Transforming the Traditional Lecture


Transforming the Traditional Lecture

This group is for anyone interested in brainstorming methods to convert traditional lectures to arenas of inquiry where active learning takes place. 

Members: 96
Latest Activity: May 14, 2015

I've provided a brief summary of a flipped class approach (CLIC) that facilitates the transformation of traditional lecture classes on the "CLIC and the need for active learning modules" page. Looking for lots of other ideas here... please add your own Pages and/or Discussions or just leave comments below.

Discussion Forum

Call for Active Learning Resources

Started by David Marcey. Last reply by Anjali Misra Jul 29, 2014. 15 Replies

Example resources that can provide raw material for active learning module development or, in some cases, ready-made modules are:, Project Merlot (…Continue


Started by David Marcey Dec 13, 2012. 0 Replies

Please add ideas for additional V&C resources in this discussion forum. Any help is greatly appreciated!Please list Resource Category (e.g. active learning, assessment, etc.), full title of the…Continue

a query for all PULSERS

Started by David Marcey. Last reply by David Marcey Sep 14, 2012. 8 Replies

Dear Fellow PULSE Community Members (PULSERS?),As you may have gleaned from my previous posts in this group, I view the cinematic lecture (cinelecture) as a means to transform the lecture hall into…Continue

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PULSE Fellow
Comment by Jung Choi on March 25, 2013 at 1:38pm

I just posted a blog with data about assessing my flipped classroom:

The short version is that student performance improved significantly on application/analysis questions, with no difference on recall questions.

Comment by Peter Mirabito on March 13, 2013 at 1:19pm

Thanks everyone for taking time to post comments and sorry for having only been an observer for so long.  I agree that students must buy in to the flipped classroom in order for it to succeed and that explaining why we are flipping it is needed to get buy in.  I think intro courses are the key in that they can set the standard for what happens out of class vs in class.  I've flipped a sophomore level genetics class and it blind-sides some students even though I spend time explaining whay I do what I do.  I think this is partly because it's their first experience (since high school?) with this type of instruction in college.  If intro biology was flipped, then students may learn that that is how things go in biology and just get on with the learning.  I'll be teaching a section of intro in the fall and will try it there as best I can given that there will be two other instructors teaching the other sections and the courses need to be similar.  I appreicate all the ideas on how to explain what we are doing to our students - thanks!

Comment by Tessa Durham Brooks on March 13, 2013 at 12:48pm

Sallie - I also appreciate your approach here, it's a bold move from my perspective!  I have used something somewhat related to justify changes to a flipped format in my upper level anatomy and physiology courses, but I start with learning outcomes for professional schools and the criteria that professional schools ask for on letters.  Students are surprised how little grades are highlighted in all of that information and the focus on critical thinking, communication, metacognition, and interpersonal skills.  We follow up that discussion with personal reflection and goal setting.  I have found that students are much more happy to embrace the challenge that comes with a flipped class when they know why they are doing it...  And in retrospect I think maybe it should have been more obvious to me that telling students WHY I'm challenging them to do things differently might make it more successful!  I would have loved to see your exercise in action, Sallie.  Thanks for sharing.

PULSE Fellow
Comment by David Marcey on March 13, 2013 at 12:13pm

@Sallie (How to feel less ridiculous) - LOVE this! thanks for sharing with the PULSE Community.

Comment by Sallie P Sheldon on March 13, 2013 at 11:50am

How to feel less ridiculous-

I was fascinated with the flipped lecture idea, but felt uncomfortable to just start it out of the blue.  So I built it into an assignment.

I started by explaining the background of the Vision and Change report, and its message to the rest of us.  Then I sent them to PULSE in general, then to the Transforming the Traditional Lecture page, finally David's presentation on flipped lectures.

 I asked students to wander around reading whatever they wanted.

 I then asked them to tell me what was the most interesting thing they read.

 Then I sent them to a "flipped" presentation with a web walk through for Punnett Square calculations.

 Finally an interactive site for playing with Punnett Squares.

 The responses to the "what was interesting" question were amazing.  Many students wrote a lot from "I didn't know you cared" to "My Biology teacher in high school did this", to paragraphs about how fascinating the whole PULSE site is.

I have linked the beginning of the Assignment ( hope this comes through)


PULSE Fellow
Comment by Jung Choi on September 15, 2012 at 10:01am

I flipped my large (250 students) intro bio class last fall and posted a few blogs about my experience:


recording lecture videos

Taking some lumps in the no-lecture model

Dear Student (why I don't want to lecture)

This fall will be my 2nd go at it, with some refinements, mainly additional scaffolding.

PULSE Fellow
Comment by Sharon Gusky on September 15, 2012 at 9:35am

I do somethng similar to Martin Zahn- I post the ppts and audio files of the lectures. I also require that my students complete homework questions on the reading material before we cover that material in class. This way when they come to class we can focus the lecture on the concepts they are having difficulty understanding. The lecture becomes much more interactive, students ask and answer questions and comment with their own ideas and experiences. It also "frees up'"  time so we can do active-learning activities which I intersperse between the 'lectures".

Comment by Martin Zahn on August 26, 2012 at 11:18am

Our college has not settled on a lecture capture system yet. It is difficult to get software loaded--only IT can do it and every class I teach is in a different classroom. We will get there eventually. My experience is that no matter how you decide to do it, the process will work well for some students and others won't be as satisfied.  At this point I am simply posting notes and recording the audio in lectures that I can then post on iTunesU. I like iTunesU because it is open to anyone and the files are small. Stuf=dents can load them on mp3 players and listen whenever convenient.  I would prefer to do a lecture capture--what is on the screen plus voice. I don't think my students don't care if they can see me.

PULSE Fellow
Comment by David Marcey on August 25, 2012 at 3:51am

@Richard Cardullo,

It would be great if you could post those initiatives as soon as they are available online!

PULSE Fellow
Comment by David Marcey on August 23, 2012 at 7:12pm


I attended a flipped classroom meeting in Chicago in June. It was mostly populated by secondary school teachers....very few higher ed folk. The flipped approach using cinelectures (CLICing) is sweeping the K-12 community. I think it will benefit post secondary STEM education immensely. Let us know how your son likes it.



If you are an undergraduate life science educator, department chair, or administrator, we invite you to join PULSE and make your department a model of Vision and Change in undergraduate life science education!



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