MEF University in Istanbul, Turkey, is unique in that it was established in 2013 as a fully flipped university. Every course is delivered using the flipped learning approach. MEF is currently the only university in the world, to be fully flipped.
Course Design at MEF
Flipped courses at MEF are designed in the following way:
• Instructors create videos with the content they wish to transfer to students.
• These videos are uploaded onto the university learning management system (LMS).
• Online quizzes and communication channels on the LMS are used to engage students with the materials before class.
• At the start of each lesson, students review the content of the videos by mind mapping, bullet pointing lists, writing up key words or charts on the walls around the room (the walls are painted in ‘magic paint’ which turns them into whiteboards).
• During class, students put that content into practice through interactive, student-centered, practical activities.
• After each class, students review what they have done through reflective journal entries, online quizzes and activities designed by the instructors, or through project work
Faculty of Education
Students on the Faculty of Education at MEF are in a unique position. Students being educated to become teachers in Turkey have little time in the classroom before they graduate. This leaves them theory rich but experience poor. At MEF, the University within School model, designed by Professor Mustafa Özcan, has been implemented. This means that during their first two years of study, MEF students have the opportunity to work as teaching assistants in local partnership schools to gain practical experience with pupils. In their third and fourth years, they work as teachers in these schools, gaining the experience they need to become professional educators. This approach means that students at MEF are constantly looking for practical ways to put their theories into practice in the classroom.
EDS 102 Turkish Educational System and School Management
In spring of 2016, I was teaching a first year class of students from the mathematics education department. All of these students planned to work as math teachers on their graduation. During our course on the Turkish Educational System, we were doing a unit on innovations in education, whereby each group of students were asked to investigate a new innovation in education and present it to the class. One day, the students approached me with an idea. They said that for them, the flipped learning approach was the biggest innovation they had come across, and instead of the proposed project, they would like to demonstrate their effectiveness in being flipped teachers by planning and teaching a flipped math class to their classmates. In essence, they wanted to hold a competition to see which group were the best flipped educators. This seemed like a fantastic idea, so decided to bring it to fruition.
Students got into groups of four to five and went through the following stages:
• They chose a student age group.
• They decided on a math concept appropriate for this age of students.
• They designed a video storyboard to plan their videos.
• They recorded their videos and edited them.
• They investigated online websites or software on which they could create practice activities for students to put the video content into practice.
• They designed student-centered, interactive activities for students to practice the concept in the classroom.
When the groups had all their materials ready, we uploaded their videos and links to pre-class activities onto our LMS. Then, the students took turns watching each other’s videos and doing the online activities. After this, groups conducted in-class, interactive activities to put the concepts into practice. After all the groups had taught their lessons, they reflected on their own and others’ performance using a rubric and gave feedback on the strengths and areas for development. They then made action plans for how they could improve their flipped learning lesson. Finally, they put together everything they had done and created a video to share their experiences. You can watch their video here.
We are proud to have the opportunity to share this project with you on the FLGI blog and to show how MEF is educating the flipped learning teachers of the future.