Dominick Casadonte was ranked in the top 100 educators in 2016.
A year after being honored as one of the Top 100 educators leading an innovative educational movement, a Texas Tech University chemistry professor has now been honored as one of the world's Top 40.
Flipped learning is all about changing the traditional educational model, which usually consists of in-class lectures, homework and tests. In flipped learning, students watch a lecture before coming to class and complete some homework problems. Then, the in-class time is used to recap the material, explain anything students found unclear and work advanced problems.
Casadonte, the Minnie Stevens Piper professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is a huge advocate for the model for a very simple reason.
"It works,” he said. "It improves both classroom performance and student learning outcomes.”
The concept was developed in 2007 by Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, two high school chemistry teachers in Colorado who wanted to maximize the impact of their classroom time.
"The 2017 FLGI Flipped Learning Leaders lists includes some of the most experienced, innovative and proactive education and training professionals in the world,” said Bergmann, now the chief academic officer for the FLGI. "These are the people driving flipped learning forward in thought and action and demonstrating what is possible when flipped learning is done well.”
Casadonte began flipping his face-to-face classes in 2009 and launched a six-year longitudinal study – published in December in the American Chemical Society book "The Flipped Classroom” – to evaluate its efficacy. During the study, test scores improved about 9.2 percent on average. He also administered an independent, standardized American Chemical Society exam at the end of each semester to see how students compared to their peers nationwide. After flipping the classes, he saw a 700 percent increase in the number of students performing at or above the 90th percentile.
In addition to the improved results, student surveys revealed 93 percent preferred flipped learning and would take another flipped class if given the option.
In addition to the study and his own teaching efforts, Casadonte has organized three national symposia on course flipping and has participated in two others. He has worked with graduate students studying flipped learning and gives lectures nationwide on how to successfully flip college-level classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). He credits these efforts for his inclusion on the FLGI list.
"I have been very active in flipped learning research and development since nearly the beginning of the field,” he said. "I am very thankful and humbled to be included as part of a great list of educators, especially in the STEM disciplines.”