My name is Wendy Riggs, and I am an adjunct instructor at College of the Redwoods (CR), a two year community college in Eureka, California. I teach Anatomy, Physiology and non-majors Biology to primarily pre-nursing students. I’ve been teaching at CR for almost five years and every semester I find that I am adding some new approach or technique to my course with the goal of improving student learning. A year ago, when I received my teaching assignment for Fall 2012, I decided to “get crazy” and flip my class.
A flipped class takes place when students acquire content before coming to the “lecture” portion of a course, so that during the traditional lecture time, students engage in activities that promote deeper learning. While there are many ways to flip a class, my version of “the flip” involves students watching pre-recorded video lectures before coming to class. This frees up lecture time for activities that challenge students to review, apply, and synthesize the content they’d covered in the video lectures.
Today, one year after deciding to plunge into the flipped world, I’ve flipped a total of 3 different courses and I’m delighted to report that I would be hard-pressed to ever go back to a traditional approach. In this series of blog posts, I will talk about the process leading up to flipping a class (Riggs-Style), various issues I’ve had along the way, and then I will share my observations and experiences while flipping Human Anatomy (for the second time) this coming fall.