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Teaching and Learning in a “Flipped” Class

This is the third summer that I am teaching Marketing 201 online to a group of talented and motivated undergraduates. The students may not be aware of this, but the format of the course is labeled a “flipped” class.  A class is “flipped” when the lectures are prerecorded, posted and streamed to students at their convenience outside of class.  Class time is devoted case discussions and applications of the concepts covered in lectures.

The traditional pattern has been to assign students to read textbooks and work on problems outside the classroom, while class time is devoted to listening to lectures and taking tests.  Historically, college lectures have tended to repeat what is in the textbook.  As a student myself (and I admit to being a nerd who did homework), I used to find this quite annoying.  If the professor was going to repeat what he or she had assigned students to read, I could not figure out why I was both doing the reading assignment and attending the class.  Students are smart and quickly caught onto this, since a big complaint among faculty is that students do not do their assigned reading.

Although there is an impressive body of literature accumulating on this subject, I came to the “flipped” class in a pragmatic way.  I have never been crazy about lecturing, although I do a bit of it in my online course to summarize the topics the class is studying each week.  In the field of marketing, I always found case discussions and applications to be interesting and my feedback from students is that they find these engaging.  And so I have “flipped.”

In my experience, the reception has been more positive among undergraduate students than with graduate students, who seem to expect lectures.  Undergrads appear to learn better through experiential aspects that cases offer and their scores on tests indicate to me that they are learning the concepts as well as their application. I should also add that the students themselves have been presenting and leading the case discussion in the online classroom.  So I will leave it to them to comment on the positives, difficulties and perhaps confusions that they have faced taking this online “flipped” summer course.

Mary Ann



  • By Lauren Guenther on 7.19.2013 at 6:10 pm

    To me, the idea of a flipped class is both challenging and exciting. There are some classes that I would never want to be flipped, like accounting or calculus. Other classes, I prefer that way, such as history and art classes. Marketing is somewhere in the middle. Starting out, I didn’t know what to expect, but I quickly learned that I was going to have to read the text in order to succeed. Often, this can seem overwhelming in a summer class like when three 30 page chapters are assigned at one time. Yet I have learned to appreciate learning at my own pace. Using class time for discussion and application means that the class goes further than the textbook can. Especially in the business field, this sort of application can mean a lot. When I can see how marketing works with companies I am familiar with, the subject bridges the gap between theoretical and something I can actually use. I think that marketing is a great candidate for being “flipped” and I appreciate this class and the other classes I have taken in this format.

  • By Maureen Baynes on 7.24.2013 at 7:06 pm

    Taking Marketing 201 this summer was my first experience both with an online course and with a “flipped” class. Although I definitely prefer full semester in-person classes due to the pace and the smaller amount of screen time required, I much prefered the “flipped class” style to a regular lecture. Especially since much of the course material involved learning definitions and different marketing processes, it was much more helpful to go over real examples and case studies in class. Additionally, having the pre-recorded lectures available on Sakai was very helpful for test preparation. Getting to present a case definitely helped me understand the chapter I presented on better, although coordinating a group project via email was more difficult than a group project in an on-campus semester. Again, while I had some technical difficulties throughout the semester because of the online format, I felt that the “flipped class” format helped me to get the most from the class, and really understand the material we covered.

  • By elizabeth mcadams on 7.24.2013 at 9:09 pm

    This was my second experience with an online class. The first I did Purdue which was not a flipped course. The lectures that were provided were ones of the in class lectures recorded and were completely optional. Instead students were given topics and their way of learning was to research the chapters make their own recorded lectures and teach the class that way. Tests were 200 questions and you only had two hours so you HAD to do the reading. There was very little interaction between teacher and student which is why I enjoyed this flipped course so much more. I was able to look at marketing in a real life perspective seeing how real companies market products I use daily. The exams seemed to be a lot easier than the homework, I would do very well on some assignments and very poor on others and I think this was based off the wording of certain questions or activities not on how well prepared I was

  • By John Jackson on 7.25.2013 at 1:46 pm

    This summer was my second immersion into the world of online courses and my first true experience with a “Flipped” structure. I took ACCT 201 last summer and it was vastly different then this summers class. Obviously for the content, but also because it was all crunched into one month and the teacher used a flipped style, along with class lectures to discuss how to do the problems. When I first found this class i was a little bummed to find out that it spanned over 2 months, because one of the greatest qualities of my last online class was that I could just devote one month to the class. That being said this class was much more manageable for me. Marketing being one of my two majors, I felt like i gained all the proper skills and materials that will be essential to any 300 class i will take in the future. The fact that the tests were so comprehensive to the book and the way the discussions enveloped real-world topics, made me satisfied with the amount of info i was learning. I would recommend this class to someone who is nervous about the “flipped” style, because i really was worried at first, but the material you are tested on is so integrated with the book that I felt some level of security if i didn’t understand something from one of the lectures. Overall I’ve benefited from trying this new teaching/learning style.

  • By E. Thomas on 7.27.2013 at 12:57 pm

    I must admit that I was of the “expect lectures” mindset that Dr. McGrath mentioned in her blog post. I am an undergrad student with the adult learning program (School of Professional and Continuing Studies) and I am accustomed to the online lecture approach. I enjoyed the “flipped” format because the case studies and discussions allowed me to think about Marketing using real world examples.

    Dr. McGrath mentioned that, “a big complaint among faculty is that students do not do their assigned reading.” In the flipped format, I found the prerecorded lectures to be the least impactful and I wonder if this will replace the faculty frustration for student assigned reading.

    As other colleagues mentioned, an online course is not for those who lack self-discipline. This is my fifth online course with Loyola and I find the coursework to be more intense than an in person class. This was also my first online class that had a required weekly-synchronized component. At first I was opposed to this as I felt it defeated the flexibility factor in online learning. In the end, it wasn’t so bad as it gives the students a chance to interact with the facilitator and hear different viewpoints.

    I would recommend that all students take an online course. (flipped or not) Once you get into the practice the benefits outweigh the challenges. I had the opportunity to learn new concepts, test new software (Connect) and lead a case discussion using an online format. In addition to the course concepts these are learning applications that will make us all better. I am grateful for the experience of learning in a “flipped” online class.

  • By Keunwook Chai on 7.28.2013 at 8:34 pm

    I personally prefer full semester in person lecture during the regular semester; however, I prefer online class during the summer because of its convenience. I liked the class format that we used in the marketing 201 because this is a better way to learn by discussing in the classroom. But I also think that the prerecorded lecture is a better format because many students have a summer job and there are back home in a different time zone. So it will be more convenience to have a prerecorded lecture and not having a class meeting time.

  • By Danica Villanueva on 7.30.2013 at 8:57 am

    I believe that taking a flipped class was really beneficial to my learning process. I think that by doing it with this format it gives each student the opportunity to move at a pace which is comfortable for them and also utilize the meeting times to really sum up the material into real world examples and make it more applicable. I believe that real world examples and case presentations were the best thing to fill our meeting times with, instead of restating all of the material that we had just watched in previous lectures. I am taking another online class with a similar format, however, one lecture a day is released which slows me down and makes it harder to find two hours a day to get through the work. The fact that Professor McGrath let us go at our own speed was really helpful. I also found for being my first online class, it was a really positive experience. I felt that I had complete access to Professor McGrath who offered detailed help during the meeting sessions as well as over email. The flipped format definitely provides a more positive experience for the students and allows for a broader learning experience than just text book material.

  • By Franchesca Rodgers on 7.30.2013 at 11:45 am

    For the past several years all of my math classes have been in a “flipped” structure which proved helpful in such a rogue application course; I’ll admit I was skeptical as to how effective or helpful it could be in a Marketing course. Fortunately I believe that the structure proves equally as productive in this setting–it allows each student to learn the material at her own pace and left class time open to discuss more practical applications and cases which requires us to think more critically and connect as a class which is nearly impossible in an online. I also think having the “flipped” structure was very helpful given the difficult meeting time for some and all the technical difficulties it guaranteed every student learned the material.

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