College of Science
In a flipped classroom, the lectures are online, and class time is used for interactive work. Mason physics professor Amin Jazaeri, PhD ’07, flipped one of his classes last year “by sheer accident.” He received a grant to develop materials for an online course and was concerned about the effectiveness of the lectures he was recording. So he used the same lectures for his face-to-face class and used the in-class time for problem solving.
Jazaeri calls his blended learning environment LOGIC, which stands for Lectures Online, Group-work in Class. He has converted two introductory calculus-based physics courses to this format.
“Whenever we offer a course in LOGIC format, we make sure that the course is offered in other formats as well,” says Jazaeri. “So students who like the face-to-face lecture format can switch to that section.”
Students in his flipped PHYS 260 class admitted there was more work outside of class initially because you had to watch the lectures in addition to reading the textbook, but some said the homework went faster because they began it in class with Jazaeri walking them through it to be sure they understood the material.
At the end of the course, the students take a traditional final exam, and Jazaeri has been pleased with student achievement. “Overall student performance has improved tremendously,” he says. “The exam grades were up by 15 percent, and the level of understanding of the subject has risen.”
Jazaeri is constantly tweaking the classes. “The model that I developed constantly evolves based on student recommendations and faculty feedback.”