Lone Star College-North Harris turns the table on math struggles with flipped classroom

Published on: May 07, 2013

Lone Star College-North Harris is leading the way and reaching greater heights through a unique teaching approach called flipped classrooms. As part of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) grant initiative, LSC-North Harris is utilizing technology to give students the opportunity to the learn in an innovative way.

In the fall of 2012, 60 students and 2 instructors began a journey of exploring the newest method of advanced learning, when LSC-North Harris launched two pilot classes for Intermediate Math (Math 0310), and College Algebra (Math 1314).

In a traditional math class, students hear the instructor’s lecture, then go home to work math problems for homework. In a flipped class, these activities are switched. Homework is watching a video of the instructor’s lecture. During class, students work the problems, with the instructor available to help.

The two pilot math classes at LSC-North Harris have proven to be very beneficial. The success rate for Intermediate Math was 79 percent, compared to 53 percent in other LSC-North Harris Math 0310 sections, and the success rate for College Algebra was 80 percent, compared to 64 percent in Math 1314 sections at LSC-North Harris.

One factor contributing to the improved outcomes is that a student who has trouble understanding something, or missed what the instructor said, can rewind the video and watch the lecture again. In addition, rather than working math problems alone, students can rely on classmates and their professor for help understanding the coursework.

In short, a flipped class frees the instructor’s time from the lecture aspect of the traditional classroom, so they can provide more one-on-one attention to the students.

“I love it,” said flipped math class instructor, Ellen Turnell. “I read about these classes and reached out to other instructors in the flipped classroom community, and this sounded like something that I could do. Teaching this class has really challenged me to step outside of the box.”

The proven success of the first year of flipped classes at LSC-North Harris has also opened the door for more students to take advantage of these classes in the future.

A flipped Math 1316 (Trigonometry) will be available to students in the fall 2013 semester, and a Math 2412 (Pre-Calculus) class will be available to students in the spring 2014 semester.

For more information prospective students should contact STEM Director, Sylvia Martinez at 281.765.7806, or speak to an advisor at the college.

Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit LoneStar.edu/NorthHarris.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.

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