College Educators Successfully Implement the Flipped Classroom Model, Using MyLab & Mastering’s Learning Catalytics feature from Pearson

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An interactive classroom tool that uses students’ smartphones, tablets, or laptops to engage them in more sophisticated tasks and thinking improves learning experience for over 50,000 learners

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The “flipped classroom” model of learning has been growing in popularity in recent years, as more educators adjust their style of teaching to increase student engagement and improve learner outcomes. According to the Flipped Learning Network™, George Mason University and Pearson’s Center for Educator Learning & Effectiveness report, 2014 Extension of a Review of Flipped Learning, the number of teachers who indicated they had flipped a lesson during the school year went up from 48 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2014. Of the teachers who do flip, 96 percent say they would recommend it to a colleague.

To help flip their classrooms, college educators around the country are using Learning Catalytics, an interactive, classroom-based feature of MyLab & Mastering that uses students’ smartphones, tablets, or laptops to engage them in more sophisticated tasks and thinking. Learning Catalytics enables educators to generate classroom discussion, guide their lecture, and promote peer-to-peer learning with real-time analytics. Developed at Harvard University by Eric Mazur, Gary King, and Brian Lukoff, Learning Catalytics grew out of 20 years of cutting-edge research, innovation, and implementation of interactive teaching and peer instruction.

Professor Terry Austin, an instructor of anatomy and physiology at Temple College, flips his classroom. Using the “bring your own device” model and with real-time classroom intelligence and analytics provided by Learning Catalytics, Professor Austin is able to monitor his students’ performance, track any modifications needed in his own instruction and adjust accordingly, for the best student experience. He has students watch short lecture videos in advance of class. This flexible format helps him meet the needs of working, non-traditional students, so that they have a basic understanding of the content before they get to class. Watch this video to learn more about Professor Austin’s experience with the flipped classroom model.

“Learning is certainly not restricted to the traditional classroom, with the professor at the front of the room lecturing to students in the audience,” said Professor Austin. “Learning is an interchange among everyone in my classroom, and students need to interact with their instructor and each other to revitalize the learning process. Along the way the instructor is constantly aware of the level of understanding of each student. Learning Catalytics is more than just a cool name, it’s the reality of interactions between everyone involved in my classes.”

University of North Carolina’s Director of Instructional Innovation for the College of Arts and Sciences, and Senior STEM Lecturer in the Biology Dept., Kelly Hogan, first piloted Learning Catalytics in her non-majors Biology class of over 400 students in fall 2013.

“I particularly like that Learning Catalytics holds every student accountable,” said Professor Hogan. “I often employed active learning in class through notecards, group work, taking pictures of a few students' work and displaying it via the document reader. However, not all students did the work. In contrast, with Learning Catalytics, all students have to submit something to get their participation credit.”

Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus, a chemistry lecturer at Ohio State University, is using Learning Catalytics to increase classroom interaction among his 300 students. Through the system, Dr. Stoltzfus can ask his students open-ended questions, view student responses by location in the room, and automatically group students so that they know which peers they should discuss their answers with.

Dr. Stoltzfus said, “I don't believe the best use of my face-to-face time is to lecture to the students using chalk talk or PowerPoint. With today's technology, all of my traditional lectures can be posted online and students can watch these before or after class. Since I only have three hours per week with my students, I decided to flip my classroom in order to make the best use of face-to-face time. When students log in to Learning Catalytics, they are prompted to enter where they are sitting in the lecture hall. This allows me to monitor student responses in real-time based on where they are sitting, and tells me where to focus my attention and facilitate instruction.”

Program Director for Learning Catalytics at Pearson, Brian Lukoff, said, “The true value of technology arises when instructors can harness it as a vehicle for pedagogical change in the classroom. These educators are utilizing Learning Catalytics to assess students in real time, drive better peer collaboration, and personalize instruction for their students, all of which contribute to more effective learning.”

In the flipped classroom model, some or most of direct instruction is delivered outside the group learning space using video or other modes of delivery. This makes class time available for students to engage in hands-on learning, collaborate with their peers, and evaluate their progress. Educators can provide more targeted one-on-one assistance, guidance and inspiration. The intentional shift is from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered learning environment.

MyLab & Mastering is used by over 11 million students annually. The addition of Learning Catalytics to its feature set makes it an even more flexible and powerful learning tool that can help faculty flip the classroom.

Register to attend the upcoming flipped classroom webinars featuring Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus on October 23 at 4:00 p.m. ET, and Brian Lukoff on October 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit

Media Contact: Brandon Pinette, brandon(dot)pinette(at)pearson(dot)com or 800-745-8489

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