This fall, Dr. K. Sata Sathasivan chose to flip his BIO311C class using a Team-based Learning (TBL) approach. In advance of class, students are responsible for reading from a textbook or watching online modules; both uniquely designed for this course. Inside the classroom, you won’t see Dr. Sata standing in front of the room giving a standard lecture with PowerPoint slides; instead students begin class asking clarification questions on the material covered outside of class. Afterwards, students receive an in class activity sheet with multiple choice questions and application questions. They work individually to answer the multiple-choice questions. Once the polling is closed, they are asked to discuss it with their peers and respond again for the same set of questions. Once the polling has closed for the teams, the results are shown and students explain their answers.
In order to better serve his students during this process, Dr. Sata and Vu Tran developed the virtual Tracking of Real-time Assessment in Classroom (vTRAC).
This classroom response system enables students to use a wide range of devices to enter their answers (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) with functionality that track where students are sitting within the class and how they answered a given question. This information enables Dr. Sata and the TAs to identify students who are struggling so they can provide assistance on the spot. The cumulative information vTRAC provides helps to identify students who are at risk of dropping, so the instructor can intervene early on to reduce QWDF rates. Flipping the class has resulted in significantly better student attendance, engagement, and exam performance.