Donna Colwell and Julia Nudel Flip the Classroom — Faculty Highlight


Left to Right: Donna Colwell and Julia Nudel

By Donna Colwell, Professor of English and Julia Nudel, Professor of Mathematics

Through the Teaching/Learning Academy (TLA), Professors Donna Colwell and Julia Nudel offer a professional development course focused on the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed — flipped!

faculty-insight-news-idHow the Flipped Classroom Works

In the flipped classroom approach, students view short video lectures or narrated presentations outside of class so that class time is freed up for exercises, projects or discussions. This allows students to apply the concepts and engage collaboratively in class as the professor guides their learning.

“The flipped classroom is a learner-centered approach that guides students to become more active learners, develops reciprocity and cooperation among students and incorporates formative assessments to both assess whether learning has occurred and inform students of their learning progress, thereby creating self-awareness of the learning process, which is very empowering,” said Donna.

Approach “Closes the Learning Gap”

In an effort to reach all learners, one of the strategic goals at Valencia is “Learning Assured,” and the flipped approach works to close the gap between learners at varying levels,” Donna explained. “The strategy scaffolds learning outcomes so that all students have an opportunity to build knowledge and understanding and ultimately demonstrate mastery of the course outcomes.”

With the online lessons, students can pause, rewind and review the material at their own pace, as often as needed, while the in-class active and collaborative learning activities alleviate the students’ fear of going it alone. In addition, it allows the instructor to create opportunities for remediation and advancement as needed to address students’ needs.

Strategy Empowers Learning

“Finding innovation ways — to not only enable students to learn course content but also feel empowered in their learning — is paramount to their success,” said Donna. “The flipped approach focuses on moving lectures and preparatory instruction outside of class so that the more challenging applications and demonstrations are performed in class with peer and instructor support. It is amazing how well this works! Both students and instructor are connected to the learning process in such a unique way.”

The flipped classroom is a learner-centered strategy that can be implemented in any discipline and is an innovative strategy to keep students actively learning and engaged.

“We will showcase examples of flipped classroom models adapted by faculty in various disciplines within the course, said Julia. “The participants will have a chance to develop their own flipped lesson and share it with their colleagues.”

For more information on the flipped classroom, contact Donna at or extension 1314 or Julia at or extension 1991. Visit the Office of Faculty Development website and search Flipped Classroom (LCTS2910) for course offerings.

1 Comment

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Thank you for bringing the innovative classroom model to our students.

    AMFri, 27 Feb 2015 07:38:23 +0000Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:38:23 +0000am15,7:38 am

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