Category archives for Best Practices

Flipping learning by design: How to use cognitive science research to design flipped classrooms that help people learn best

The Fall 2016 edition of Leadership: Journal of Post-secondary Leaders just published a new article called Flipping by Design.  This article, written by me,  lays out some tips for integrating cutting-edge cognitive science into the design of a flipped classroom. In the piece, I call for a reframing of flipped classrooms based on a pervasive (and destructive) widespread lack of definitional clarity […]

Why Flipped Classrooms Fail Part 2

In Part 1 of this three part series, I propose one reason why I suspect some flipped classrooms fail while others succeed. [Go to Part 1: Why Flipped Classrooms Fail] Failure is a broad term and there are many ways a flipped classroom can fail.  The type of failure that causes the most tension for me is […]

Why Flipped Classrooms Fail

“I tried Peer Instruction and it didn’t work.”   As a champion of the popular flipped learning method developed by Eric Mazur, this phrase always hits me hard when I hear it from fellow educators. And I do hear it. Over the years, I’ve run into many different accounts of experiments in innovative teaching and flipped […]

How to flip your class with quizzes in 5 steps

Quizzes have long been used as a “stick” in education. Did you ever scramble at the warning from your own teachers during class,  “y’all better do your work…or else…I am going to give you a quiz!” Of course, most educators use quizzes for a more evolved reason. Rather than quiz as punishment, we use the mini-tests […]

3 ways to write effective questions

Ever wonder how to write Peer Instruction, clicker questions, or ConcepTests, or other item types that capture students attention in ways that help you share the wonderful world of the subject matter you are teaching? Check out my new post, “3 Tips for Teaching – Great Question Writing” on Teach.com to get 3 ideas for writing effective questions […]

Can you use Peer Instruction with just one concept?

Can you use Peer Instruction with just one concept? A biochemistry professor from Taibah University in Saudi Arabia raised this question during a recent virtual Peer Instruction training Professor Mazur and I worked on for 30 faculty. This question, in various forms, comes up often among teachers trying to innovate in their classrooms across the globe. […]

Peer Instruction For Computer Science – The Neighborhood

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD  The Neighborhood is a special  Turn To Your Neighbor series where we invite innovative educators from around the globe to discuss a variety of education topics.    In this post of The Neighborhood, three computer scientists who are leading the charge to transform Computer Science (CS) eduction with Peer Instruction (PI) answer common questions they […]

What is Peer Instruction…in 2 mins

In this post, I give a 2ish minute video primer on Peer Instruction and how to implement it with fidelity. The video has about 50 seconds of preamble and closing for 2.56 minutes total. This basic introduction includes a handful of quick tips for avoiding common pitfalls. Some key ideas introduced in the video for which […]

Peer Instruction 3.0 – When students do the teaching…with video

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD  The Neighborhood is a special  Turn To Your Neighbor series where we invite innovative educators from around the globe to discuss a variety of education topics.  In this inaugural post of The Neighborhood, five classroom teachers from across grade levels discuss what happens when students teach each other using video. This strategy […]

From Flipped Classrooms to Flipping with Peer Instruction

In a recent article on flipped learning in USA Today, Nancy Lape of Harvey Mudd College reports finding no statistical difference in students’ learning in a study comparing a “flipped” and a lecture-based classroom.  She states: “(The professors’) lives might be easier and their students might be happier if they just do a traditional class.” […]

Flipped Classrooms 101 – A self-paced, short course

You’ve all met the Boredom Monster. He’s that big blob lurking around our classrooms, poking students in the sides with his slimy fingers for attention and vexing us as we try with all our might to teach content in engaging and inspiring ways.  Flipped teaching can trap the Boredom Monster before he infiltrates your classroom […]

3 easy ways to use clickers and Peer Instruction in the Arts and Humanities

On June 3, 2013 I sat in a room at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany at a Turning Technologies User Conference.  The room was quiet as we listened to Christopher Wiley, the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the City University London and expert in musicology, explain how an off the cuff decision to use classroom […]

8 tips for transitioning to clickers when flipping your class with Peer Instruction

In a 2008 paper, physicist and former Mazur postdoctoral fellow, Nathaniel Lasry demonstrated a surprising result from a study on classroom response systems (CRS) in a Peer Instruction (PI) environment. Lasry’s result? Despite the rapid scaling of high-tech CRS, such as clickers, their use in his undergraduate physics classroom did not seem to influence learning outcomes over less-techy alternatives, such […]

A two minute video shows the power of using Peer Instruction to flip your classroom

Looking for ways to engage your students during class time in a flipped classroom? Something that addresses the wide diversity of preparation among students in your class and works to improve student achievement and  problem solving ability? Backed by 20 years of research, Peer Instruction is my favorite way to engage students in class when using a flipped […]

The 2 most powerful flipped classroom tips I have learned so far

Won’t students skip my class if my lectures are available online? This is a question that comes up often in the world of higher education, where class attendance is usually not compulsory.  One fine day early Fall of 2012, I took this question with me on my walk from my office in the University of […]

Learn to do something innovative inside your flipped classroom

“If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom.” John Medina, Brain Rules In a flip class, educators have dedicated a lot of attention and valiant effort to redesigning approaches to direct classroom instruction (e.g. lecture) […]

A simple out-of-class assignment that could have big pay off in a flipped class

Peer Instruction Network member Claire, a K-12 English teacher from Michigan, worries that far too many of her students are falling through the cracks.  She is looking for ways to reach them.  Could student-generated questions be one possible low-threshold intervention?  This post digs into this question.  However, if you are looking for a quick protocol for student-generated questions, […]

How to FLIP your class…in 4 basic steps

FLIP in 4 Steps Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no “ONE way to flip a class” (Bergmann, 2012).  However, after visiting flipped classrooms all over North America and talking with lots of teachers who have tried flipping across the globe, I have come to view the cycle of flipping as occurring through a […]

How to evaluate students’ effort on out-of-class work in a flipped class

Flipped classrooms require students to take responsibility for their own learning outside of class.  Our favorite method for motivating students to engage in out-of-class work is Just-in-Time Teaching. The method is remarkably flexible: We implement JiTT as follows, but you can hack our approach–that is make it your own–in a number of ways. 4 Steps to Implementing […]

Quick Start Guide to Flipping your Classroom with Peer Instruction

Ready to turn your students’ worlds right side up? Flip your classroom with Peer Instruction. Peer Instruction is the first innovative teaching method I tried the second time teaching my “big girl” course – a graduate level seminar on educational theory at Teachers College, Columbia University.   I had been working as a postdoc with Eric […]

Quick start guide to flipping your classroom using screencasting or lecture videos

On Your Mark, Get Set, FLIP! Are you thinking about flipping your classroom? There are lots of different, interesting ways to flip a class. One popular, entry-level approach to flipped teaching is to deliver direct instruction (i.e. lectures) outside of class, using pre-recorded videos covering content. Instructors then spend class time on activities that students would […]

100+ Quick Tips for Flipping Your Class

Flipped Tips: A Daily Tip Series on Teaching and Learning focused on Flipped Classrooms and Peer Instruction  Turn to Your Neighbor features quick, practical advice and ideas, in 140 characters or less, for flipping your class.   On this page, you can find a selection of those tips categorized. Tips are posted on Twitter daily using […]

Turn to Your Neighbor Turns 30,000 and Launches #flippedtip Series

A very big THANK YOU to all of our readers and members of the Peer Instruction Network! Turn to Your Neighbor was born on February 25, 2012. And today, we turned 30,000 hits old. Top Three Turn to Your Neighbor Posts The top three TTYN posts discuss flipped implementation with tips for promoting both out-of […]