Rowley and Green

Title: Enhancing the student learning experience through lecture flipping

Project Leads: Natalie Rowley (School of Chemistry) and Jon Green (School of Biosciences)


Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University, has been pioneering in his use of technology and innovative teaching methods to improve the student learning experience.  This has involved a variety of methods including ‘lecture flipping’:

  • setting pre-lecture material to initiate the students' learning and use of the "Just-in-Time Teaching" approach (online assessment prior to the lecture to test the students' understanding and any areas of difficulty in advance of the lecture)
  • the traditional  lecture  is  then  replaced  by  an  interactive  teaching experience with a focus on problem solving and collaborative learning through "Peer Instruction" facilitated by the use of audience response sets (more commonly known as "clickers").

This approach has gained popularity in a number of Institutions around the world and is currently in use or being piloted in several UK HEIs, particularly in scientific subjects.  For example, this was highlighted by a CLAD-funded presentation in July 2011 given by Professor Simon Bates (currently University of British Columbia) entitled “Inverting the classroom: why we need to and how you might go about it.” Simon and his colleagues have continued to make significant advances in this area and have presented nationally on the benefits of such an approach. There is evidence that this approach increases student engagement, student satisfaction and improves their learning.

The applicants have been trialing the lecture flipping approach and related technology-enhanced teaching and learning as part of a CLAD funded project "Lecturing without Lectures" CSP055 (this project will reach completion in July 2013). Early findings suggest that the approach is popular with students and that they find the approach beneficial to their styles of learning. A cross- College workshop is planned for summer 2013. This current proposal builds upon our initial findings and will carry out a more thorough evaluation of the student learning experience as a result of lecture flipping and the various teaching methodologies upon which it relies (screencasts, Just-in-Time Teaching and Peer Instruction).