Cornell Experiments With the Flipped Classroom
University in Ithaca, NY, is one of the latest higher
education institutions to explore the flipped classroom concept. As
the university's Active Learning Initiative (ALI), this past semester
3,000 students participated in the pilot program involving physics and
With the flipped classroom, traditional lecture
eschewed and students watch videos or read assigned material in
of the class instead. That gives instructors the opportunity to use
for what they are calling "deliberate practice," problem solving,
case studies and discussion.
The instructors are also using audience response
Poll Everywhere during class to gauge students' success at comprehending
"Ongoing assessment is a key element of active
Lisa Sanfilippo, a teaching support specialist at Cornell.
The ALI program is a five-year pilot project funded
alumni, Alex and Laura Hanson. Those involved in the initiative said it
every student: Advanced students are able to delve deeper into the
material than they might have otherwise, midrange students have more
to the material, and students who are struggling have the chance to
material at their own speed in advance of the class.
Although one semester of experience is not enough to
firm conclusions about the program, Associate Professor Julia Thom-Levy
would never go back to the old approach. Active learning is a game
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.