Monday, May 18, 2015

Active Learning Activities - Richard Spindler, Math

What do pancakes, classrooms, and The Bird have in common? They can all be flipped! Professor Richard Spindler from the Department of Mathematics speaks to his success in flipping the classroom in this active learning activity post:

Setting: Problem-solving activities utilizing pod groups (6 pods with 3-4 students per pod) and Q&A, as needed

Setup for the activity: Students were required to watch a video and read an assignment on the topic before coming to class. I then provided questions and problems they would work on together in class, and I circulated in the classroom to answer questions.

How the activity unfolded in the classroom: The students began their work together in their pod groups, discussing each problem. As they worked, they called me over with questions, and I discussed the issues either with the entire group or with the one or two students who had the question. Occasionally, if a common issue arose, I discussed it with the entire class, using the projector.

After the activity: I summarized any important points or issues that arose. After class, the students took a D2L Quiz on the topic.

Additional comments from instructor: "The students are more engaged, relaxed, and they are more likely to ask questions. In addition, the flipped nature of this activity allows me to work with them on problems as opposed to a lecture format where I would have much less time for that. From past experience, many of them typically could not do the problems independently outside of class."

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