Private: Grant Enabling Researchers to Pioneer Flipped Classrooms

Cynthia Furse

Cynthia Furse

Grant Enabling Researchers to Pioneer Flipped Classrooms

Utilizing a National Science Foundation grant, University of Utah Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Cynthia Furse and Marriott Associate Librarian Donna Zigenfuss will develop a free, online teacher training program for Flipped Classrooms. Highly innovative, Flipped Classrooms may significantly enhance STEM education by reversing the traditional teaching model. Students view lectures prior to class; in class, they are engaged in active problem-solving to complete homework.

Researchers believe this interactive, learning-centered approach ─ along with other hybrid teaching models ─ can boost learning and retention rates. The Utah State Legislature agrees, and has allocated $3.6M for their development. Similarly, the U and Salt Lake Community College have made major investments in multimedia training materials for Flipped Classrooms and other hybrid courses.

This collaborative research effort, conducted with Professor Holly Moore of SLCC, will present a 15-week Flipped Classroom online training course to professors and advanced K–12 STEM teachers. Enrollees will receive “just-in-time” training for guiding active learning, as well as creating and using video materials to concurrently lead their own Flipped Classrooms. Their experiences and feedback will help researchers solidify teacher training and best practices to support wide-scale Flipped Classrooms.

To maximize impact beyond Utah classrooms, finalized Flipped Classroom teacher materials will be accessible online with a creative commons license for reuse and adaptation globally. This will help early adopters, such as other U and SLCC faculty, adjust to Flipped Classrooms while supporting and encouraging traditional teaching professionals to explore new teaching methodologies.