The Flipped Project at Marquette

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[originally posted fall 2014]

About one year ago, I heard Gabriela Weaver present the results of a detailed study on the use of the flipped classroom in the majors chemistry course at Purdue. The course had been taught in the traditional format in fall, moving to the flipped format in spring with a different instructor, and the results overall were impressive. Her excellent seminar left me with two thoughts – first, that we should implement the flipped class at Marquette, and second, that it would be possible (and seemed best) to test the efficacy of the flipped class in a side-by-side comparison of lecture and flipped courses in our General Chemistry program. Thus began what I call the Flipped Classroom Project at Marquette.

And so, in spring 2015 I will be teaching two sections of our General Chemistry 2 course, one in a traditional format (to some 200 students at 8 am) and a second in a flipped format (to around 120 students). The students will be given common exams, and while students are self-selecting into the courses as I write, all of the entering students will have taken the first-semester ACS exam, therefore benchmarking their entry point. Already there is a bit of a “buzz” around the flipped class, as I piloted this concept in our off-semester Gen Chem 2 course (around 70 students) this fall, and the two courses seem about equal in popularity in early enrollment. In upcoming posts I will share my experiences this semester, and what I’ve learned in implementing the flipped classroom concept.

I would be thrilled to hear your suggestions on ways to implement this project so that the most meaningful data can be obtained, and any questions you might have. Thanks for reading!

About the Author
Dr. Reid is currently Professor and Chairperson in the Department of Chemistry at Marquette University. He received a B.S. degree from Union University (Jackson, TN) in 1985, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 1990 under the direction of J. Douglas McDonald. His interests in molecular spectroscopy and chemical dynamics led him to the University of Southern California, where he completed post-doctoral training under the direction of Hanna Reisler. He came to Marquette as an Assistant Professor in 1994, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000 and Professor in 2005. In 2004, he spent a semester at National Tsing Hua University (Hsinchu, Taiwan) as an NSC fellow, working in the group of Professor Yuan-Pern Lee. In 2010, he was awarded a Way-Klingler sabbatical fellowship, which he spent at UW-Madison and University of Sydney (Australia).