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Grants to Help Faculty Flip Their Classrooms
The University of Hartford has received a $222,958 grant over three years for "Flipping the Classroom: Increasing Depth, Engagement and Transfer of Learning in Undergraduate Education."
The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation, established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc.
This follows a recent $172,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, which allowed the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences to expand its library of course materials, prepare more faculty to use this approach, and assess the method's effectiveness.
"Flipping the classroom” describes an approach where the delivery of content is moved largely outside of the classroom, typically in multiple formats, including short videos, readings, interactive web activities, and mobile apps. Students can view the content as often as they like. Class time focuses on application of knowledge in the form of skill practice, problem solving, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, with the instructor there to facilitate, guide, and diagnose areas of difficulty.
In general, and at UHart, "flipping the classroom" has most often been practiced in the STEM disciplines. Faculty members in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences undertook a complete revision of calculus, using a flipped classroom model. The results have been encouraging as the department, in addition to receiving the NSF grant, has received national attention as one of the most successful in the United States based on a survey of undergraduate Calculus I courses by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).
The Davis Educational Foundation grant will focus on building a community of teachers and scholars who are willing and able to deploy the inverted classroom pedagogy, engage in systematic investigation of the effectiveness of their methods, and serve as mentors and role models for other faculty members in their departments and related disciplines. Over the three-year grant period, more than 20 faculty members from the sciences, engineering, education, the social sciences, and the humanities will implement this pedagogy in courses at all levels.