Flipped for the Sciences

2:00pm - 3:00pm EST November 13, 2013

What value might the technique of “flipping” a classroom hold for the sciences? More and more faculty are experimenting with a “flipped” classroom approach – assigning what they traditionally addressed in class as homework and preserving class time for assignments that students previously tackled outside of class. Join two chemistry professors as they share their experiences from flipping their chemistry classes. (Times EST)

What is motivating the growing interest in the “flipped classroom”? Concerns about the accessibility and affordability of education and the rise of MOOCs drive part of it, but there is also a genuine curiosity about the pedagogical value of restructuring class to optimize learning for the 21st-century student. Faculty in the liberal arts and sciences have been “flipping” their classes long before it became a pedagogical trend. Nevertheless, emerging technologies are presenting new possibilities for how classroom content is delivered. These new tools coupled with students’ ever-evolving preferences for how they engage with content are prompting faculty to examine how they might most effectively allocate classroom content and assignments. For instance, video segments of content that might have previously been conveyed in a lecture are providing students a chance to review the content as many times as are necessary for comprehension. Does this then lead to more productive classroom discussion? If you are designing a flipped classroom in the sciences, how do you discern which assignments belong in class, which belong outside of class and which technologies add the most value to your students? Moreover, how do you rethink your own role? Join Maha Zewail Foote, professor of chemistry at Southwestern University, and Steven Neshyba, professor of chemistry at University of Puget Sound, as they share what they learned from flipping their chemistry classes.

Recommended Reading

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

Seminar Leaders

Maha Zewail Foote is a professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.  With the help of a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South, she worked through many pedagogical and technological strategies to develop blended learning modules that flipped her general chemistry classes in ways that engage students and increase teacher-student interactions during class time. Her research focuses on the chemistry of photoinduced DNA damage and drug-DNA interactions, an example of which was the paper she co-authored, “A sequence-specific threading tetra-intercalator with an extremely slow dissociation rate constant”, published in Nature Chemistry in 2011.

Steven Neshyba is a professor of chemistry at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He is interested in modern computational and online technologies not only as pedagogical tools, but also as a growing component of a contemporary undergraduate skill set. He has been exploring these ideas through flipped computational guided inquiry modules in his General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry courses. Neshyba’s research at Puget Sound focuses on the physical chemistry of clouds.

Event Hashtag

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Those interested in exploring techniques and technologies that could be used in any science class should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Monday, November 11. 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 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.