Flipped Classroom

Martin Wielemaker

"The Media Lab helped me create my own videos. Teaching and Learning team members helped me create a polished D2L Brightspace interface, and showed me how to integrate different learning tools."

Martin Wielemaker, associate professor with the Faculty of Business at UNB Fredericton, uses various CETL resources to create the online materials for his students: "The Media Lab helped me create my own videos. Teaching and Learning team members helped me create a polished D2L Brightspace interface, and showed me how to integrate different learning tools. It was really nice to have this platform of people that you could talk to and ask advice from.”

Using education strategies like team-based learning, he challenges students to be driven and active learners. He credits CETL with helping him develop and learn about these strategies. “Method and research is so important, and I found that expertise at CETL,” says Wielemaker. One of his favorite classrooms is now the newly renovated Singer 161, which the CETL classroom services group helped to re-design to become a flexible active learning classroom. Students sit at 'islands' where they can work in teams on in-class assignments. There are also multiple whiteboards on the walls, so that each team can work on one to complete and then explain their work.

Wielemaker says that he always tries to make lectures exciting but one day he began to wonder if student engagement could be better. Wielemaker decided to ‘flip’ his classroom so that students would not only learn before and during their time in class, but also remember better after.  In ‘flipped’ classrooms, professors produce lecture videos for their students to watch in advance of a lesson. Class time is then spent on students practicing problems. Wielemaker says that a ‘flipped’ classroom model first seemed appealing to him after researching student engagement and active learning. Now, he enjoys having more time to listen to students and hear about the issues they may have.

The switch to a ‘flipped’ classroom came with a learning curve for both Wielemaker and his students, who were used to traditional lecture formats. However, he has since received positive end of year feedback from students about the change in class structure. He has also noticed a change in how his students remember. “Before when I would ask a question, a few hands would go up. After introducing active learning, the entire class is now engaged and is thinking about it.”

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