© 2018 by Sylvia Grewatsch, Ph.D.

Teaching Methods

Flipped-Classroom Approach

I rely on a general flipped-classroom-approach to make the most effective use of class time and create productive classroom learning experiences. The flipped-classroom approach inverts the typical cycle of content acquisition and application. This implies that students gain necessary knowledge before class through assigned preparatory readings first and then use class time to actively and interactively clarify and apply that knowledge. The advantages of the flipped-classroom approach are that students learn more deeply, are more active in learning, and it encourages a balance between individual and collective learning. 

Methods that I use to help flipping the class are case studies, group projects and presentations, in-class and online discussions, and e-learning tools, such as simulations and online polling platforms.

 

To make the flipped-classroom approach work, it is crucial that students feel empowered to participate in class and share their insights. Therefore, I place great emphasis on creating an inclusive and friendly classroom environment. It is important to establish clear ground rules in the syllabi and from the first session on in class. I also strive to discourage stereotypical thinking by consciously including examples of successful minority business leaders, and by avoiding gendered, ethnically biased, or heteronormative language.

 

To continuously improve my skills as a discussion facilitator and instructor, I elicit student feedback. In every course, I ask for a voluntary student evaluation after the first half of the course, additional to the mandatory course evaluations at the end of a semester. The first voluntary round of feedback helps me to better tailor my teaching to the needs of the specific cohort of students. Overall, I am very interested in student evaluations to help me identify areas for improvement and to seek development opportunities.

 

Assessment of Student Learning

Learning is a continuous process and can be reflected in various ways. Therefore, I engage in continuous and varied assessment to tailor it to the students' learning objectives and my teaching efforts. I like to apply a mix of oral and written assignments of the course of the class, rather than giving grades based on only one final exam at the end. This helps students to get feedback they progress through the course.

 

In grading, I aim to be as transparent and criterion based as possible. I use grading rubrics to lay out to students the criteria that will be used for grading an assignment, prior to the submission of an assignment. Rubrics  allow students to better understand the shortcomings and development possibilities of their work and to proactively diagnose and improve their work themselves.