Physics eAcademy Summary

Course:  Phys 131/133, General Physics

pomona physics summary shot

Model:  Flipped Classroom
Lead Faculty:  Homeyra Sadaghiani, Associate Professor of Physics
Dates:  July 29-31, 2013
Faculty Participants:  19 from 5 CSUs

The Design:

This two-and-a-half-day eAcademy focused on teaching Physics using smartPhysics in a Flipped Classroom model, adaptable to hybrid and online approaches.

The first two days were largely devoted to the presentation and exploration of the Flipped Classroom model, which was introduced by Professor Homeyra Sadaghiani, who also presented the rationale for the model and evidence of its success.  Joining this eAcademy were Tim Stelzer and Mats Selen, physics faculty members from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, leading the smartPhysics project.  smartPhysics involves creating multimedia materials that can be used in flipped classroom instruction as well as a prototype device for an interactive virtual lab system.  They engaged the participants in activities demonstrating smartPhysics and worked with them on how the materials could be customized to different course needs.  Second day activities included discussion of interactive strategies to engage student learners, addressing issues in implementing a flipped classroom design with smartPhysics, sharing effective classroom strategies in a flipped environment, and demonstration of interactive online laboratories.

Campus Provided:

Dr. Sadaghiani and Dr. Victoria Bhavsar, Director of the Faculty Center for Professional Development, as well as the two invited faculty from the University of Illinois, made presentations and led discussions on the key topics related to flipped classrooms, technology tools and materials, and pedagogical changes in this environment.

CO Provided:

The Chancellor’s Office staff introduced the context of the Proven Course Design eAcademies, with their goals. These included presentations on accessible syllabi and universal design; effective blended and online teaching (QOLT); student learning outcomes; alignment with assessment; Affordable Learning Solutions and textbook alternatives; and the capabilities of Learning Management Systems for learning analytics. They also introduced the Professional Learning Communities to follow the eAcademies and the use of Blackboard Collaborate for effective virtual meetings.

Selected Participant Recommendations:

  • More boot camp type exercises where teachers try using techniques as though they are teaching in the classroom (as opposed to tutorials to set up software infrastructure).

  • Include the opportunity to work with colleagues at home institution to discuss/explore what institution specific implementation would look like, with guidance from those who have done it before.

  • More time on in and out-of-class tools to help students learn:  more interested in broad discussion than the specifics of the software.