TJSL Associate Dean for Graduate and Distance Education Programs William Byrnes and Program Director Jason Fiske '08 stirred interest with their presentation on the topic of "flipping the classroom" at CaliBUG 2013, held October 11 in San Diego.
CaliBug had 280 attendees this year from California higher education institutions, representing administration and faculty of universities and colleges.
Last spring, Dean Byrnes submitted a presentation proposal to the conference committee on the pedagogical reasons for, and addressing the challenges of, “flipping the classroom," which was chosen for a forty minute slot at this year's conference.
According to Dean Byrnes, “Jason and I do a tag team presentation, swapping back and forth every couple minutes to keep audience interest. Listening to one speaker for forty minutes may be laborious, but fragmenting between two complementary styles and perspectives allows attention to be continually refreshed. Thus, I spoke to the pedagogical justification of flipping the classroom while Jason showed how we are flipping the classroom with screen captured examples.”
As Dean Byrnes notes, there is growing research that supports the value effects of online education.
"I think it is important to start such distance education discussions by presenting the findings of the U.S. Department of Education Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning - A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies:
‘the meta-analysis of 50 study effects, 43 of which were drawn from research with older learners, found that students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.’
“Also during the presentation, I dropped in the quote from another article that:
‘Diverse groups of problems solvers – groups of people with diverse tools – consistently outperform groups of the best & the brightest’.”
As Jason Fiske noted, "The presentation, and the massive interest in the system we are creating, shows how the online Graduate Programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law continue to lead as thought innovators and leaders in the continually evolving field of online education.”
Dean Byrnes added, “During our presentation, a local law faculty member of USD expressed that she had been looking for exactly what we are doing. Moreover, several other institutions’ faculty approached us at lunch to set up follow up conversations. Being chosen to speak at CaliBUG has presented a very good opportunity for cross fertilization with public universities in Southern California, like the UCs and Community Colleges, that are now exploring how best to leverage distance education to accomplish their missions of public education, as well as the private universities in attendance like USC, Loyola, and our neighbor USD.”