Class welcomes new teaching style

A Gannon University professor is choosing a new method when it comes to educating her students.

Anne O’Neill, director of the advertising communication program, is working to introduce a new teaching style referred to as “flipping the classroom.”

The concept of a flipped classroom is a two-part process. First, the students look over the basics of a topic outside the classroom. Then, they come to class to participate in activities that would apply to what they have studied. This gives the professor more time to connect with the students and explain things in a more casual manner, rather than lecturing to the students.

This new technique allows for the students to get more involved during class and also allows the professors to connect with their students on a greater scale. Most professors would agree that connecting with their students is at the top of their priority list, but is also something that is not easy to achieve through lectures.

“I like to have students talk during class and get their input on the topic,” O’Neill said.

Flipping the classroom will permit students to have more discussions not only with the professor but amongst themselves as well.

It will highlight how important communication is not only in school, but also in the workforce. Another key concept of this new teaching style is to include real-world examples of the topic at hand. The Internet and the use of PowerPoint will also be used in a flipped classroom.

One obstacle O’Neill will be facing is learning and teaching the new terminology that will be associated with this method.

“I have to teach a lot of new terminology, terms that typically have not been used by students before,” O’Neill said.

PowerPoint will be her main tool while explaining these new terms, as well as discussions with the students.

While O’Neill received support from several key colleagues, she is still waiting to get the approval from the university itself.

This is a new experience not only for the students, but for O’Neill as well.

Samantha Jordano, a middle level education math and science major, said she thinks this new teaching method could be a success if executed in the correct way.

“If this method works as it is supposed to, it would be a great way for teachers to truly utilize classroom time,” Jordano said.

“Students would be able to practice what they have already studied, using the teacher as a guide.”

 

KRISTEN MARINI

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