More than 120 faculty and staff from the Five Colleges of Ohio and The Ohio State University convened at OSU’s Center for Languages, Literatures and Culture (CLLC) on November 16 for a day-long deep dive into “Flipped Classrooms: Way Beyond Lectures.” The colloquium offered participants hands-on opportunities to experience new technology apps and software to enhance engaged learning and language acquisition in the classroom. The gathering was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose major grant to the Five Colleges of Ohio and Ohio State has underwritten language enrichment programs and a just-concluded postdoctoral teaching opportunity at Ohio Five colleges for OSU language program graduates.
Flipped classrooms – which use class time for interactive assignments and group projects while delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom – promotes collaborative learning, allows students to work at their own pace, and enables students to review online lectures and exercises at any time throughout the course. Preparing online content relies on instructors’ capacity to select technology solutions for the classroom and know how to use them. Faculty members eager to learn more made flipped classroom technology the most-requested subject among those who participated in previous Mellon language colloquia.
Dr. Maite Correa, Academic Director of INTO CSU and Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Colorado State University, opened the colloquium in a plenary session highlighting the history and effectiveness of flipped classrooms, presenting her own classroom tracking that illustrated that all students, particularly those who may find language learning a challenge, benefit from the method. CLLC staff and faculty members presented an array of small-group sessions providing interactive experiences with programs including Zoom, VoiceThread, Flipgrid, Adobe Spark Suite, Padlet, HP, and virtual reality, along with one-on-one coaching sessions for interested participants. Project presentations by Ohio Five faculty highlighted team taught-courses in German and Spanish funded by the Mellon grant. Additional sessions in digital storytelling and by Dr. Correa expanded the discussion and understanding of teaching methods in the flipped classroom environment.
Approximately half of the day’s participants came to the session having taught a flipped classroom course. By the end of the day, 85 percent indicated in an online evaluation that they planned to use flipped classroom techniques in the near future.
“Five Colleges of Ohio and The Ohio State University Language Enrichment and Postdoctoral Program” Mellon Foundation grant continues through December 2020 and will include opportunities for multi-institutional collaborative project funding and an additional final colloquium.