Yesterday, September 6, was Flip Your Classroom Day: A Global Initiative. The event was sponsored by the Flipped Learning Network. Educators worldwide pledged to flip a class yesterday (or any day). In honor of Flipped Day, I decided to start my new blog series on Flipping Anatomy and Physiology. Wendy Riggs has been blogging about flipping her A&P courses for a while and you might be wondering why I would blog about the same subject. The beautiful thing about flipping is that there is no single right way to do it. She and I have different approaches and I think our blogs should complement each other nicely.
My name is Elaine Kohrman and I have been flipping my Anatomy and Physiology courses for a little over a year. I’m an Assistant Professor of Biology at Somerset Community College in Kentucky and teach Anatomy and Physiology courses to Allied Health students. SCC’s campuses are in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and serve some of the poorest regions in the United States. Our students are often underprepared and many are the first in their family to ever attend college.
For my first five years I taught using the standard lecture format. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge of the subject immensely, but many students could not master the material. If I spent extra time explaining a concept to help every student succeed, I would run out of time at the end of the semester to cover all the content. Many students would memorize the facts without ever really understanding the concepts.
For the next few years I tried inserting discussion questions into my lectures to improve the depth of learning and engagement of my students. That didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, because the students who needed to be more engaged were not joining the discussions.
I started hearing about the concept of Flipping the Classroom and researched the topic extensively. Flipping seemed the perfect answer to improve student interaction with the material. I “drank the Kool-Aid” and completely converted my Anatomy and Physiology I class to a Flipped classroom. Now I’ve converted my Anatomy and Physiology II class as well and couldn’t be happier. I’ll never stop tweaking my classes, but I’m never returning to the old lecture format.
Over the next few months, I’ll share my version of flipping and I look forward to hearing your ideas.