Teaching @ Sydney

March 2014

How to flip a classroom and land on your feet

Fantastic ideas and resources were shared at the flipped classrooms forum hosted by the Division of Natural Sciences and the Institute for Innovation in Science & Mathematics Education on February 17th.

Associate Professors Lydia Kavanagh and Carl Reidsema from The University of Queensland introduced us to flipped classes, and, with facilitation by Dr Abelardo Pardo, we took the first steps in designing our own flipped class. Comprehensive resources arising from their OLT project are available here.

We also heard from innovative Sydney teachers Associate Professor Manju Sharma (an OLT National Teaching Fellow), Associate Professor Adam Bridgeman and Dr Sandra Peter on how they get active learning happening before and during their classes.

You can see a short video here on how Adam uses worksheets and demonstrations in his lectures – because when you put some of the lecture content online, there’s more room for student learning activities.

Sandra encouraged people to take small steps towards flipping their classes. Just add some online resources, you don’t need to change the face-to-face classes at first – work towards it. She showed a great slide of herself at home recording a video using her smartphone balanced on a tower of containers!

We reflected on the implications for workload and resources, with several layers of support suggested for those wishing to trial flipping their classes. 

For those who wish to reflect further on the changing nature of lectures, take a look at the notes from Dr Inger Mewburn's presentation at ANU's recent 'Blow up the lecture' forum. For more information on flipped classrooms please see our Teaching@Sydney November 2013 issue.