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Instructional Design & Support

Dr. Brad Vander Zanden

Teaching in a Flipped Classroom

Dr. Brad Vander Zanden, Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Have you heard the term ‘flipped classroom’? It’s a teaching format in which the traditional places of lecture and homework are reversed. In a flipped classroom, the instructor provides students an electronically recorded lecture or presentation that they must view before the next classroom session. Then, when students return to the classroom having viewed the assigned recording, they are prepared to apply the lecture concepts (i.e., do the homework) in class.

Dr. Brad Vander Zanden, Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has implemented the flipped classroom teaching format. Before class, his students must watch a designated online lecture and complete a Blackboard Learn quiz. Then, in the classroom, Dr. Vander Zanden clarifies any concepts proven difficult by the quiz results. He also uses clickers to get students’ real-time feedback and guides them in working on programming problems.

Does flipping your classroom sound intriguing? If you would like to pursue this teaching format, Dr. Vander Zanden has some advice for you, “Go into this with the long-term frame of mind… You have to go into this with the mindset of ‘I’m again a novice instructor.’ But if you stick with it, you will start to see the results.”

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