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22st Annual OLC International Conference
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OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Can They Flip? Teaching Instructors to Flip the Classroom Through a Flipped Approach

Rena Palloff (Fielding Graduate University, USA)
Session Information
November 20, 2013 - 3:00pm
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Asia 5
Session Duration: 
35 Minutes
Information Session 5

How can instructors learn to effectively flip their classrooms? A flipped approach to instructor training may very well be the answer.

Extended Abstract

Frequently, in doing training with faculty around the country, I have found that bothNovices and seasoned instructors struggle with successfully transforming a course that has been taught for years in the face-to-face classroom into one that will work well online. Simply putting lecture material online is not the answer. Indeed, instead of looking for ways to convert a course that has been successful in the face-to-face classroom, instructors are better served by approaching a course to be taught online as if it were a course to be taught for the first time—which in essence it is—while drawing on content knowledge and best practices for online teaching. ThisAllows a sense of freedom in the development of the course, without a tendency to adhere to tried-and-true methods that may not work online.

Another issue with which faculty struggle is how far to jump in when considering online delivery of a course. Is technology enhancement of a face-to-face course sufficient? Should a hybrid or blended model be considered where 30% or more of the course is offered online? Or should the instructor take the plunge and work to deliver the course completely online? Many authors suggest that the most successful and satisfying course outcomes are being seen in classes that are small and combine face-to-face with online interaction—these classes combine the best of both worlds in terms of using both face-to-face and online delivery (Albrecht, 2006; Bonk & Graham, 2006; Bourne & Seaman, 2005; Garrison & Vaughan, 2008; Marquis, 2004).

Consequently, an important consideration in the development of an online class should be the degree to which technology can and should be used in course delivery. Three questions form the foundation of good instructional design: Who are my students? What do I want my students to know, to feel, or to be able to do as a result of this course or experience? And where, when, and with what resources will my students be learning? Once objectives are established, instructors are then able to move on and determine appropriate reading material and assignments to enable students to achieve those objectives. A phenomenon that has emerged from K-12 teaching that can be considered in the delivery of hybrid classes is "the flipped classroom." Attributed to two teachers from Colorado, Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams, the method began with recording PowerPoint supported lectures and putting them online so that students could access them at any time. Using this model, lectures are presented online and are supported by online discussion while classroom time is used for active engagement with the content, other students, and the instructor. But how can instructors learn to do this and do it well? Recent experiences in conducting faculty training using a flipped approach are showing good results in sparking creativity and effectiveness in using a flipped classroom approach in higher education. This brief session will review some of the principles involved with flipping the classroom and in using this approach to train instructors to do it well.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Rena Palloff is the owner of Crossroads West, working with academic institutions, business, and professional organizations in the development and delivery of effective online education and training programs. Dr. Palloff teaches online at several academic institutions, including Fielding Graduate University, Capella University, University of the Rockies, and Walden University. She is the co-author of several books and articles regarding online teaching and learning including the 1999 Frandson Award winning book Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace: Effective Strategies for the Online Classroom (Jossey-Bass, 1999), Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom (Jossey-Bass, 2001), The Virtual Student (Jossey-Bass, 2003), Collaborating Online: Learning Together in Community (Jossey-Bass, 2005), and Assessing the Online Learner (2009). The second edition of Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace, now titled, Building Virtual Learning Communities was published in July 2007. The Excellent Online Instructor, was published in early 2011 and the second edition of Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom, now titled Lessons from the Virtual Classroom, was published in 2013. The books are comprehensive guides to the development of an online environment that helps promote successful learning outcomes while fostering collaboration and building a sense of community among the learners. Drs. Palloff has been presenting this work across the United States and internationally since 1994 and has trained thousands of instructors to teach well online. She received the 2012 Wedermeyer Award for Outstanding Practitioner in Distance Education.