Whether you're wondering what the "flipped classroom" conversation is all about, or you've been flipping your own classes for years, you'll find helpful resources on our new pages on "Flipping Your Class."

The most common definition of a flipped class is one in which conventionally out-of-class activities are swapped with conventionally in-class activities. In many courses, a traditional model involves content-delivery during lecture followed by student practice at home. In a flipped model, students are introduced to course content before class, and classroom instruction time is used to guide students through the kinds of practice and skill-building opportunities that traditionally were assigned as homework.

Our new pages are focused on helping you determine what such a shift--which, depending on your current practice, might be subtle or radical--might look like in your classes. And we emphasize that flipping can make great use or no use at all of instructional technologies. Key topics these pages focus on include:

We also answer some commonly-asked questions about flipping. As always, if you have additional questions that aren't answered on these webpages, you are welcome to schedule a consultation with a member of the CRLT staff. 

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CRLT is accepting applications through February 24 for the May Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Seminar, which interested graduate students can learn more about here. In this guest post, American Culture PhD candidate Mejdulene B. Shomali reflects upon her experiences in the seminar last spring.

Although I can hardly believe it, in a year’s time, I will be applying for academic jobs and preparing to defend my dissertation. When I began my graduate program in 2009, I remember thinking I would never survive my preliminary exams. When I achieved candidacy, I remember thinking the dissertation was an immaterial dream. Now, one chapter away from completing what I thought would be an impossible document, I found myself wondering how my chosen academic communities will receive me. Will I be selected for interview? Will I make campus visits? Receive offers?

While these matters are terrifyingly out of my control, my anxiety today is very different than it was at the beginning of the PhD and after achieving candidacy. Now, my worries focus on those elements truly beyond my control (the jobs available, the increasing pool of competitive applicants, and the complex decisions of selection committees). Participating in the 2013 Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Seminar allowed me to ease into the reality of finishing my degree and gain a stronger handle on those matters that I can control: how to prepare a teaching philosophy, how to craft compelling syllabi, and how to teach more creatively and effectively.

I would encourage anyone who feels mystified by the process of job applications and unsure of how to navigate the non-research elements of their academic career to participate in the 2014 PFF Seminar. PFF, like graduate school, is a brief but intense period of growth for students as they prepare to complete their graduate work and move on to the next phase. PFF gives participants breathing room to think in concrete ways about their future: At what kind of institution do you want to work? What kinds of classes are you prepared to teach? What strategies can you employ to navigate an academic job search and the demands of an academic career? And while it might be a scary question, PFF also provides an opportunity to ponder whether you want an academic position at all. Read more »

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How can we help students be better participants in Forums and other online discussions?  How can learning analytics assist instructors in designing better questions, managing time, and optimizing in-class interactions? What do we know about student learning outside of the classroom at U-M, and how can we use that knowledge to create better bridges with in-class practices? 

These are some of the questions explored by the February Student Learning and Analytics at Michigan (SLAM) presentations. Open to U-M faculty, staff and students in any field, these lunchtime talks focus on ways to improve teaching and learning through innovative use of data about students, courses, and academic programs.

Featuring both Michigan faculty and visiting experts who have devised or utilized learning analytics tools to foster student learning, past presentations have featured topics ranging from student study practices to digital badging to MOOCsThe talks are sponsored by the Provost's Task Force on Learning Analytics, which was founded in 2012 to investigate the relationships between student preparation, teaching approaches, and student success in the classroom.  

This month, CRLT is hosting three SLAM events: Read more »

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Earlier this month, CRLT bid an official farewell to our long-time Executive Director Connie Cook, who has led the Center for over 20 years. On January 9, hundreds of U-M teachers and administrators gathered in the Michigan League to honor Connie and celebrate her array of impressive accomplishments at the head of CRLT.

Among the achievements highlighted in remarks by Mary Sue Coleman, Martha Pollack, and Lester Monts were Connie's contributions to developing a culture of teaching at U-M, through CRLT's focus on diversity and inclusion in teaching, organization of Provost's Seminars on Teaching, and support of pedagogical innovation across campus. Speakers also noted Connie's key role in connecting U-M with higher education in China, where she has supported the development of dozens of teaching centers, as well as her national leadership in faculty development here in the U.S. Connie will begin the new adventure of retirement on February 1.

Upon Connie's departure, CRLT will be led by Matthew Kaplan, in the position of Interim Director. Currently CRLT's Managing Director, Matt has been with the Center since 1994. A PhD in Comparative Literature, Matt is also nationally recognized as a scholar on teaching, learning, and faculty development, having published on topics including evaluation of teaching, technology and teaching, and the use of interactive theatre in faculty development. He, too, has been a leader of the national professional organizations for teaching center professionals. Here at CRLT, we're all excited to work with Matt in his new role!

 

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Recent student activism and statements on diversity from academic leaders have led many U-M instructors to focus new attention on inclusive teaching, seeking ways to ensure all students feel welcome and able to succeed in their classes, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. CRLT provides many resources to help you develop inclusive teaching strategies for your particular teaching context. To browse those, click on the 'inclusive teaching' tag below, or the 'Diversity and Inclusion' link at the bottom of any one of our web pages. 

In this blog, we focus on one strategy for creating an inclusive learning environment: encouraging productive student interactions in your classrooms, particularly when using small groups.

Some of the best in-class learning takes place in small group activities, which can be very effective for prompting all students to engage actively with the course material. Some instructors nonetheless have found that efforts to encourage active learning through peer interaction can sometimes exacerbate students' experiences of identity-based exclusion. This can be a real danger where groupwork is used spontaneously with little guidance or follow-through. If, for instance, an instructor casually instructs students to 'get into groups' and then turns her or his own attention elsewhere, many students who already feel marginalized in the class may find it easier to sit alone than to seek out peers to share with.

It's therefore important to deliberately form and carefully guide student groups, even when you're just using a brief informal peer conversation to get students engaged in thinking about a topic. What are some specific strategies for doing so? The following practices can help ensure that student groups are primed to include all students: Read more »

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