Can flipping your classroom boost your interest in teaching?

As instructors we are rarely evaluated by our colleagues. We go to our classes, our students learn from our lessons, and we go home with little interaction with our colleagues. However, if we are teaching in a flipped classroom and we make our online videos available publicly, we have opened ourselves up to evaluation from our colleagues. The realization that our peers can now see what we are doing may encourage us to put more interest into our teaching.

The following excerpt provides some more insight with respect to teaching medical students:

“… when a professor delivers a lecture to medical students, it is uncommon for any of her peers to be in the audience. They probably never even knew he or she was giving a lecture, much less whether it was any good. So it’s no mystery why many faculty, even those who say they enjoy and value teaching, hold themselves to a much less rigorous standard in teaching than in research. This isn’t to say that none of our med school faculty care about teaching — in fact, we have a wonderful contingent of faculty dedicated to educating med students. But in most cases, those who focus on teaching do so in spite of strong incentives to direct their energies elsewhere.

By contrast, the faculty working on our microbiology and immunology curriculum are subjected to the scrutiny of expert peers for every online lecture they create. As a student, it has been immensely satisfying to watch these educators strive to perfect their lecture videos before showing them to their peers, only to have the reviewing faculty member doggedly insist on making it clearer, more relevant, more concise, or more visually engaging. Even for educators who already tend to put considerable effort into their teaching, having peers appraise their work raises it to another level. This direct peer review of teaching (at least the online component) is made infinitely easier because online educational media can be readily accessed and reviewed by peer educators.”



About simoncrothers

I am an Australian who moved to British Columbia, Canada with my family in 1998. After completing my undergraduate degree in mathematics and computing science at Simon Fraser University, I moved back to Australia for several years. During this time I completed a Masters in Computational Mathematics and began my teaching career in mathematics at the University of New South Wales. In 2010, I moved back to Canada and taught computer science at Douglas College for three years. I am currently regular faculty in the Computer Business Systems department at KPU. I have also taught some courses in the Business and Quantitative Methods department at KPU. In my spare time I like to spend time with my wife Jami, who I met in Australia, our three year old daughter Lillian, and our newly born son Aiden. I also like to indulge in the occasional video game and I am involved in various self-employed web development projects.
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