Flipped Classrooms at Blackboard Faculty Day


Another successful Blackboard Faculty Day was held on September 23rd throughout the day. Over thirty faculty members attended workshops on flipped classrooms, the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program, and Blackboard Portfolios. The session that got the most attention was on Flipped Classrooms. Here’s a recap of what  was covered.

The ideal flipped classroom is student centered and provides opportunities for active learning as well as higher-order thinking. In these classes students do routine learning activities such as watching a video lecture, reading research, or completing knowledge check questions, outside of class. Class time focuses on interactions with experiments, lab work, peer-assisted learning, and demonstrations.

Blackboard Options to Help You Flip Your Classroom

Flipped classrooms have been a hot topic for the last few years, but many professors still don’t know how to take the first steps. Blackboard provides some simple options to help you start the flip.

  • Blogs and journals can be used by students to reflect on outside of class activities such as attending workshops or community events. Student blogs can be turned into shared project blogs where everyone in the class contributes what they learn.
  • Discussions boards are an easy way to poll students about their understanding of a topic. They can also be used to solicit ideas for in-class discussion or to let the class vote on what topics need to be reviewed in class.
  • Tests can be set up to provide specific feedback to students, allowing them to receive immediate remediation.
  • Rubrics can be used to show students clear examples of successful work. The rubrics can be set to be shown before or after an assignment is submitted. This allows them to be used as a guideline for students and a grading tool for professors.
  • Open Education Resources, such as the Lynda.com courses or materials shared through text book publishers, can add more chances for student practice or different perspectives on research.

Some William & Mary professors have expanded Blackboard’s reach even farther, incorporating social media like Twitter. A few exemplary classes have students contribute two tweets a week that link to a current event or news article. Using the hashtag for the class, the professor can quickly scan the tweets to get a sense of what the students are thinking about.

All of these features can also expand the reach of a traditional course. One of our religion professors holds a virtual test prep session using the Blackboard chat feature. Several of our professors use journals to have students keep a semester-long record of their readings or lab experiments.

If you’re interested in flipping your classroom or expanding the way you use Blackboard, you can always contact bbhelp@wm.edu or contact your Academic Technologist for help at any time!