An Experiment with Flipping the Classroom in an Undergraduate Synoptic Meteorology Course

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 11:15 AM
125AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Eric G. Hoffman, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH

There are many different ways of including experiential learning in a college class room environment. Traditionally Synoptic meteorology courses in B.S. degree programs have scheduled lab time to apply concepts learned in the lecture portion of the class to map analysis and forecasting exercises. Students are expected to learn the concepts in class and then apply them to lab or to a homework assignment. Recently, educators across all levels have started to use change that model of student learning by “flipping the classroom”. One way to flip a class is to have students learn the course concepts independently through assignments to be completed outside of class and then applying those concepts in the classroom through an exercise guided by the instructor. The value of using this conceptual model for student learning is that students can use their time with their instructor to refine their knowledge of conceptual material while applying the concepts.

In the Fall 2014 semester of MT 3300 Synoptic Meteorology I at Plymouth State University, a flipped classroom model will be applied to help students learn how to develop a forecast. Some map analysis assignments will use the traditional approach which consists of lecture material to learn how to interpret weather maps and satellite images, a short amount of time to have brief guided weather discussions, and a homework assignment. The flipped classroom will be one or two homework assignments that consist of online video lectures and supplemental readings and the classroom work will be real-time map analysis. Both the traditional and flipped map analysis assignments will culminate in a flipped classroom experience in which students will prepare their first forecast in real-time during class after having completed a homework assignment in which the conceptual material for how to synthesize their map analysis skills into a forecast is presented. Students will be asked to evaluate their experiences with both the traditional and flipped classroom approaches and the results of the faculty and student experience will be presented.