The best part about flipped classrooms is that it frees up face-to-face time between students and the instructor. By opening the classroom dynamics to more of a workshop, Heikenfeld and his colleagues have created a two-way line of communication between themselves and their students, rather than acting as talking heads in front of the class.
“It’s like I’m able to personally tutor every one of my students,” says Heikenfeld. Orkwis echoes Heikenfeld’s claims stating, “We’ve seen students develop much more professional work earlier in their careers and do better on homework assignments.”
Another engineering education professor, Kathleen Ossman, PhD, also vouches for the inverted teaching style and shares her experiences, “We saw a significant increase in student performance and retention resulting from the inverted classroom approach. I would definitely advise other professors to consider flipping the classroom.”
Students of electrical engineering professor, Karen Davis, PhD give their firsthand account of the flipped classrooms, “The interaction with fellow students and the professor to solve difficult database problems is the most helpful and practical. I have never learned so much during class. It usually takes more effort for me to visualize and learn abstract concepts because I learn mostly by doing. This class caters to multiple types of learners including the people who learn by doing like myself.”
Another student was so enthusiastic about the course, they were sad to see it end, “I can't get enough of this class. I only wish it could be a bit longer, so we can tackle more problems.”
The students aren’t the only ones enjoying the innovative teaching process. Biology professor, Brian Kinkle, PhD, says flipped classrooms are actually, “more fun for the faculty member since most of the work is front loaded, it allows for more meaningful interactions with the students in class.”
In a traditional classroom, conceptually difficult material is hard to accurately relay. The professor’s main interaction with their students is during lecture in which the material is all still abstract. When the students leave class with an assignment, the concepts turn into tangible problems that demand heavy critical thinking.