The Flipped Classroom Project III (2014-15)

To apply for participation in this project, please complete the online application.

Are you ready to Flip your Classroom?

If you’ve been wanting students to prepare better and work with more energy and focus in class, you might be ready. If you’ve been wanting to make your classes (large or small, graduate or undergraduate) more interactive, you might be ready. If you’ve ever wondered whether in-class lectures are the best way for students to learn, you might be ready. 

ITLAL and ITS are looking for a few more adventurous candidates for “Flipping the Classroom.” Applicants accepted for this project will receive technology support for mediatizing course content, as well as concise instructional and pedagogical consulting for rethinking what happens in the classroom. For those who complete the project and meet all the benchmarks, an account allocation of $500 for professional use will be made available. Activities for this round will start in December 2014, for full implementation in Spring 2015.

In a flipped classroom students cover the content on their own before class, using resources created or supplied by the instructor. These can be in a variety of media formats, such as videos created for this purpose (e.g., lecture capture clips), videos found or adapted (from TED, Khan Academy, YouTube), annotated PowerPoint presentations, traditional texts, or a combination of any of these. Class time is then transformed to focus on the application of content, problem-solving, and lots of instructor feedback on learning.

Examples from UAlbany faculty who completed the Flipped Classroom Project in Rounds I and II

  • Stephen Weinberg (Public Administration) made videos to allow students to review basic math concepts so that class time could be spent on simulations of markets, small group discussions of cases and readings, and small group brainstorming.
  • Gerald Marschke (Economics) posted lectures, readings, videos, and quizzes that students accessed online so that class time could be spent on problem sets.
  • Arlene Lev (Social Welfare) prepared course modules containing readings and videos that students watched before class so that important historical and cultural context could be addressed in in-class application activities.
  • Christine Gervasi (Biology) used videos to prepare students for their biology labs so that valuable lab time would not be wasted on basic explanations.
  • Marty Fogelman (Management) created PowerPoints with voiceover and illustrations so that class time could focus on interactions and assessing student understanding of concepts.
  • Karin Reinhold (Mathematics) created video lectures explaining concepts and demonstrating problem-solving so that students could spend class time working with concepts and practicing higher-level thinking.

Project Support

Successful applicants will receive funding, equipment and direct staff support to…

1) produce or collect and organize your content for students’ self-directed study (which may require you to learn a few tools)

2) develop in-class tasks, activities, and assignments to reinforce and assess learning,

3) manage the new student-professor and student-student dynamic, and ultimately

4) rethink your course design for flipping the classroom.


Based on their goals and needs, participants may receive software or hardware to support their project in December 2014 for use in developing instructional materials for Spring 2015. Participants will work with ITLAL and ITS staff to determine their needs and to identify appropriate technologies.

Steps toward Project Completion

Participants’ progress will be measured by reaching a series of benchmarks, as listed below:

(1) Complete the online application and make the case for why you are an appropriate candidate for this project by December 3, 2014. Accepted proposals will receive notification no later than December 5, 2014.

(2) Meet one-on-one with ITLAL and ITS staff in early December for needs assessment interview.

(3) Attend half-day workshops on December 11 and 15, 9:30am to 1:00pm OR 12:30 to 4:00pm each day. Lunch will be provided.

(4) Complete homework assignments prior to workshop and between the two workshop sessions.

(5) Consult with ITLAL and ITS staff during December and January regarding three sample lesson plans for completion before classes begin.

(6) Produce/develop corresponding course content (at least three lessons) to fulfill the self-directed study aspect of the flipped instruction.

(7) Consult with ITLAL and ITS staff regarding course syllabus at least two weeks before semester begins. (Specific date will be negotiated.)

(8) Allow for collection of student data (midterm survey) and have a classroom observation (by ITLAL or ITS staff) before mid-term of Spring Semester 2015.

(9) After implementation of flipped classroom principles, conduct a self-assessment and write a reflection statement, according to guidelines which will be provided by ITLAL and ITS.

Learning More about the Flipped Classroom Model

Some of the best iterations of the Flipped Classroom concept can be found in the work of Physics Professor Eric Mazur of Harvard (follow this link to see a video clip from his class), who “flips” the classroom using traditional textual or web-based explanations of concepts in physics. Mazur demonstrates how flipping the classroom allows him to use class time to assess student understanding and student ability to use targeted information. Another popular manifestation of the Flipped Classroom grew from the Khan Academy initiative. We strongly recommend that you take a look at the talk by Khan Academy founder, Salman Khan. The Khan Academy has created a valuable repository of instructional videos for many disciplines. Because of the Khan Academy’s popularization of representing content in videos, many people mistakenly think of the Flipped Classroom as the simple replacement of live classroom lectures with videotaped lectures or other videos downloaded from the internet. In fact, the Flipped Classroom is a more comprehensive instructional strategy that exploits the convenience of video clips, among other tools.

The Purpose of the Flipped Classroom is to…

…increase student learning by making information more accessible and cognition-friendly;

…validate the instructor’s expertise by using it where it counts most: in direct response to student work and thinking during class meetings;

…increase student-professor and student-student interaction during class time, even in large classes;

…create an environment where students are the primary, autonomous agents of their own learning;

…support a more personalized learning environment for students, who might work individually or in small groups during class.

 The Flipped Classroom is NOT…

…the simple replacement of face-to-face class meetings with videos and lecture capture, although videos and lecture capture may be among the tools and media being used;

…an online course, although online tools and strategies can certainly help in course management;

…an unstructured, free-for-all use of class time: in-class student applications, problems, cases and other learning tasks are carefully planned and managed;

…computer assisted instruction, although CAI as well as instructional video games could figure in the mix of tools, if your discipline warrants it and you can find the materials.

(Loosely adapted from Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie, The Flipped Class: What it is and What it is Not, Part 1;

To apply for participation in this project, please complete the online application.