Quick Tips: Flipping Your Classroom

Text reading flipping the classroom with the classroom upside downThe CER blog, The Innovative Instructor, has posted on flipping the classroom (see here and here). Recently we came across a couple of videos and tips sheets that provide succinct overviews to the process.  What is the Flipped Classroom combines a 60 second video that gets right to the heart of the matter, with graphic explaining the difference between traditional and flipped classroom techniques. A two page document from the Educause Learning Initiative describes seven things you should know about flipped classrooms. Jen Ebbeler, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Texas Austin, has blogged about her experiences with flipping her large enrollment (400 students) course Introduction to Ancient Rome. She’s produced a seven minute video: Transforming Ancient Rome: Active Learning in a Large Enrollment Course chronicling her experiences.

Macie Hall, Senior Instructional Designer
Center for Educational Resources


Image Source: © Macie Hall, 2013.

Quick Tips: Managing Your Time Spent Online

Collage of logos for various online applications such as Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, GMailWe spend an increasing amount of time plugged in to our various e-devices, doing research, monitoring the “interwebs”, interacting with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in social media settings, blogging and reading other’s writings, texting, and answering emails. For faculty the influx of email particularly during the semester is often overwhelming. Students seem to expect an immediate response and may become frustrated if they don’t receive a prompt reply. They may not understand that you teach several courses and have hundreds of students and don’t know from their email which course they are in. What to do?

A recent article (March 26, 2013) in the  Chronicle of Higher Education, Managing Your Online Time by Paul Beaudoin, has some timely suggestions. While the article was written with faculty who are teaching fully online courses in mind, the suggestions offered will be equally useful to those instructors in more traditional, face to face environments. For example: it helps to start by managing student expectations on email responses at the outset, preferably in a well designed syllabus. You should let students know how quickly you will respond and during what hours. Frequent reminders that students should identify their class and section in all correspondence are helpful in gaining compliance. Look for tools in Blackboard (course management application) that will offer additional discussion outlets so that students can help others with the same questions. Create an FAQ, post it, and point to it when students ask the same questions repeatedly.

Check the article for more details and ideas.

Macie Hall, Senior Instructional Designer
Center for Educational Resources


Image Source: © Macie Hall, 2013

Quick Tips: Managing the End-of-Semester Crunch

Stressed female with stacks of paper, clock in background.

CER staff member Cheryl Wagner came across a timely post on another educational blog and we wanted to share it with you. Professor Hacker, from The Chronicle of Higher Education, is one of our favorite blogs. It’s an advice column for faculty and future faculty that focuses on using technology to simplify the lives – professional and personal – of instructors in posts that give “tips about teaching, technology, and productivity.”

This post, entitled From the Archives: Getting Through the End of Term, has some great ideas for managing the end-of-semester crunch with tips on grading, handling stressful meetings, and taking care of yourself in the process.

Macie Hall, Senior Instructional Designer
Center for Educational Resources


Image Source: Microsoft Clip Art

Quick Tips: Using Case Studies

Sometimes we see a link to a resource or hear of a teaching solution that we want to share. The Innovative Instructor provides the perfect place for this. In our Quick Tips you’ll be getting “Just the facts, ma’am.” Or sir, as the case may be.

Students in discussionOne of our CER colleagues, Mike Reese came across a link to a great online resource for case studies (also called case reports), the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS).

From the NCCSTS website. “[Case studies] can be used not only to teach scientific concepts and content, but also process skills and critical thinking.  And since many of the best cases are based on contemporary, and often contentious, science problems that students encounter in the news, the use of cases in the classroom makes science relevant.” (http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/about/)

If you want to know more about case studies and the value they can provide in your teaching, the Colorado State University Writing Guide to Case Studies is a good place to start.

Macie Hall, Senior Instructional Designer
Center for Educational Resources


Image Source: Microsoft Clip Art