Fall 2013 Mini Course: Flipping-“A New Generation for Active Learning"




Inversion or flipping is becoming a popular pedagogical approach in STEM fields. In its simplest form, flipping reverses lectures and out-of-class elements; i.e., all “direct teaching”: (or lecture) is viewed prior to class, devoting in-class time to true engaged learning by students. In theory, students become more accountable for their learning and the instructor becomes an active coach in teaching STEM.

This CIRTL mini course will explore many aspects of flipping or inverting the classroom by actually utilizing a flipped model with participants. In essence, one or more short videos will be prepared for participants to view prior to the session (i.e., at least two weeks prior). Participants will then submit questions to the panelists (i.e., one week prior). Panels would then provide their reactions and provide more specific examples to the participants’ questions.

The mini course will consist of four Sessions:

Session One: Overview

Session Two: Technologies and Logistics

Session Three: Evaluation

Session Four: Active Learning

Each Session will take place over the course of three weeks; students watch the video(s) in Week One of each session, prepare questions in Week Two, and participate in a panel presentation in Week Three.


  • Instructor: Dr. Mary Besterfield-Sacre; Associate Professor and  Director of Engineering Education Research Center
    Facilitator: Janet L. Littrell, Director of Distance Learning at Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
  • Duration of course: 9/4/2013-11/20/2013
  • Synchronous 1-hour meeting times: Tuesdays, 1:30 ET/12:30CT/11:30MT/10:30PT (every third week beginning Tues. Sep. 17. (9/17,10/8, 10/29, 11/19)
  • Credits: None
  • Course Type: Mini-Course (Full course will be offered spring 2014)
  • Open To: Early or advanced  CIRTL Network graduate students, post docs, academic staff and faculty
  • Format: Online Hybrid
  • Technologies: Blackboard CollaborateMoodle, E-mail.

Course Credit 

This is a non-credit bearing course.

Technology Requirements

 Synchronous sessions will use Blackboard Collaborate,a web-based virtual meeting room.  For these sessions, students will need individual access to a computer in a quiet location, a high-speed Internet connection, and audio and video capabilities. Information on specific hardware requirements for CIRTL courses can be found on the Course Equipment page.

Blackboard orientations will take place every 1st Monday and 3rd Thursday of each month in BBC Room 2 at 3:00ET/2:00CT/1:00MT/12:00PT. The dates are as follows: 8/5/, 8/15, 9/2, 9/19, 10/7, 10/17, 11/4, 11/21, 12/2)Additional orientation sessions will be conducted on 9/3, 9/12, 9/23 at 12:00ET/11:00CT/10:00MT/9:00PT in BBC Room 2.

Asynchronous activities including assignments, and discussions will be carried out in Moodle, a course management system. A username and password for the CIRTL Moodle site will be provided prior to the start of the course.


Courses are open to students who are in a STEM & SBE field and from a CIRTL Network institution.

Once registration begins, we will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis with students from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), SBE (Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences), and Network institutions given priority. Though registration is first come, first served, we will not accept more than three applicants from each institution per course in order to accommodate as many institutions as possible. All applicants will be informed by email about their enrollment status as soon as the course fills, but no later than August 29.

View a sample of the course registration form.

Enrolled Students

Information for enrolled students is available on the Course Preparation Checklist and the Student Resources page.


We strive to be inclusive of anyone interested in participating in our activities, programs, and courses. If you have specific accessibility needs, please let us know in advance so that we may make the necessary accommodations.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this course, contact Robin Greenler: rgreenler AT wisc.edu

Fall 2013 Course Flyer