Flipped Classrooms

The flipped classroom approach allows students to gain first exposure to new material prior to class and then focus on the processing part of learning (synthesizing, analyzing, problem solving, etc.) during class meetings. A common way in which courses can be “flipped” is for students to actively learn from print, video, multimedia, or other digital resources prior to class. Students then use class time to engage collaboratively in problem solving, critical discourse, and analysis of what they have learned from pre-class exposure to materials.

Congratulations to the 2015 Flipping Your Course participants!

In July 2015, we held our first “Flipping Your Course” Institute with 12 faculty members from 10 different departments.

Flipping Your Course: A Teaching and Learning Institute

The Innovation Lab offers a three-day intensive workshop introducing the key components of flipped course design and preparing instructors to flip their own courses. Teaching a “flipped” course involves reimagining the college classroom as an environment for participatory, engaged learning. This approach allows students to gain first exposure to new material prior to class and to focus on synthesizing, analyzing, and engaging in collaborative problem-solving during regular class meetings.

Hexagons representing three central aspects of flipped classrooms

During the workshop, we explore the purposes and outcomes of flipped learning and apply research-based practices to the process of developing courses in this model. Through a combination of hands-on activities, presentation, and discussion, we work through the essentials of flipping a course, from designing online and in-class materials to facilitating learning activities in the classroom.

Instructors leave the Institute ready to develop their own flipped courses, having created:

  • A redesigned syllabus suitable for use in a flipped course
  • Draft pre-class and in-class activities or assignments for a single class session
  • Sample online materials, such as videos or podcasts

Following the Institute, the Sheridan Center provides continued support for developing flipped courses and for training instructors and facilitators.

Due to space limitations, registration in the Institute is limited to Brown faculty (any rank), postdoctoral scholars, and designated graduate teaching assistants.

Please contact Sheridan_Center@brown.edu with questions about the Institute.

Perspectives on flipped learning

Other projects

  • Organic Chemistry

    An online exercise created for this organic chemistry course applies students' understanding of chemistry concepts to the laboratory procedure for recrystallization.

  • Intermediate Microeconomics

    Brown’s first large-scale, flipped course for undergraduates, this course incorporated online ‘microlectures’ and weekly collaborative problem-solving sessions to facilitate learning of difficult economics concepts.

  • Environmental Science in a Changing World

    Custom-built, interactive online modules developed for this introductory environmental science course guide students through the study of Earth’s climate history.

  • Massive Open Online Courses

    Brown’s successful MOOCs expand our reach into the world. The Lab works closely with instructors to design MOOCs that not only share our courses with global audiences but also extend Brown students’ experiences.