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Liberty has just designed an online learning module that went live Feb. 21, Wastler said. Any staff members who would like to implement flipped classrooms next school year can be trained and have access to resources through the module.

The flipped classrooms have gone so well, Liberty administration decided to redesign its entire professional development program around the concept and no longer has faculty meetings.

Staff members are provided with online resources, such as learning modules, and information via the Internet, Wastler said.

“(We’re) using our time that’s limited with them to actually collaborate rather than provide information,” he said.

During the current spring semester, the school is using the OpenCourseWare program for the first time. With it, students are using free, online classes for independent study, Wastler said.

Four students are taking free classes put online by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one student is taking a course through the University of California, Berkeley. Course subjects include microeconomics, introduction to disease and cancer research and nutrition.

Participating students must complete the online course in nine weeks, or a quarter of the school year, then complete a research project with an industry mentor, Wastler said.

The culminating experience, during which the mentor visits the school, is a presentation of their research and a reflection on their learning, Wastler said.

“That initial flipped classroom pilot … has allowed us now to find a new avenue for a very similar program for a different group of students with different needs,” he said.

Implementing the flipped classroom model, OpenCourseWare and any training or resources given to educators has been implemented without a cost by using free websites and Google Hangouts, Wastler said.

“Zero expenditure to our school system, or us, yet we’ve been able to institute a program of connectedness,” he said.


Information from: Carroll County Times of Westminster, Md.,