Lessons from a Flipped Classroom

2:00pm - 3:00pm EST November 6, 2013

The term “flipped classroom” has become both familiar and increasingly more nebulous as its legitimacy is appropriated by companies like Coursera, Udacity, and EdX to construct a market for pre-recorded video lectures. Critics argue that the flipped classroom shifts attention away from engagement with primary evidence, constructing learning entirely around pre-recorded lectures and replacing reading with viewing. Advocates, including our seminar leader, point to the variable ways that a “flipped classroom” can be designed and argue that a flipped class can allow for more attention to reading, analysis, and higher-order problem solving. This seminar will look at how we can incorporate the elements of the flipped classroom to enhance student learning as well as the quality of our instruction. It will also talk about some of the potential pitfalls and offer suggestions for avoiding them. (Times EST)

Faculty in the liberal arts and sciences have been “flipping” their classes—especially smaller classes—long before it became a pedagogical trend. There is nothing novel about asking students to prepare an assignment before class and then using class time for discussion and application of content rather than content delivery. However, recent attention to this method of teaching has given rise to a more deliberate and intentional approach to the flipped classroom. As well, the development of a range of technological tools, like student response systems, make it even easier to keep class time focused on student engagement and shift less important activities to outside of class. In many ways, this model of teaching is not so much about turning a class on its head as it is about encouraging faculty to reflect on how they allocate learning activities between class time and out-of-class time.

How do you discern which in-class activities, which technologies add the most value to your students? How do you rethink your own role in an intentionally flipped classroom? Join Jen Ebbeler, associate professor of classics at University of Texas at Austin, College of Liberal Arts, as she shares lessons learned from flipping her “Introduction to Ancient Rome” course. Whether you are teaching in the sciences, the humanities, or the arts, you can learn about Jen’s approach and share lessons from your own experimentation or ideas you are considering.

Recommended Reading

Please review and explore these resources to prepare for active engagement with your fellow seminar participants.

Seminar Leader

Dr. Jennifer Ebbeler is associate professor of classics at UT Austin and is currently working with the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin to develop its plans for an online curriculum of liberal arts courses. She has published widely on topics related to ancient letter writing, St. Augustine, and Late Roman cultural history. Her first book, Disciplining Christians: Correction and Community in the Letters of St. Augustine, studied St. Augustine’s use of the friendly letter to correct sin in the Christian community. In 2012, she redesigned her large-enrollment (400 students) “Introduction to Ancient Rome” class as a flipped class. Through trial and (much) error, together with the generous support of colleagues at UT and around the country, she has developed an effective and popular course. Currently, she is writing a book about the practice and politics of blended learning, tentatively titled “The Politics of Blended Learning: The Flipped Classroom and Beyond.”

Event Hashtag

Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on Twitter via this event’s hashtag: #NITLE


Those interested in exploring new technologies to provide content outside of class and engaging students in class should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Monday, November 4. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Georgianne Hewett at ghewett@nitle.org.

NITLE Shared Academics logoNITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.