How important is it for instructors to include their own faces when creating instructional videos? The answer might surprise you. Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Guru (and an actor, director, and inventor of the Little Prompter) leans on research and his own expertise to offer guidance.


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Experiencing the flipped chemistry classroom at the LACOL workshop

C. Londergan demonstrates untethered movement in the classroom with his tablet.
C. Londergan demonstrates untethered movement in the classroom with his tablet.

At the June LACOL workshop, Associate Professor of Chemistry Casey Londergan demonstrated his techniques for flipping the chemistry classroom as part of a multi-disciplinary panel on faculty and student experiences with online, blended and active learning.

In a Physical Chemistry class primarily for juniors, Londergan and his colleague Joshua Schrier have experimented with a mixture of just-in-time and active learning techniques with their students in order to maximize the use of class time for problem solving work.  Content delivery through readings and videos happens mostly through the LMS so more active learning can happen in the classroom.  Modular videos allow students to re-watch sections of the lecture.  Pre-class questions in the LMS also help Londergan adjust each class to focus on the areas where students have the most questions.

For students, the active classroom learning design pushes them to focus and improve in the most challenging areas.  Using a tablet and stylus linked wirelessly to the projector, Londergan is free to move around the class and help individual students and groups get “unstuck” as they work on problems together.

Prof. Casey Londergan demonstrates his flipped chemistry classroom at Haverford.

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Web Conference: Active Learning Roundtable

Post-meeting Follow-ups

Resources and Links for Active Learning in STEM from the Jan 15 Discussion (contributed by participants):

Excellent guides to using Peer Instruction/clickers:

Databases with questions for astronomy, biology, CS, chemistry, geosciences, math/stat, physics:


Meeting: Active Learning Classroom Roundtable (Web Conference)

Discussion Leaders:

  • Casey Londergan (Associate Professor of Chemistry, Haverford College)
  • John Dougherty (Associate Professor of Computer Science, Haverford College)

Friday, January 15th, 2016 (more…)

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Getting started with math videos by Professor Mark Huber at Claremont McKenna College

When I began creating videos, I had a very limited application in mind. It wasn’t the case that I planned to flip the classroom. Instead, my motivation was that I found myself repeating certain basic concepts over and over again in office hours, and wanted to give students short videos (under ten minutes) explaining particularly hard-to-get concepts.

After creating a few of these videos, I decided to have my students create videos explaining some basic problems. Seeing the myriad of different types of videos that my students produced really opened my eyes to the different possibilities. Here’s my breakdown of the most common ways to get started with videos, and the pros and cons of each.

1) The sage on the stage—now in video form!

The simplest way to get started is to use that skill that all math lecturers have: stand in front of the board and record the lecture. This is probably the easiest way to get started, but isn’t an especially good way to create a short video. Drawbacks include that the speaker is often blocking the board, much of the time the material on the board cannot be read due to distance. It is also tempting in this format to include too much material, and not concentrate on the key ideas.

Definitely this video is going to need some closeups to be able to read what’s going on!


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