As many colleges and universities transition to remote learning, faculty have adapted their courses and gotten creative with teaching materials. Many instructors are flipping the classroom by having students learn new material independently and coming together for questions, applications, discussion, and problem-solving. The “flipped classroom” method is a great strategy for when in-person teaching is not possible, and there are plenty of technological resources to support this methodology.
Technology in the Classroom
Some of today’s most popular technologies for the flipped classroom include:
- Video Content: By streaming video content on their laptops, students can watch a lesson or a lab procedure prior to (or after) class. They can come to a discussion prepared and be more engaged in conversation. Research has shown that video is a great tool for boosting confidence, improving test scores, and increasing retention levels. One Northeastern University professor helped her students become more engaged by integrating JoVE Science Education Biology videos into her course — she used them as pre-class assignments, projected them on screen during class, and assigned them for homework within her learning management system.
- Video Conferencing: These popular online communication tools have great potential in the traditional classroom and have become a necessity in our current learning setting. Teachers can deliver live or recorded lectures to their students, answer questions that come through the chat feature, and engage with students through interactive components such as virtually “raising your hand”. Educators could also shake up the rhythm of their classes by inviting guest speakers or specialists to provide their unique perspectives or share personal experiences.
- Learning management systems (LMS): An LMS is a software-based platform that enables the centralized management of courses and training programs. One of an LMS’ many advantages is that students can access all course materials and assignments from a single location. Many schools have implemented these systems and professors and teachers are adding more content than ever to their online pages for students to access from home. There are a variety of cloud-based systems that have special add-on tools. JoVE has worked to enable our content through these systems through our embedding capabilities, LTI connections, quiz bank importing, and common cartridge uploading.
- Virtual Labs: Without the option of conducting hands-on labs in person, lab managers and faculty are getting creative with ways to introduce students to laboratory methods and experiments. This not only involves showing the procedure in detail, but also having students process representative data so that they have a proper understanding of how to analyze the results if they were to do the experiment in the future. This adaptation on traditional labs is the best option available under the circumstances and can still provide students with a deep understanding of the processes and concepts behind the experiments which might be emphasized during an in-person lab.
- Modeling and presenting scientific processes: Student presentations have long been a practice in educational settings, as they allow students to explain to their peers concepts and take on the role of “expert” on a certain subject. One option that some faculty are taking is to have students make models or representations of labs, concepts, or processes using either online resources or household items. For example, a student could represent the process of a PCR by “making copies of DNA” with household items and timing intervals to represent the periods of heating and cooling of the thermocycler to explain why there are so many incomplete copies of DNA that are produced. They could then present this through a video conference or posting a recording to an online platform.
For any educators looking for online resources or support from JoVE, please reach out! We’d be happy to get creative with you on how to integrate our products into your online classroom during this period to maximize the impact of your teaching. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.