Free webinar on “The Flipped Classroom” coming soon!

Interested in the “flipped classroom” concept? Blended/hybrid learning? Maybe you would be, but don’t know much about it?

Check out this free webinar provided by Inside Higher Ed on Thursday, May 8, 2014, 1:00 PM CDT. I’ll be there!


Thursday, May 8, 2014 1:00:00 PM CDT – 2:00:00 PM CDT
The idea of the “flipped classroom” has taken off in higher education in recent years – and it is used to describe a wide variety of teaching styles. What they have in common is that they largely replace the lecture. For material that might have been delivered in lecture format previously, online instruction is provided in advance of the class. This allows for time in class to be used in different ways – group work, discussion and other forms of highly engaged participatory learning become the norm. 
Discussion of the flipped classroom thus is a mix of teaching with technology – and teaching without technology. It’s about pedagogy, learning and the role of the instructor. And in an era in which educators and policy makers alike want to promote student learning and achievement (not just showing up in class), the flipped classroom has become a key strategy.
In this FREE WEBINAR, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman explore a range of ideas and opinions about the flipped classroom.

Read up before you participate! Visit to download "The Flipped Classroom," a compilation of news articles and opinion essays, the latest in Inside Higher Ed's series of booklets on hot issues in higher education. 

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Flip the course… flip the student? Part 3

"Feel the confident self-efficacy flow through you, you will"

So, loyal readers, if you’ve gotten this far in Robert Talbert’s blog series in “Casting Out Nines” about his flipped calculus class, you’ve got a sense of his larger motivation — he wants his students to not just learn math, but to develop as independent learners — as well as the theoretical commitments of “self-regulated learning” (SRL) that informs his pedagogy. Of course, it’s unreasonable to expect a novice in any new area of inquiry to figure out everything on her own outside of class without assistance. We teachers are still necessary, after all.

Talbert’s approach to scaffolding self-regulated learning, the notion of “Guided Practice,” is a recurrent concept in the literature on SRL. While the burden for deploying the learned content shifts from teacher to student, the teacher provides guidance in the form of objectives and suggested alternative approaches that enable the student to take primary ownership of the learning without losing direction (and therefore confidence and a sense of self-efficiacy).

Talbert also considers the tricky matter of assessment: how can we know if students are becoming more self-regulated learners as a result of flipped class pedagogy?


The inverted calculus course: Using Guided Practice to build self-regulation

March 4, 2014, 2:59 pm

By Robert Talbert

This post continues the series of posts about the inverted/flipped calculus class that I taught in the Fall. In the previous post, I described the theoretical framework for the design of this course: self-regulated learning, as formulated by Paul Pintrich. In this post, I want to get into some of the design detail of how we (myself, and my colleague Marcia Frobish who also taught a flipped section of calculus) tried to build self-regulated learning into the course structure itself.

We said last time that self-regulated learning is marked by four distinct kinds of behavior:

  1. Self-regulating learners are an active participants in the learning process.
  2. Self-regulating learners can, and do, monitor and control aspects of their cognition, motivation, and learning behaviors.
  3. Self-regulating learners have criteria against which they can judge whether their current learning status is sufficient or whether more learning needs to take place. (And then they take initiative to close the gap, if it exists, because of #2.)
  4. Self-regulating learners select learning activities to serve as mediators between their learning goals and their own personal environment and circumstances.

This is really the vision that I have for each one of my students – that they would eventually become this kind of learner, and that when they take a class with me, the class moves them incrementally toward being a self-regulated learner. In fact I’ve come to believe that the end goal of all of higher education is to produce self-regulating learners.

I also said last time that the inverted/flipped classroom is an ideal setting for working on self-regulated learning behaviors because of its emphasis on independent acquisition of new content prior to class. While I think the real magic of the flipped classroom takes place in class, when students are working together on difficult problem solving tasks, it’s in the pre-class phase of the flipped design that the best chance for developing self-regulation happens. So one of the main design goals of the course was to build a recurring form of pre-class activity that not only leads students through new content but also explicitly builds basic skills pertaining to self-regulated learning. That role was filled by what I call Guided Practice.

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Flip the course… flip the student? Part 2

OK, so in the first post on this thread Robert Talbert of Grand Valley State University described the rationale behind flipping his calculus classroom: responding to the paradoxical situation in which students who are capable of learning independently (with guidance) have been convinced that they can’t without significant top-down intrusion by teachers.   Paul Pintrich’s theory of “self-regulated learning,” discussed by Robert Talbert in this second piece of his series in the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s “Casting Out Nines” blog (did you see part 1?) — is one I find exciting, and hope to pursue further.

It reminds me of my thin experience with Marcia Baxter Magolda’s theory of self-authorship, a framework of personal development through which maturing students move from having others drive their self-definition to becoming active agents in defining their own lives.

Self-authorship is a much bigger concept than  self-regulated learning, but it seems reasonable to recognize how helping students develop the latter can help them on the longer, more complex journey toward the former. What the two concepts have in common is enabling students to exercise more independent agency. Of course, this is often a scary proposition for our students, which means we need to scaffold it for them. Here’s where Talbert’s discussion of self-regulation through “Guided Practice” comes in. Enjoy!


The inverted calculus course and self-regulated learning

March 3, 2014, 9:00 am

By Robert Talbert

A few weeks ago I began a series to review the Calculus course that Marcia Frobish and I taught using the inverted/flipped class design, back in the Fall. I want to pick up the thread here about the unifying principle behind the course, which is the concept of self-regulated learning.

Self-regulated learning is what it sounds like: Learning that is initiated, managed, and assessed by the learners themselves. An instructor can play a role in this process, so it’s not the same thing as teaching yourself a subject (although all successful autodidacts are self-regulating learners), but it refers to how the individual learner approaches learning tasks.

For example, take someone learning about optimization problems in calculus. Four things describe how a self-regulating learner approaches this topic.

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Flip the course… flip the student? Part 1

When I first got into course flipping with blended learning pedagogy, I was certainly interested in doing more with higher-order activity on Bloom’s taxonomy in the classroom — if student knowledge of content was engaged pre-class, then we could devote our time together to practice in application and critical analysis exercises.

But this stuff can go philosophically deeper, to more fundamental learning outcomes for students that can transfer beyond my discipline to student learning practices in other courses.  Robert Talbert, a mathematician at Grand Valley State University, has been discussing his experiment in flipping his calculus class in the “Casting Out Nines” blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education. His motivation is one that most of us have been pained to experience: otherwise smart kids who can learn new things and make independent decisions choose not to — because they are convinced they can’t. Especially at earlier developmental levels, our students prefer to be spoon-fed because they perceive that it’s easier… and they further perceive (erroneously) that they aren’t learning if they struggle through something that is difficult.

Talbert doesn’t want his students to give in to that misconception — and has redesigned his class to advance the larger mission of developing his students as “self-regulated learners.”


The inverted calculus course: Overture

January 27, 2014, 7:55 am

By Robert Talbert

As many Casting Out Nines readers know, last semester I undertook to rethink the freshman calculus 1 course here at my institution by converting it to an inverted or “flipped” class model. It’s been two months since the end of that semester, and this blog post is the first in a (lengthy)  series that I’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks that lays out how the course was designed, what happened, and how it all turned out.

Let me begin this series with a story about why I even bother with the flipped classroom.

The student in my programming class looked me straight in the eye and said, “I need you to lecture to me.” She said, “I can’t do the work unless someone tells me how to get started and then shows me how, step by step.” I took a moment to listen and think. “Do you mean that you find the work hard and it’s easier if someone tells you how to start and then what to do?” I replied. “Or do you mean you just can’t do anything unless someone shows you?” “I mean I can’t learn without someone showing me,” she said.

What a failure – not of the student, but of the way we “educate” students.

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