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Engaging Students With the Flipped Classroom Model: A Community of Practice

The deadline to register for this event ended on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 11:59pm.


Thursday, November 14, 2013
4:00pm - 5:30pm


WAL - Wallace (05),
TLT Studio (A400)

Event Contact

Michael Starenko


Sandra Connelly

Collaborate with your colleagues across RIT to develop a set of flexible Flipped Classroom tools and techniques that you can use in your classroom immediately that mesh with your teaching style and discipline. You will be working with Sandi Connelly, Assistant Professor, Gosnell School of Life Sciences, who has implemented innovative strategies to improve learning and retention in her classes – from small groups of majors to very large general education courses.

The Flipped Classroom model is based on the premise that students are responsible for working outside of class to learn and review concepts, and that in-class time is spent expanding and applying that knowledge. (To learn more about the model, see the associated "Teaching Element" and other resources at While the archetypal Flipped Classroom model (e.g. no lecturing in class) may not be a perfect fit for every instructor and discipline there are many tools that can be borrowed from the model and applied to just about any teaching and learning scenario. This Community of Practice will help you incorporate a variety of teaching and learning tools in to your classroom that will engage your students and will not be cumbersome (no “time sinks”!) in your course preparation.

Participants will meet in Fall semester 2013 and Intersession (TigerTermTM) 2014 to design at least three activities that they will implement in their classroom in the Spring semester 2014. The overarching goal of this Community is to help faculty link in-class activities with out-of-class requirements, such as watching videos, viewing web resources, or reading supplemental materials. These connections are critical to ensure the engagement of the students with all of the course materials, in and out of the classroom, and to reinforce the fundamental learning that should be occurring. Participants will be exposed to a range of Flipped Classroom activities that can be used on a regular basis (daily, if desired!) to aid learning and retention. In her classes, for instance, Sandi Connelly uses a host of activities, but will emphasize the ease of use of a few primary “go-to’s” that she implements on a weekly basis. These include:

  • “Convince Me” - Students develop communication skills with one another to convey their position on a topic. The instructor poses a question, without any discussion of the answer, and the students must come to a consensus as to what the right answer is, based on their knowledge from out of class materials. This can be used in classrooms of all sizes. Sandi has used it in classes of 30 majors and classes of 200 non-majors, with similar, very positive, results!
  • “Solve in 5” - Students work in small groups to solve a posed problem in 5 minutes or less. The problem is posed by the instructor and is tied to the assignment or materials that were provided outside of class.
  • “30 Seconds of Fame” - Students have 30 seconds to convey the point of the video that they viewed before class. This helps students focus on the primary message/objective from a video or animation that they viewed – a skill that is often very difficult for students.

Participants will choose from examples introduced at the first sessions, or others that they research, and share those ideas with colleagues to design specific materials and activities for the classroom.

Participants will then meet in late Spring semester 2014 to report on the outcomes of their activities and discuss the ways in which they would change the activities to better fit their classes in the future (if they would change anything at all!).

Community of Practice Goals:

  •  Explore techniques at use in Flipped Classrooms at RIT and other universities
  • Identify components of a course you’re teaching in Spring semester 2014 that might benefit from a Flipped Classroom “face lift”
  • Design outside-class and in-class learning activities that resonate with and can be easily incorporated into your teaching style
  • Assess the outcomes of those implementations
  • Re-design your tools, if needed, and try again!

Some of the benefits of participating in this Community of Practice include (but are not limited to!):

  • Getting ahead on your preparations for your Spring semester 2014 courses
  • Go in to your courses with already designed tools and techniques that will benefit your students – and you!
  • Experience lively discussions with your colleagues before, during, and after you “try something new”
  • Make connections to faculty across campus who are also “trying something new” – a Flipped Classroom support group!
  • Enjoy reserved seats in the two flipped-focused workshops offered during Intersession 2014; namely, The Flipped Classroom Model and Creating Effective Web-Based Resources (for more information and to register, go to
  • Enjoy reserved seats in other events associated with the Spring semester 2014 “Faculty are Flipping” series sponsored by the Teaching and Learning Studio (TLS)
  • Receive priority access to video recording equipment available from TLS
  • Obtain individual course design support from a TLS instructional design consultant

This learning opportunity is open to all full-time RIT faculty (lecturer, visiting, tenure-track, or tenured). Advance registration on this site is required. Because seating is limited, registration is on a first come, first served basis. All participants are expected to attend the following sessions:

  • Thursday, Nov. 14 (4:00 – 5:30pm):  COP Kick Off / Informational Session
  • Thursday, Dec 12, 10am – 12pm
  • Thursday, Jan 9, 10am – 12pm
  • Thursday, Jan 16, 10am – 12pm

Two additional dates for follow up and discussion in the Spring semester 2014 will be determined by the group and scheduled in March, April, and/or early May. There will also be an opportunity for participants to present their activities and results to the RIT community at the end of the Spring semester. Stay tuned!

If you would like more information about this Community of Practice, please contact Dr. Sandi Connelly at

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