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Friday, June 19 • 10:45am - 11:15am
CON12.01 - Flexible classroom trends in Biology: Promoting active learning with appropriate supportive scaffolding – the BioFlex approach

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As part of the Flexible Learning Initiative (FLI) at the [University of British Columbia], two of the first-year Biology courses were transformed to a semi-flipped classroom format. The goal of the FLI is to promote deeper conceptual understanding in Biology, along with an emphasis on relevant and rewarding learning experiences in the classroom (Bergmann & Sams, 2014, Freeman, S., et al., 2011, Hamdan, N., et al., 2013, Strayer, 2012) . A variety of content delivery methods were introduced to make the flipped classroom approach feasible and sustainable (Taylor, J., et al., 2010). A major part of the in-class time is devoted to group work, problem solving and discussions that are supported with timely and appropriate scaffolding. The in-class activities were designed to include mini lectures, group activity, intermittent follow-ups for the group activity, and at the end a final check-in to summarize and conclude the activity, as a way to help students make meaning of the activity and learn from the experience. The success of our approach in the first year courses was systematically assessed using validated concept questions as pre- and post-tests. Pre- and post-surveys on student involvement, motivation, and engagement were also used to document student perceptions of the approaches being implemented. Lessons learned from the transformation of the two large enrolments, multi-section, 1st year biology courses, are informing similar transformation of 2nd year and other upper-level courses in Biology. Data from the assessments of the project, our triumphs, and our challenges will be shared in the presentation.


Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2014). Flipped learning: Maximizing face time. Training & Development, 68(2), 28-31. https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2014/02/Flipped-Learning-Maximizing-Face-Time 

Freeman, S. Haak, D, Wenderoth, M. P. (2011). Increased Course Structure Improves Performance in Introductory Biology. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2011 Summer; 10(2): 175–186. doi: 10.1187/cbe.10-08-0105

Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., McKnight, K., & Arfstrom, K. (2013). A review of flipped learning. Retrieved from http://www.flippedlearning.org/cms/lib07/VA01923112/Centricity/Domain/41/LitReview_FlippedLearning.pdf

Strayer, J. F. (2012) How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation and task orientation. Learning Environments Research 07/2012; 15(2):171-193. doi: 10.1007/s10984-012-9108-4

Taylor. J. L., Smith, K. M., van Stolk, A. P., Spiegelman, G. B. (2010). Using invention to change how students tackle problems. CBE Life Science Education 2010 9: 504-512. doi:10.1187/cbe.10-02-0012

Friday June 19, 2015 10:45am - 11:15am PDT
Bayshore Salon D

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