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Thursday, August 13 • 3:45pm - 4:35pm
To Flip or Not to Flip: Advantages and Disadvantages of a Flipped Foreign Language Classroom

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Research has shown that the “blended/flipped” learning model can enhance student learning by creating a more interactive and dynamic classroom and by providing increased flexibility of time, location, and pace of study. In this presentation, two Japanese instructors report on their pilot courses for blended learning. At an American university, the instructors collaborated over an academic year, integrating a “flipped” mode of instruction into second- and third-year Japanese courses. This project sought to address two challenges both instructors had long faced: the relative lack of effectiveness of traditional, in-class lectures and the difficulties of engaging students in them. The instructors implemented online lectures, quizzes, and exercises in order to allot more classroom time to activities through which students could benefit from the instructor’s immediate feedback and guidance. To create the online lectures, the audio-video capturing software Camtasia was used along with Powerpoint slides. To ensure that students watched the lectures before class, online homework assignments and quizzes were uploaded to Canvas, the online learning management system, and assigned to be completed by the next class. Classtime was then reserved for activities such as situational speaking practice, in-depth discussions on grammar, and reading and writing exercises. During these pilot courses, the instructors discovered various advantages of the “flipped” approach as well as both anticipated and unexpected disadvantages. In this session, the presenters will share samples of the online content, in-class activities, and assessment instruments. Additionally, strategies for maximizing the effect of online materials and supporting students in becoming more self-regulated, independent learners will be delineated. The session, moreover, will recommend when an online method can be particularly effective and efficient and when traditional in-class instruction serves students better and is thus preferable. Plans for future revisions of the courses, particularly in terms of the use of technology, will conclude the presentation.


Kumiko Akikawa

University of Maryland

Makiko Inoue

University of Maryland

Thursday August 13, 2015 3:45pm - 4:35pm EDT
Barker 133 (Plimpton) 12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA