What is Flipped Instruction? Theoretical and Practical Foundations

Trend or not, the growing desire for college instructors to “flip” their courses is a good sign for teaching in higher education. It indicates a burgeoning belief that the traditional design of the college course is overdue for change, and that a lecture-based format should be enhanced or extended with more active, participatory, or project-based pedagogies. Combining these pedagogical beliefs with the capabilities of emerging technology has led to the development of what many call “Flipped Instruction,” a loose term that covers a range of teaching and learning strategies. It is precisely this range of strategies that makes flipping a nebulous idea for many instructors. In this post, we pose answer to the commonly asked question- what is flipped instruction?

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Encouraging “Growth Mindset”

Students are more likely to be motivated to learn and resilient in the face of obstacles, if they have a ‘growth mindset’. According to Carol Dweck, a Stanford University professor, all of us fall somewhere on the continuum of fixed and growth mindset. The people with fixed mindset believe they have an innate unchangeable ability that leads to success while people with growth mindset believe that talents and abilities can be developed through effort, training, learning from experiences, and persistence.

Williams from Harvardx, Dweck and many others have studied the effect of classroom interventions that introduced the concept of growth mindset and neuroplasticity to high school students as well as undergraduate students. It is important to incorporate these brief socio-psychological interventions in the classroom in addition to the semester long engagement with the concepts in different disciplines, as they generally have a long term effect on academic success.

Listen to Dweck summarizing her team’s research in this video on Growth Mindset. In this Ted talk she focuses on ways to give feedback on assessment to cultivate growth mindset. For more information on effects of brief session long socio-psychological interventions that address students’ motivation and beliefs about their ability, read a review of research by Yeager and Walton: “Social-Psychological Interventions in Education: They’re Not Magic”.

PERT, Project for Education Research That Scales, creates and evaluates resources that instructors can use to help their students become successful learners. PERT offers a lesson plan to teach students about Growth mindset. The lesson plan is targeted at high school students but has a lot of resources to help you adapt it to your specific audience. PERT is also a good place to explore for yourself the concept of mindset and the way it affects student success. If you would rather create your own short activity for your students, here are some videos that can work as your base material:

If you would like to incorporate learning from this research in your course next year or would like to study the effect of such intervention in your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact us at itg@brown.edu

MOOC Research by CIS staff member Devayani Tirthali published

Devayani Tirthali, Instructional Designer with Academic Technology, CIS has had 2 articles published relating to research she conducted with colleagues from Columbia University on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Her first article “Why do Institutions Offer MOOCs?” co-authored with Fiona M. Hollands, Teachers College, Columbia University was published in the October 2014 issue of Online Learning, a Journal of the Online Learning Consortium (Formertly JALN). By reviewing the literature and interviewing 83 individuals knowledgeable about massive open online courses (MOOCs), the article presents the authors’ investigation into the goals of institutions of higher education that are currently developing and delivering MOOCs.

Devayani’s second article also co-authored with Fiona Holland was published in the November 2014 issue of IRRODL (The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning). “Resource requirements and costs of developing and delivering MOOCs“. In this article, the authors address what institutional resources are required for the development and delivery of MOOCs, based on interviews conducted with 83 administrators, faculty members, researchers, and other actors in the MOOCspace. Additionally they used the ingredients method to present cost analyses of MOOC production and delivery at four institutions.

“These articles were based on the report “MOOCs: Expectations and Reality” published in May 2014. “

Devayani would be happy to discuss her research with those who are interested. You can contact her at devayani_tirthali@brown.edu.