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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Professor Student in Lab

FLIP: Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy


FLIP: Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy is a faculty discussion group, ideas lab and learning community focused on topics related to the theory and practice of teaching and learning. FLIP is open to faculty members, instructors, postdocs and graduate students who want to study, discuss and try out various evidence-based approaches to instruction, including student-centered learning, discipline-based education research, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning (PBL), case studies and other forms of active learning. Attendees should feel free to bring their lunch.

If you are interested in participating in FLIP or would like to be on the email list for further information, please send a message to Alan White at

Themes for Spring 2016

Read and discuss Dunlosky et al (2013)—Effective Learning Techniques 
This monograph discusses ten learning techniques in detail and offers recommendations about their relative utility. Techniques will be read and discussed grouped by their Utility Rating from the meta-analysis (Table 4; p 45).
Date Topic Facilitator

JAN 19

Low Utility: Summarization (p 14), Highlighting (p 18), Mnemonics (p 21), Imagery (p 24), Rereading (p 26) Alan White


Summary and Implications for the Classroom  
Using Metacognition in the Classroom
Date Topic Facilitator

FEB 16

Metacognition Overview and Literature Review Jay Pou


Assessment of Metacognition Implementation Linda Mihalik

MAR 15

Summary of Metacognition Classroom Modules Alan White
Active Learning in Large Classrooms
Date Topic Facilitator


Overview and Literature Review Elina Levina

APR 19

Overview and Literature Review Steve Rodney


Classroom Implementation Alan White

About the Facilitator

Alan R. White is professor of Biological Sciences and associate dean for Undergraduate STEM Education for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Previously, he served as dean of Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University, in Greenville, NC (2005–2013), and as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at North Dakota State University in Fargo (20002005), where he also was chair of the Department of Botany (19972000).

Alan is a plant cell biologist, with a BS in Biology and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has held faculty positions at Marshall University, North Dakota State University, East Carolina University and the University of South Carolina. In addition to his research on plant cell wall structure and synthesis, he has been a key contributor in the development and testing of the Virtual Cell, a virtual environment for learning cell biology, and active in a variety of funded projects to improve science education practices.

This event is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.