Practice in Teaching & Learning collection on iTunes U.

Trevor Price and Jacqui Neale first presented this case study at the EDULEARN 2013 International Conference in Barcelona. Then in July 2015, they presented at the University of Greenwich’s conference entiled Flipping the Institution: Higher Education in the Post Digital Age and most recently in January 2016 presented Sharing templates, processes and approaches to flipping a classroom in Higher Education at the BETT Conference in London.

Trevor was supported in his journey by a range of support professionals who helped him to make more effective use of a range of technology — including Blackboard, planning documents, learning icons and templates and an activity based design approach — in order to flip the classroom

Here, Trevor, who works in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science and Jacqui from IT Support Services tell the story of this journey.

Part 1: So, what’s this case study about?

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Part 2: 2008 — How we got started

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Part 3: 2008 — How we ensured consistency across modules

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What happened next? Trevor says:

“In 2009–10 academic year I delivered the Environmental Management module and its task-based approach to a student group based on the campus. At the same time, some students had been enrolled onto the module to study online at a distance — so I suddenly had a mix of face-to-face and distant students to cater for in a single delivery.”

Carry on viewing the videos to find out what this meant for Trevor and his students.

Part 4: 2009 — Preparing the students

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Part 5: 2009 — How Trevor managed his overall time

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Part 6: 2009 — How Trevor managed the classroom-based time

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Part 7: 2009 — How Trevor managed his time out of the classroom

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Part 8: 2009 — What did the students think about this approach?

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Part 9: 2012 — The fourth year of delivery — what’s happening now?

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…and what next?

Both Trevor and Jacqui believe that this approach is good for students in terms of consistency, and it also can offer cost-effective ways of capturing student markets and satisfying students in parallel modes of simultaneous delivery: both in the lecture room and online ‘at a distance’.

Trevor will continue to evaluate and add value to the module. Jacqui continues to work with other staff across the University to help further embed this flexible learning design approach.

Experiences of 'flipping’ from Clemson College, South Carolina

You can watch another interesting case study of how a tutor from Clemson’s College of Health, Education and Human Development approaches flipping the classroom. Ralph Welsh’s approach echoes many of the sentiments and messages relayed in our own case study.