And as colleges and universities face resistance from longtime faculty who charge that reliance on web-based lectures will lead to massive courses that allow campuses to slash the number of professors and instructors it needs to lead classes, UMD technologists said 30-year faculty members are some of the most ardent supporters of flipped learning.

“If you put stuff online, they know it doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly not going to have teachers,” said Chris Higgins, an instructional technology specialist at UMD who has helped instructors and professors incorporate a blended or flipped learning model. “Yes, it changes the role, but it doesn’t diminish the role of the professor. And that’s the most important piece.”

A wider embrace of flipped learning, Higgins said, won’t rid college campuses of small and medium-sized classes. Flipping the traditional model would be most effective in enormous classes with very little individualized attention and high dropout rates.

“It’s like a wildfire that’s about to begin,” he said. “I’m very excited about the possibilities of what we have here.”


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