Flipping the Physics Classroom

Posted June 26th, 2014 at 3:14 pm.

PAOLA NOGUERAS AUG 2008Bryn Mawr Physics Chair Elizabeth McCormack is featured in the Spring 2014 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bulletin for an article on professors who have sought to increase student engagement by “flipping” their classroom — sending lecture materials to students before class to allow for more interactive learning during class hours.

From the HHMI Bulletin:

At first, McCormack’s students weren’t thrilled with the new format. They even showed up en masse at her office door to make the case for more lectures. They weren’t confident in their grasp of some of the material, they told her. The videos were missing that immediate dialogue with the professor to answer their pressing questions.

“What they were really telling me is that they needed more opportunity to talk about the material, to talk about the challenging pieces,” says McCormack. In response, she added some lectures back in, and then included “co-reading” homework assignments where students had to work in small groups and bring three questions that the group couldn’t sort out to the next class. It pushed them to discuss what they were reading, she says.

The entire article can be found on the HHMI website.

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