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Check-It-Out @ ATSM Library Issue 2, 2013: Learning
Innovation News

Flip Your Classroom!

A post from the College and University Libraries Division of the Arizona Library Association (AZLA) blog follows a trend in maximizing face-to-face time by having students listen to lecture material prior to classroom interactions...

Flip Your Classroom

What does your library instruction session look like? Most academic library instruction sessions are a one-shot deal: usually an hour, hour and a half at the most, to give college students a quick crash course in basic research skills.

Your time with students is so limited. How do you know if they “got it” with little-to-no hands-on time? There might be a better way!

Many instructors, in libraries and out, are trying a “flipped classroom” model to make the most of their time with students:

A flipped classroom inverts the traditional educational model so that the content is delivered outside of class, while class time is spent on activities normally considered “homework.” For example, students may access instructional material through videos, podcasts or online tutorials before the class meeting. Then during class time, students work on activities which force them to apply what they have learned. (

I spend a lot of time in my instruction sessions demonstrating database use and citation shortcuts. If I’m lucky, there’s time at the end for students to do some searching on their own. Why not have students watch my lecture/do tutorials on their own time, and then dedicate class to hands-on practice?

Now, this teaching model does mean a potentially greater time investment for the instructor. For one-shot library workshops, the library instructor has to work closely with the class instructor to make sure students are prepared beforehand. Also, the library has to prep the tutorials and screencasts for students to watch, and has to maintain these materials to keep them current.

But the dividends can be great! Imagine doing no lecturing during the class-time you have with students, and being able to work one-on-one or in groups to help students “get it.” Something to think about as we move into a new school year!

Check out the original post “Keep Up With…Flipped Classrooms” over at ALA. More resources below!

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