Flip Frees In-class Time for More Active Learning

Flip Frees In-class Time for More Active Learning

Flipped Class:  Introduction to Child Nutrition Overview

Instructor: Maya Adam
Department/School: Program in Human Biology / School of Medicine
Course: Introduction to Child Nutrition (HUMBIO 81Q)
Audience: 14 Stanford Students 
Teaching and Learning Approach: Flipped Classroom

Goals: Maya Adam wanted to explore a flipped classroom approach. She was interested in increasing student engagement by using stories and case studies to make material relevant to students on a personal level. Maya also wanted to experiment with using role-play and other interactive activities to bring the course together in a meaningful way for students.

Approach: The Introduction to Child Nutrition class was offered as an Introductory Seminar to Sophomore students in Winter Quarter 2013. Students spent 90 minutes each week learning about nutrition science in a “flipped classroom” setting and a 90 minutes each week actually practicing how to cook healthy, balanced meals in Stanford’s Arrillaga Family Dining Commons. Adam created online modules that introduced students to complex physiological concepts and basic cooking skills outside of class and then used face-to-face class time to engage students in a variety of interactive activities and real-life applications of topics:

  • Case Studies: Scenarios were presented as stories and discussed

  • Role Play: Students watched video of children with various symptoms (Maya Adam acted in the role of a parent of a child with Celiac Disease.)

  • Experiential Activities: Cooking, experimenting with different foods/tastings

In-class Strategies: Active Learning Exercises, Small Group Discussion, Application, Role Play, Experiential Activities

Online or Out-of-class Activities: Pre-recorded video modules prepared students for both the nutrition science sessions and the hands-on cooking sessions. Students could watch the video at their own pace  as many times as needed to get ready for the face-to-face session.

Lessons Learned:  As a result of the flip, students came into lecture more empowered to participate because they were prepared and had the background knowledge to contribute at a higher level in class. Pre-recorded content gave Adam the flexibility to tailor material to the class so that it was ideally suited to the level of knowledge that students were expected to master. Students reported that “the use of online mini lectures [was] amazing. It is infinitely more engaging than reading from a textbook.” Another student commented: “loved the video lectures, which were great supplementary material. Cooking videos were also superb. I loved the use of multimedia in this class, as it definitely engaged us 21st century kids.” 

Plans for Next Iteration of Course:  Adam will record videos to include all of the 18-20 topics covered in the 10-week course. (There were videos for half the topics in her first run of the course.) She will also record video "inkings" to accompany each of the existing videos to help clarify basic nutrition science concepts presented in the course. She’d like to continue exploring new ways to use face-to-face time with her students.

Update 2015

Here's a trailer for a related course Maya created: Stanford Child Nutrition and Cooking.

About the Teaching Team

Maya Adam, M.D.

Maya Adam, MD teaches on child health and nutrition in the Human Biology Program at Stanford University. In the Spring of 2013, she launched her first massive open online course, Stanford Child Nutrition and Cooking.


Harnessing the power of online education in the fight against childhood obesity  - Maya Adam’s post on Stanford Online’s Signal Blog August 29, 2013
Short Documentary about Introduction to Child Nutrition (Video) June 25, 2013
Faculty Experimentation with Blended and Online Learning (Video) March 27, 2013
Faculty Forum on Online and Blended Learning (Video) January 23, 2013

This project was funded in part by a Faculty Seed Grant from the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning (VPTL).

*Adapted from  Maya Adam’s Flipped Classroom Report on the Coursera Flipped Classroom Field Guide